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This Day in History - May 23

The accordion was patented.
Video | May 23, 2017 | By Jonathan Shipley


On this day in Vienna, 1829, Cyrill Demian, of Armenian origin, patented an instrument called the accordion.

Demian (1772-1849) was an organ and piano maker. He, and his two sons, created the new instrument. It bears little resemblance to the modern accordion. It only had a left hand buttonboard, with the right hand simply operating the bellows. One key feature of Demian's instrument - it could play an entire chord by depressing one key.  

Some accordion facts:

"Weird Al" Yankovic got his first accordion at the age of 7. 

The first people to play accordion in Carnegie Hall were Joe Biviano, Abe Goldman and Gene von Halberg in 1939. They played Bach. 

Pietro Deiro, an Italian who worked in vaudeville and was signed by RCA Victory Records, was known as "the Daddy of the Accordion." 

The official musical instrument of Detroit? The accordion.

There's a manufacturer of accordions right here in Seattle. Petosa

Finally, Toto's "Africa."