Hall of Fame – 1976
Rudy Patek (1896-1982) of Chicago Illinois and Weyauwega, Wisconsin, was an importer and retailer of chemnitzer concertinas and an avid player. Patek concertinas were manufactured for Rudy Patek by Lange Concertina Company in Chemnitz, Germany, and sold by him and various other retailers throughout the Midwest, mostly during the 1920s through the 1950s.
The Pearl Queen brand was manufactured for retailers Otto Georgi and Louis Vitak and later, Louis Vitak & Joseph Elsnic. Often times you will find the names of these retailers somewhere on the instrument or inside the carrying case.
The Patek and Pearl Queen chemnitzer concertinas (different brands, but identical instruments) were the mainstays of the Polish American music scene from the 1920s to the 1960s.
After World War II, Georgi & Vitak began to import the Pearl King instrument from a manufacturer in Germany. In the 1960s Rudy Patek imported concertinas from Italy. These were economically produced concertinas intended to provide the American market with an inexpensive alternative to domestically produced instruments.