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Charles 
Challen
1823 - 1909


Charles 
Challen
, Pianoforte maker (1851,61,71,81,91,1901). 1804 Challen Pianos London were Est., their claim to fame is that they made the worlds largest grand twelve feet long. They were later acquired by Barratt & Robinson England (founded 1877 at York Way, Kings Cross, England)
Challen made the largest piano in 1924 for the Silver Jubilee of George and Mary, There may have been two pianos or the one withdrawn repainted and polished and turned out again. This was a letter in the Piano Tuners Quarterly from Challen dated 19th December 1940, saying:
"Particulars of the world's largest grand piano, manufactured by Charles H. Challen & Sons. This instrument was made in honour of the Silver Jubilee of their Majesties King George V and Queen Mary and is the largest grand piano in the world. It has created a profound impression in musical and engineering circles. It is 11ft and 8 inches long, weighs one and a quarter tons, and the combined tensile stress of the strings amounts to over 30 tons. The iron frame alone weighs six and a half hundred weight and the largest bass string is 9ft 11 inches
The experimental work in connection with its production took over 12 months, and the cost amounted to over £600. In spite of its immense dimensions and strength, so perfectly has everything been calculated that it is even easier to play than an ordinary piano. It is a feat of British Piano engineering, which places the British industry definitely on top. It was first shown at the British Industries fair in 1935, where it was inspected by H M Queen, was played to her by Billy Mayerl. At a later date Sir Walford Davies, Master of the King's Music, also played the instrument and in reference to the piano he stated 'it is indeed a glorious instrument. It has the bass or an organ and yet the intimacy of touch and tone of the finest piano I have every played. A great achievement'. It has been used on several occasions for broadcasting. Charles H Challen"
CHALLEN, Chas., London - Est'd 1804 Makers of well-made instruments with a good well-rounded tone and lightish, responsive, touch. Challen built the 11ft 8in Grand, the largest in the world, in 1935. Challen also supplied the BBC with pianos in the 1930s. The company was taken over by Barratt & Robinson in 1971. ". In the Merchant Taylors School Record, Charles Hollis Challen is said to be a pianoforte maker and father of Charles (b.22/11/94) and John Duncan (b.08/12/1887) (both boys attended Merchant Taylor School). Charles Hollis Challen's family home is given as 74 St Augustines Road, London NW1 Charles Hollis Challen was cousin to Thomas Challen. Thomas Challen was born in 1819 in Storrington and son of Charles Challen, auctioneer. The 1881 census he is age 62 and a Wine and Spirit Merchant. Recorded in St. Pancras parish, London at the 1901 census, pianoforte maker. Of Oakley (Oakly) Square, London, ca 1900.

Born: St Pancras, , , , England 22nd Dec 1823 Baptised: St. Mary's, Marylebone, , , , England 11th Jan 1824
Died: , , , England 1909 Buried:
Family:
Challen
  of Storrington

Ancestors
[ Patrilineage | Matrilineage | Earliest Ancestors | Force | Force2 | Options ]

1.
Charles 
Challen
(
Hollis
,
Hibburd
) 1823 - 1909
2.
William 
Challen
(
?
) 1793 - 1861
3.
Sarah 
?
(
Challen
) c. 1795 - 1843

Siblings


1.
William 
Challen
(
Sickelmore
) 1826 - post 1901
2.
Elizabeth Jane 
Challen
(
da Costa
) 1828 - 1878
3.
Mary Ann 
Challen
(
Hollis
) 1830 - 1891
4.
Thomas 
Challen
* 1832

Spouses



1. , , , England 1847
Sarah 
Hollis
(
Challen
) 1819 - 1871

2. 1875
Emily (Emmie) 
Hibburd
(
Challen
) c. 1835 - 1924

Descendants
[ Options ]

a.
Sarah 
Hollis
(
Challen
) 1819 - 1871
1.
Fanny Elizabeth 
Challen
(
Brooks
) 1850 - post 1911
1a.
Arthur 
Brooks
(
Challen
) 1856 - ante 1911
1.1.
Dorothy 
Brooks
1879 - post 1911
1.2.
Ethel 
Brooks
1880 - post 1911
1.3.
Winifred 
Brooks
1888 - post 1911
2.
Mary Helena 
Challen
1851 - 1884
3.
Charles Hollis 
Challen
(
Duff
) 1854 - 1921
3a.
Annie 
Duff
(
Challen
) 1856 - post 1921
3.1.
Mary 
Challen
1886 - post 1901
3.2.
John Duncan 
Challen
1888 - post 1921
3.3.
Elizabeth Sara 
Challen
1888 - post 1891
3.4.
Edith Sara 
Challen
1889 - post 1901
3.5.
Charles 
Challen
1894 - post 1901
3.6.
Marjorie Alice 
Challen
1895 - post 1901
4.
Frank 
Challen
(
Harte
) 1863 - 1919
4a.
Blanche Frances 
Harte
(
Challen
) 1865 - post 1911
4.1.
Capt. Christopher Frank 
Challen
1894 - 1918
4.2.
Phillip 
Challen
1897 - post 1911
4.3.
Katherine Mary 
Challen
1898 - post 1911
4.4.
Gentian Patricia 
Challen
1901 - post 1911
4.5.
Frances Elizabeth 
Challen
1903 - 1971
Sources

Census

Timeline


22nd Dec 1823Born England
11th Jan 1824Baptised England
1841Member of household in 1841 census (census) England
1847Married
Sarah 
Hollis
(
Challen
) 1819 - 1871
England
31st Mar 1851Head of household in 1851 census (census) Westbury on Trym, Gloucs., England
1861Head of household in 1861 census (census) England
1871Head of household in 1871 census (census) England
1875Married
Emily (Emmie) 
Hibburd
(
Challen
) c. 1835 - 1924
3rd Apr 1881Cousin in 1881 census (census) Storrington, Sussex, England
1891Head of household in 1891 census (census) England
1901Head of household in 1901 census (census) England
1909Died England
c. 1909Made a will (will)
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