In the course of my research, I have consulted two primary types of source. As my subject deals with historical instruments, the best source is instruments themselves. Being an amateur harp-repairman and restorer, I’ve learned a great deal about the construction practices of the past and their evolution that could never have been learned from a book. I reference a number of historical instruments, many of them harps I have restored myself.
This being said, the second-best source is historical documents describing construction techniques. In this paper, this comes mostly in the form of patents. These often provide surprising insight into the thought process and motivations of inventors despite in theory being dry technical documents. In the course of this paper, I hope to use both extant historical instruments and historical sources to illustrate the all-important innovations of the minds at Lyon & Healy.