Magazine article The American Organist

The Everett Orgatron

Magazine article The American Organist

The Everett Orgatron

Article excerpt

Just when it looked like the Hammond had the electronic organ market all sewn up, along came the Orgatron (June 1935). It was invented by Frederick A. Hoschke of South Haven, Mich., and was basically an amplified reed organ with the reeds in constant vibration without producing an audible sound. Then, with the adjust ment of a "tone screw," selected harmonics were amplified. The ten sets of reeds were activated by pressure, as in the harmonium, unlike the American parlor organ, which worked on suction. The Orgatron had a traditional stop-key console (AGO standards, of course) that was familiar to organists. Instead of the instant "pop" of the Hammond tone, suitable for popular music, the slow speech of the Orgatron was more appropriate for hymn playing and sustained, sacred music. After Hoschke's death in 1936, the Everett Piano Company manufactured the Orgatron and then, around 1946, the patents were sold to the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company. The original price was $1,800 (about $26,666 today).

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