Magazine article The American Organist

New Organs

Magazine article The American Organist

New Organs

Article excerpt

All new organ reports received are included in the New Organs department in the order received, as space permits, provided that a complete specification and high-resolution photograph in clear focus have been supplied. Only TIFF or JPG files (at least 300 dpi) are acceptable for electronic photo submissions to


Clyde, North Carolina


New Market, Tennessee

In mid-January, we received a call from the general contractor of a rustic private estate in the mountains of North Carolina saying bluntly, "You need to come uncrate this organ and put it together. It's from England or Ireland or some such place." Too intrigued to turn down the request, we arrived on the estate to find a nearly completed private chapel, with three large crates sitting unopened, preventing installation of pews and flooring. The largely absentee owner of the estate had purchased the organ from an Internet posting. No one knew exactly what the crates contained.

As we began unpacking the crates, it became clear that we were looking at a tiny two-manual tracker organ. The various organ parts showed signs of having been in a very damp climate for the last century; all the bearing pins in the key action were of steel and were rusted fast to their cloth bushings.

As unpacking continued, the general contractor showed up with a single sheet of crumpled paper, with a photo of the organ and a bit of information about it. It was built by Bishop & Son, London and Ipswich. Its original home is unknown, but it was moved to an Anglican church in North Wales in 1910. It was rescued and put in storage by Irish organbuilder Stephen Adams about six years ago. An initialed signature in the palletbox with the date of 1899, along with pieces of an 1898 calendar used for shimming the sliders seems to mark its original manufacture date as 1899.

We managed to sort the organ into two piles: those parts in need only of cleaning (the sheep) and those parts requiring complete restoration (the goats). …

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