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Thread: Silverstone electric organ model 4780

  1. #1

    Silverstone electric organ model 4780



    I am a librarian who has a patron that owns this organ. She believes (correctly from my research) that it was sold by Sears. She has the following information on it: 18 cords, 37 keys, 117 volt, 60 cycles, 38 watts, service # 1574780 and parts # 884643. She would like to know what year it was made in and if it has any value. She has called Sears and can get no information on it. Does anyone know anything about this organ?</P>
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  2. #2

    Re: Silverstone electric organ model 4780

    I don't know myself but I'd guess it is not worth very much at all.....check out this thread:

    http://organforum.com/forums/thread/30758.aspx


  3. #3
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    Re: Silverstone electric organ model 4780



    Help her do some research on ebaY. Just search for "chord organ" to see current listings. "Silvertone" products were sold by Sears, but usually manufactured by another company for sale exclusively in Sears retail stores. Silvertone was first used on radio sets sold by Sears, Roebuck &amp; Co. in the 1920's. The name was used on all audio-related products into the early 1970's. Chord organs were popular from the 1950's through the early 1970's.</P>


    More than likely it is an air-powered organ using a blower and reeds to produce sound, (although I think Sears did sell some electronic chord organs) and was possibly manufactured by Magnus or Estey. These wereinexpensive entry-level instruments,designed for people with very limited or no musical training. It's value today would be practically nothing, I'm afraid. Again, researching ebaY will verify this.</P>

  4. #4
    Member crossyinoz's Avatar
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    Re: Silverstone electric organ model 4780



    G'day,</P>


    Silvertone organs were manufactured by Thomas Organ Co. Chicago as an exclusive "house brand" for Sears stores during the period 1962-70. Unfortunately the home organ market is no longer and as a consequence this instrument has no instrinsic value.</P>


    Kam-pai,</P>


    Ian</P>

    Hammond X77GT & Leslie 77P
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  5. #5

    Re: Silverstone electric organ model 4780



    Thomas built only one chord organ, the model "J". It had the same tube tone generators as the much more common model "G" that launched them into the market. It had a full accordian chord compliment of chords, closer to 80 than 18. When Thomas was building spinet organs for Sears with the Silvertone name, they were in their transistor generator with tube amp period. I suspect that bluetantra is right about this being a reed quasi-toy, probably italian, though it might have a pickup and amplifier. Its only value would be in learning to play it[]</P>


    Lee</P>

  6. #6
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    Re: Silverstone electric organ model 4780



    I just noticed a Silvertone model 4702 on ebay which looks to use the system of amplified reeds. One of the photos in the listing is of the tube chart for the small amplifier. No indication of the acutal manufacturer, though.Manylater Sears products incorporated a model numbering system in which the first three digits (separated by a period from the rest of the digits- xxx.yyyyyyyyy) indicated the manufacturer (Zenith, Whirlpool, Magnavox, Sanyo, Toshiba, Briggs &amp; Stratton, ad nauseam).</P>

  7. #7

    Re: Silverstone electric organ model 4780



    I'm the new owner of the eBay organ you mentioned, and I just brought it home last night. In searching the web for any information on it, I found it mentioned on this thread; hence, here I am.</p>

    I bought this organ because (1) I have an addiction to weird old instruments, (2) it was cheap and near-by, and (3) I could see from the tube chart on the back in the photos that at least some of the circuitry was tube-powered.
    </p>

    You're absolutely correct that it uses amplified reeds, which is a process I'd never heard of before. When I first switched it on, I was quite surprised to hear the sound of a fan; due to its size and the tubes, I hadn't suspected that it could be a reed organ. But stranger still was that when I pressed keys, no sound came out. It wasn't until I depressed the swell pedal that any sounds came out. Mighty odd for a reed organ! Apparently there is a microphone inside of a sound-proof chamber, because reeds are inaudible otherwise.
    </p>

    It has two "voices", flute and violin, and a variable vibrato. I haven't had time to play with it yet, but I'm looking forward to doing so, and popping off the back and getting a good look at the guts. If anyone is morbidly curious, I can report back or post photos. Oh -- and it was definitely made by Thomas Organ.</p>

    -- Robert
    </p>

  8. #8

    Re: Silverstone electric organ model 4780



    very interesting, and baffeling to me.I thought I knew Thomas, and I am sure they never made an amplified reed organ, chord or otherwise, for sale through their own chanels. It is remotely possible they built some , or modified some import, on behalf of Sears, I suppose. How did you determine it was made by Thomas?</P>


    It may be fun to get started with, and be a steping stone to something better. Good Luck![8]</P>


    Lee</P>

  9. #9
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    Re: Silverstone electric organ model 4780



    Sears Silvertone also marketed an all transistor organ (I too believe it was made by Thomas) model # 4788. An entry level organ without any bells and whistles but it did have a "Leslie" tremolo. I recently junked one. Am selling the foot pedals from it on eBay right now. Didn't sound too bad.</P>


    Roy</P>

  10. #10

    Re: Silverstone electric organ model 4780



    Well, I don't know for a fact that this organ was made by Thomas (it certainly doesn't say on it anywhere that I can see that it was); I was simply going on the information provided on other sites such as the Theatre Organs website ( http://theatreorgans.com/hammond/ken...ans%20Page.htm ) that say that Thomas made organs for Sears. At any rate, we know that Sears didn't make their own organs, so they had *some* American organ manufacturer build them.

    I know a little about the electric guitars that Sears sold back in the day under the Silvertone brand, and they were made by Danelectro, Kay, Harmony and National/Valco/Supro. It's certainly possible that Sears outsourced organs from other sources, but I've only ever seen Thomas and Allen mentioned. </p>

    I can tell you that, according to the speaker code, the speaker was made by Quam-Nichols, if that helps. I forgot to check the transformer code to see who made it. If anyone has any further information on it, I'd like to see it.</p>

    Thanks -- </p>

    Robert

    </p>

    </p>

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