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  • The Electronic Organ Historical Archive

    Over the last few years, I've seen a lot of people making a statement similar to this: "I have the opportunity to receive a [Brand] [Model] organ, and I wanted to get some information on it."

    I have decided to create a web-based library to pull together all of the information on electronic organs. For the past 3 weeks, I've been building a database-driven website. It's called the Electronic Organ Historical Archive, and will launch to the public on March 1. I've been using the Internet Archive Wayback Machine to get a lot of data, and I've supplemented that data with information from the Mother of All Organ Lists. At present, I have data imported for 481 unique organ models from 3 manufacturers, but I need help. It's easy enough to get information from the current companies, but many either don't exist anymore or don't make organs anymore. I need the help of the community.

    The archive will include ALL types of electronic organs that use electronics (digital or analog) to reproduce the sound of a pipe organ. So that means classic organs, theatre organs, drawbar organs, and home organs will all be included.

    The website will launch at www.organhistory.org on March 1, but I want it to launch with as much information as possible. Here is a link to a temporary preview version of the website. Please note that the only menu items that function right now are the "Browse the Archive", "Submissions" and "Fair Use Information". You'll see that this website, when ready to go, will be very detailed and extremely comprehensive.

    http://ohpreview.scodavis.com

    I am going to be typing stoplists by hand, so that's why almost none are on there yet. What I need most is brochures, because (a) they have stoplists and (b) have a lot of other useful information, and pictures. Eventually I'm going to import the data from the Mother of All Organ Lists; I just haven't had a chance to set up the import just yet.

    So far, everything you see has been researched and developed completely by myself. If you can help, go to the "Submissions" page and contact me through the E-Mail address on there. Thank you all for your time!

  • #2
    You really should finish the "About Us" and "Contact Us" sections before the site goes live. Regarding the Mother of All Organ Lists, you really should contact Member and Moderator here: AndyG. As near as I can tell, Jan left the project in Andy's hands when he passed away a few years ago (RIP Jan!).

    Michael
    Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
    • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
    • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
    • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by myorgan View Post
      You really should finish the "About Us" and "Contact Us" sections before the site goes live. Regarding the Mother of All Organ Lists, you really should contact Member and Moderator here: AndyG. As near as I can tell, Jan left the project in Andy's hands when he passed away a few years ago (RIP Jan!).
      I intend to. But those things are super easy to do before March 1. The hardest and most time-consuming part is getting the database as complete as possible for the organs that I already have imported. The biggest thing I need now is information, especially for the older models.

      Comment


      • #4
        scodavis
        ppp Pianississmo
        scodavis Welcome to the Forum ! That is a huge project you are starting there. I wish you much success with it. And I hope you have time to devote to it, because that seems like it could be a full time job for quite awhile.

        Just to clarify some of the input you are seeking, perhaps you could answer these questions :

        1, When you say "The archive will include ALL types of electronic organs that use electronics (digital or analog) to reproduce the sound of a pipe organ. So that means classic organs, theatre organs, drawbar organs, and home organs will all be included." , I take that to mean ANY electronic organ ? You do realize that there are some home and entertainer's style organs that really don't make much of an effort to reproduce the sound of an actual pipe organ ? They are still legitimate "organs" however. I'm figuring you want to cover every type / style of organ, not just church / classical ones ?

        2, Do you want only brochures ? Or do you want to include photos as well ? For some organs of the past, actual brochure scans may be hard to come by.

        3, Are you aware of the existing websites that are about specific brands of instruments ? Some of those have model history lists, along with photos and so on. Would you want links to them ?

        4, Are you aware of the Gallery section of this website ? Although finding stuff in it is sorta klunky, there are many brochure scans in it.

        5, Could you tell us a bit more about yourself ? Do you play the organ ? What style of organ, type of music, etc. is your preference ? And so forth, so we can get to know you a bit better. I think I could be of some help to your project, as I have a LOT of organ related information, photos, scans, and stuff stored away.
        Regards, Larry

        At Home : Yamaha Electones : EX-42 ( X 3 !!! ), E-5AR, FX-1 ( X 2 !! ), FX-20, EL-25 ( X 2 ). Allen 601D, ADC 6000D. Lowrey CH32-1. At Churches I play for : Allen Q325 ( with Vista ), Allen L123 ( with Navigator ). Rodgers 755. 1919 Wangerin 2/7 pipe organ.

        Comment


        • #5
          A very ambitious project. I'm sure many people here could contribute. I would recommend having a "submission" part of the website, where individual users could make a profile, and upload an organ they happen to have or know about, without having to communicate directly with you. You could still vet all of the contributions, but it would save you a lot of time rather than entering all of the data yourself.

          Current: Allen 225 RTC, W. Bell reed organ, Lowrey TGS, Singer upright grand
          Former: Yamaha E3R
          https://www.exercisesincatholicmythology.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Larrytow View Post
            scodavis
            ppp Pianississmo
            scodavis Just to clarify some of the input you are seeking, perhaps you could answer these questions:
            1. Yes, I plan to include the home/entertainer organs as well.
            2. Brochures and photos are both desired! The main reason why I mention brochures is because they include not only a photo, but stoplists and other specifications. But if people only have photos, you bet I will accept them!
            3. If you have any links that can be provided that have model history lists, that would be wonderful!
            4. I am fairly new to this website and am not aware of the gallery functions. I can certainly look into it.
            5. Certainly! I live in Fresno, California. I currently have a small Hauptwerk VPO setup that I am selling, and in about a month I'm taking delivery of a Johannus Rembrandt 3000 (actually, the first one ever made, brought over from Holland for the 1998 NAMM show). I am an amateur organist, and definitely an enthusiast (thus this crazy project). I prefer playing sacred and classical organ repertoire, and I love listening to classical and theatre.

            If you are willing to share your knowledge to help my project, that would be great! I've been burned a few times already when somebody says they'll help, then they see the project, and say, "whoa, that's a lot of work" and back out. Hahaha. Send me an E-Mail at the address under "Submissions" on the website, and we can chat some more!

            Comment


            • samibe
              samibe
              mf Mezzo-Forte
              samibe commented
              Editing a comment
              The Rembrandts are so nice. I ended up finding a decent amount on the one I got to play a few years ago by using the WebArchive on the Johannus website. It took some searching (and approaching certain pages from different links) but I was able to find the online brochures of several Rembrandt era models.

          • #7
            Originally posted by Larason2 View Post
            A very ambitious project. I'm sure many people here could contribute. I would recommend having a "submission" part of the website, where individual users could make a profile, and upload an organ they happen to have or know about, without having to communicate directly with you. You could still vet all of the contributions, but it would save you a lot of time rather than entering all of the data yourself.
            That is one of the next areas I plan to develop. Right now I have the E-Mail address only because I knew I needed SOMEthing up. Once I finish developing the area out, one will be able to submit changes to an organ or manufacturer listing, it will go into a queue, and then I approve the changes to make them live. Like I said, though, for the time being I just needed SOMEthing to be available.

            Comment


            • #8
              I wouldn’t worry about how complete it is at launch. Just keep working on it. Those who are interested will continue to work on it as well. Once the submission part of the website is up, I’ll add my contributions as well.

              Current: Allen 225 RTC, W. Bell reed organ, Lowrey TGS, Singer upright grand
              Former: Yamaha E3R
              https://www.exercisesincatholicmythology.com

              Comment


              • #9
                Scodavis,

                How will you know the information certain people provide is accurate? Some claim to have knowledge they don't.

                Also, I could provide information about my ADC-8000 DKC, however, the Choir division is customized and not stock. How will you know the difference? Any individual organ could have several iterations based on options available over and above the stock model.

                Just some things to consider.

                Michael

                P.S. Feel free to add your location to your profile.
                Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
                • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
                • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
                • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

                Comment


                • #10
                  Originally posted by myorgan View Post
                  Scodavis,

                  How will you know the information certain people provide is accurate? Some claim to have knowledge they don't.

                  Also, I could provide information about my ADC-8000 DKC, however, the Choir division is customized and not stock. How will you know the difference? Any individual organ could have several iterations based on options available over and above the stock model.

                  Just some things to consider.

                  Michael

                  P.S. Feel free to add your location to your profile.
                  And that's why having brochures is critical - it provides objective information that is verifiable. And yes I will update my profile.

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    I don't know if you are interested in "kit" electronic organs, but the Schober Organ Corportation in NYC offered several models, including a 2-manual AGO 32-pedal Recital Model that was comparable to commercial instruments of its day. This forum has a thread about them https://organforum.com/forums/forum/...schober-organs and the link to the Schober Organ Orphans site is still functional--it includes the contents of the brochures and much more.

                    I built a Recital Model in 1964, and enjoyed it a lot.

                    David

                    Comment


                    • mrdc2000
                      mrdc2000
                      pp Pianissimo
                      mrdc2000 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Same here David, my wife and I built a Recital model in 1978 with all available options at that time. About 1980 or so the company came out with a 3 manual Classic model. We decided not to go that route since we much enjoyed the 2m and experimented making several different stops using the 2"x4" plug-in PC boards. I believe the 3m sold poorly, due to the very high interest rates for borrowed money in the early 80's and the Schober company closed their doors by about 1982/3 or so. While buying and building the various kits we met the owner Richard Dorf in downtown Manhattan NY on a few occasions and had wonderful discussions about the state of organ building at that time. Many great memories such as building the console and pedalboard from scratch and then all those thousands of analog components and miles of wiring, etc etc. We sold ours in the early 90's and gone digital ever since then.

                  • #12
                    Originally posted by davidecasteel View Post
                    I don't know if you are interested in "kit" electronic organs, but the Schober Organ Corportation in NYC offered several models, including a 2-manual AGO 32-pedal Recital Model that was comparable to commercial instruments of its day. This forum has a thread about them https://organforum.com/forums/forum/...schober-organs and the link to the Schober Organ Orphans site is still functional--it includes the contents of the brochures and much more.

                    I built a Recital Model in 1964, and enjoyed it a lot.

                    David
                    I had never heard of this! Thank you; I will add the manufacturer and the models to the database!

                    Comment


                    • #13
                      Schober had a complete line of organs; see: http://www.users.cloud9.net/~pastark/soproduc.htm for details. Click on each model for the details.

                      Comment


                      • voet
                        voet commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Toodles, when I click on the link I get "Not Found." Is it still active?

                    • #14
                      I guess from the fact that you have placed this thread in the 'classical' section, that this is where your main interest lies.

                      As far as home organs, the likes of Lowrey, Hammond, Yamaha etc etc are concerned, the task is massive, and it has already been started. To do just one make (Lowrey), and even keeping it to the bare basics of a timeline, company history and photo album, took weeks of work. There were at any given point in the history of the home organ (say 1948 to 2021) anything up to 45 different makes and several hundred different models available.

                      Several of us who have spent our entire lives working in the business, covering everything from R&D to manufacture, wholesale, retail, sales promotion, concerts and servicing, will at some point produce the definitive list of home organs. If you have that sort of experience and you'd like to join us in that quest, fantastic! However, I should state that it's not our intention to include much in the way of classical models, except where a make, like RiHa, produced both types of instrument.

                      I am also slowly updating Jan's 'Mother List', with lots of info coming in from that aforementioned group of colleagues. I will make the updated listing available, when I've been able to add some more makes and verify the details - as far as possible in some cases, as it's been so long!
                      It's not what you play. It's not how you play. It's the fact that you're playing that counts.

                      New website now live - www.andrew-gilbert.com

                      Current instruments: Roland Atelier AT900 Platinum Edition, Yamaha PSR-S970, Kawai K1m
                      Retired Organs: Lots! Kawai SR6 x 2, Hammond L122, T402, T500 x 2, X5. Conn Martinique and 652. Gulbransen 2102 Pacemaker. Kimball Temptation.
                      Retired Leslies, 147, 145 x 2, 760 x 2, 710, 415 x 2.
                      Retired synths: Korg 700, Roland SH1000, Jen Superstringer, Kawai S100F, Kawai S100P, Kawai K1

                      Comment


                      • #15
                        It occurs to me that you might want to include a data element indicating the type of tone generation. This would let you differentiate between analog (oscillator), digital, tonewheel, reed (i.e. early Wurlitzer) and others. IIRC, there was an electronic scheme very early what used images on transparent discs and photo tubes to create the sounds.

                        Doug

                        Comment


                        • myorgan
                          myorgan
                          Super Moderator
                          myorgan commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Doug,

                          Jan's Mother List Andy referenced has a column providing that information.

                          Michael
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