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Frazee Chapel Organ in Perkins School for the Blind

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  • Frazee Chapel Organ in Perkins School for the Blind

    A month ago, I had a chance to check out the two pipe organs at Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, MA. The chapel houses a non-functional Frazee organ built in 1939. I am unsure about the total number of ranks but the borrowing is evident.

    GREAT (enclosed w/Swell)
    Diapason 8'
    Gedeckt 8' (Sw.)
    Gemshorn 8' (Sw.)
    Octave 4'
    Gedeckt 4' (Sw.)
    Gemshorn 4' (Sw.)
    Grave Mixture II (2 2/3' + 2')
    Chimes
    Swell to Great 16'
    Swell to Great 8'
    Swell to Great 4'

    SWELL (enclosed)
    Lieblich Bourdon 16' (ext.)
    Geigen Principal 8'
    Gedeckt 8'
    Gamba 8'
    Gamba Celeste 8'
    Gemshorn 8'
    Gemshorn Celeste 8'
    Harmonic Flute 4'
    Gemshorn 4' (ext.)
    Nazard 2 2/3' (Gemshorn)
    Dulcinet 2' (Gemshorn)
    Tierce 1 3/5' (Gemshorn)
    Trumpet 8'
    Oboe 8'
    Tremulant
    Swell 16'
    Swell 4'

    PEDAL
    Diapason 16'
    Gemshorn 16'
    Lieblich Bourdon 16'
    Octave 8'
    Gemshorn 8'
    Gedeckt 8'
    Broken Tab
    Great to Pedal 8'
    Swell to Pedal 8'
    Swell to Pedal 4'

    Would be great to hear this instrument play again!

  • #2
    Solovoxhumana,

    Thank you for sharing that stoplist. My pipe organ I have in storage (pictured in my gallery) is a Frazee organ, but I don't easily have access to my organ. It would be quite interesting to know how many actual ranks there are in the organ, and how the ranks are borrowed/unified.

    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)
    • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

    Comment


    • #3
      Although I was unable to get into the chamber, here are a few (pre-Christmas) photos of the Frazee installation:

      Click image for larger version

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      Inside the former chapel

      Click image for larger version

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      Console with a few missing tabs

      Click image for larger version

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      Frazee builders plate

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by solovoxhumana View Post
        Although I was unable to get into the chamber, here are a few (pre-Christmas) photos of the Frazee installation:
        Solovox,

        Thank you for sharing photos of this installation. The method of removing a stop is a bit questionable, but . . . .

        It's no longer in my signature, but the pipe organ I have in storage is a Frazee organ from Woburn, MA and with a date of 1968 on it. Ironically, it has an 8' Vox Humana as one of the two reed stops (the other is an Oboe 8'). Some of the photos can be seen here: http://www.organforum.com/gallery/th...lbum=36&page=3.

        Thanks again for sharing your photos. It should sound nice in a space like that!

        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)
        • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

        Comment


        • #5
          Myorgan,

          I'd love to hear your instrument play again! I know not many people are fans of Frazee organs but I am with them being a Boston-area based company.

          Sadly, there are no plans to restore this Frazee organ since the main Skinner organ is the attraction. The Skinner (Opus 888) also played the Frazee as the "Gallery" division including two 16' Pedal Stops.

          Comment


          • #6
            Solovox,

            Interesting information. Maybe I could scarf some replacement/additional pipework? Then again, probably not. Again, thanks so much for sharing it, and the photos of the console.

            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)
            • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

            Comment


            • #7
              Thank you for posting this information. I found my way here via google search.

              My name is Brian Frazee. Leslie Frazee was my paternal grandfather, so these organs... or what remains of them really... are a bit of family history that has unfortunately been lost for various reasons, mostly having to do with my grandfathers later life events. The organ here is particularly soecial because it was built in 1939, the same year my father was born, the eldest son of Leslie.

              I must admit I have no schooling or experience with organs, and my interest is more of an interest in heritage and history than anything... but I do hope they keep this organ around long enough for me to get back to MA and see it in person at some point with my daughter.

              Thanks again. This is information I have been wanting to find for some time.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by frazeebd View Post
                My name is Brian Frazee. Leslie Frazee was my paternal grandfather, so these organs... or what remains of them really... are a bit of family history that has unfortunately been lost for various reasons, mostly having to do with my grandfathers later life events.
                Mr. Frazee,

                Welcome to the Forum, and for sharing the information you have. The pipe organ I have presently in storage is a Frazee organ, and I have also attempted to find information about the organ's origins, but have run into the same issues you describe. I'm not sure if my organ is all original, altered, or meant to be expanded, but there are certainly more stops than I have ranks.

                If you feel comfortable sharing more information about your grandfather, please feel free to share--perhaps start a new thread specifically dedicated to Frazee organs.

                Again, welcome to the Forum. I look forward to whatever information you are willing to share.

                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)
                • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have been doing a lot of research into this frazee organ and I have found a number of documents that speak about it.

                  This report from the ago boston 2010 gives the most recent status that I have found: http://www.bostonago.org/wp-content/...7/AGOJAN10.pdf
                  This is an issue of the perkins newsletter that came out in 1935 on the internet archive. It speaks of the donation of the organ to the chapel: https://ia800203.us.archive.org/28/i...tern00perk.pdf
                  I also found a small snippet about the frazee company in this book also from the internet archive: https://ia601206.us.archive.org/19/i...ieso00ayar.pdf

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    John,

                    Thank you for sharing your research. Are you associated with the organ, or just curious?

                    Welcome to the Forum!

                    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)
                    • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi Michael,

                      Thanks for welcoming me! I am very curious about this organ. My only connection to it is that my Mom used to work as a deaf/blind teacher at the school so my interest was peaked as I was browsing the forum and saw the school mentioned. I hope to visit the two organs this summer when I find time and hopefully talk to someone more closely related to them.

                      John

                      - - - Updated - - -

                      I would love to help get this organ restored or moved in some way. I have minor organ tuning and electronics skils but I have never done a project this big.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        John,

                        You have actually found more information about Frazee than I have been able to find--and my pipe organ is a Frazee 13-rank. So, whatever questions you have to ask about organs in general, fire away! It's always great to see younger people interested in historic instruments.

                        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)
                        • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          This picture https://pipeorgandatabase.org/photos...208.150735.jpg has a small bit of metal hanging off a pin above the stop tabs. This organ is from 1939 however, I wonder if this much damage would have happened to the console due purely to time with the minimal use I have read about. If the damage does happen to be age based rather than human, I wonder what the internals will look like after this time.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by johnroper100 View Post
                            If the damage does happen to be age based rather than human, I wonder what the internals will look like after this time.
                            John,

                            Unfortunately, the damage you reference has to do with prying hands. The (presumably) ivory plate hanging off the pin was where the name of the manual was affixed (Swell), and on either end you can see a vertical lighter space where two of the rocker tabs on the stop rail have been removed. I doubt that damage would have been done by a blind person, but I could be wrong. There is also an ivory piece missing from one of the keys as well--not uncommon in instruments that old, but not correct. Several of the ivories on the keys have been chipped as well.

                            The internals, on the other hand, will probably have deteriorated over time due to lack of use (no circulation of air through the bellows), oxidation on contacts which would otherwise have conducted electricity readily, and perhaps some rodent damage if there is an issue at that location. Ironically, the wiring is probably in better condition than some new organs, where the insulation was made of soy. Mice love that! It's probably cloth-covered wiring, and that means it has also dried out over time.

                            Thank you for sharing the photo of the organ. If you have any others, you may consider posting them either in this thread (limit of 5 per post), or create a Gallery and place them there. They would be great to have for ephemeral purposes, along with any other information you could provide.

                            Thanks so much for sharing the additional information.

                            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)
                            • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I found that picture along with a couple others on this pipe organ database page: https://pipeorgandatabase.org/OrganD...p?OrganID=2409

                              - - - Updated - - -

                              I was also wondering if anyone knows what the rocker tab that is on one side of the manuals controls. Hopefully I will be able to go and inspect the organ myself soon, but until then I can only guess at things.

                              Comment

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