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Pipe Organ Reed Voicer

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  • Pipe Organ Reed Voicer

    All,

    I recently acquired a very nice sounding 8' Krummhorn of unknown origin and on the top of the block of low CC, it is stamped in very neat letters "W.G. FLETCHER, VOICER". It is possible that the pipes are Hillgreen-Lane, but I am not sure.

    Does anyone out there have any information on who this fellow might have worked for? I thought it might help me date the rank. I googled his name but found nothing. I'd sure appreciate any input!

    Thanks much!

  • #2
    Warren Fletcher (1875-1943) worked many years for Dennison organ pipe company in Reading, Mass. He learned pipe voicing with Hutchings-Votey. Fletcher had a reputation for being the fastest reed voicer in the plant. His work was of excellent quality and usually stamped his name W. FLETCHER, VOICER on the low CC of each rank he voiced. Many of his pipes were used in M.P. Moller, Barton and Marr & Colton organs. Not knowing the time frame of your pipes, keep in mind that the Samuel Pierce Organ Pipe Co.(1847-1924) was bought out by Dennison in mid 1924. Fletcher joined Pierce in 1903 and stayed about 30 years with 3 or 4 years at the end as superintendent of the factory. Hope this helps.

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    • #3
      Wow! Thanks so much for this information. It exactly describes my reed and it's good to know an approximate time frame and about the gentleman who voiced the rank. Where did you find the information?

      Again, sincere thanks!

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      • #4
        It seems a bit odd to find a Krummhorn from that time period. This stop didn't become common in American organs until the neo-baroque hit its stride in the 1960's. Could it be possible that it is a reworked rank - cylindrical resonators soldered on to the blocks of a Vox Humana?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Terpodion View Post
          It seems a bit odd to find a Krummhorn from that time period. This stop didn't become common in American organs until the neo-baroque hit its stride in the 1960's.
          I have in my warehouse a Krummhorn from a Hillgreen-Lane built in 1950. The pipes are almost certainly built by Schopp's. While they certainly didn't become common until later they were around, and I'm sure my example was not the first one H-L did. I wouldn't be surprised to find them from earlier dates, though I would expect to find them on larger instruments. The one I dismantled was III/35.

          Kind regards,
          Shawn

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          • #6
            reviving an old thread.....
            It is possible that the set of krumhorn pipes was a later substitute for another reed like a clarinet. Also...if the Hillgreen-Lane was built in 1950, the pipe supplier was probably Gutfleisch & Schopp (the fore-runner to A R Schopps' Sons), as the A R Schopps name did not start until 1954 when the sons (Harvey and Robert Sr.) took over the business. Just a thought.
            Rick in VA

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