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  • Portable Pipe Organ

    This topic has come up a few times on the Forum, however, I never found an historic record of such an organ being built and used other than Reginald Foorte's Möller. I've put the portable pipe organ article in a PDF so the formatting could be preserved.

    Enjoy!

    Michael

    P.S. Sorry, that's what we get for me not having Internet for a few days!:embarrassed:
    PortablePipeOrgan.pdf
    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

  • #2
    When pipe organs were being sold to movie theaters, organist C. Sharpe Minor was engaged by the Link Organ Company of Binghamton, New York (which also made roll-operated nickelodeons and eventually the Link Flight Trainer) to design a family of instruments for them and then take the 3/8 pipe organ on the road to demonstrate to potential theater owner customers. It would be set up on the stage with an elaborate "set." The 3-manual console was well-unified with 176 stop tabs, there were 5 tuned percussion instruments and all of the pipework was mitered to 8'.

    "C. Sharpe Minor also achieved renown by organizing his own road show around a portable Link Unit organ. Housed in six large cases, it could be moved from one city to another and set up very quickly."

    http://www.theatreorgans.com/btoc/history.htm

    Link Opus 614 was eventually sold to the State Theater in Ithaca, New York, where I worked on it when I was a college student in the late 1960s. The pipe work was made by the highly respected Anton Gottfried of Erie, PA.

    There have also been many cases of portable pipe organs made to roll on and off a stage in a single facility, rather than being transported by truck between venues. Some of them were surprisingly large, including several instruments made by Aeolian-Skinner.

    https://kjzz.org/content/5103/did-yo...-organ-gammage

    Larry at Link Opus 614 in the State Theater in Ithaca, NY, circa 1968:

    Click image for larger version  Name:	Larry at the Link-r-c-10.jpg Views:	0 Size:	209.3 KB ID:	727026
    Last edited by AllenAnalog; 04-13-2020, 01:09 PM.
    Larry is my name; Allen is an organ brand. Allen RMWTHEA.3 with RMI Electra-Piano; Allen 423-C+Gyro; Britson Opus OEM38; Steinway AR Duo-Art 7' grand piano, Mills Violano Virtuoso with MIDI; Hammond 9812H with roll player; Roland E-200; Mason&Hamlin AR Ampico grand piano, Allen ADC-5300-D with MIDI, Allen MADC-2110.

    Comment


    • myorgan
      myorgan commented
      Editing a comment
      Larry,

      That's ancient history. I think in the article's description was regarding an organ that would be moved from venue to venue, as opposed to being moved within a venue. I could be wrong (as those were horse-and-buggy days), but who knows?

      Michael

      P.S. What a heady experience! Good to have the photograph as proof!

  • #3
    In my high school we have a Schlicker 7 rank unit organ that is contained in a case, and was mounted on a rolling platform. The console was mounted on another rolling platform, but the cable between them was hardwired into both ends. It was on / in the stage area of our combination gym / large assembly space. It could be rolled back into the stage wings when not being used. It was rolled out at least three times a week for morning chapel services, and of course for concerts. It also is not real high, so probably could be rolled into a full size semi trailer. To my knowledge it never left the school, or the stage area for that matter. I would imagine that it was delivered when new by truck, fully assembled, but without the pipes in place. There was also a plywood three sided box that went around the front and sides of the pipe case, to protect the pipes from damage in between uses. I'm pretty sure that was on wheels too.

    That organ sounds so nice in that gym that you would almost not believe it. When the pipe case was moved to center stage, it spoke out into the large concrete block room and sounded Fantastic, even for a kinda screechy Schlicker.

    About 20 years after my time there, the organ was removed from the stage area, and placed on a platform up high in the corner of the room. It still sounds Tremendous in there. But they went and put the console on another platform directly Under the pipework ! So now it still sounds Magnificent to everyone, but the organist only hears the reflected sound. But, it IS still there anyhow !

    So there was another "portable" pipe organ, even though it no longer is one now. This is going to sound strange coming from me I suppose, but I don't have any photos of it in it's original rolling incarnation. Well, I probably do have some actually, but they would be 35mm prints that are stored away somewhere. No digital cameras back then ya know ! But I do have some from 2018 when we had our class reunion worship service there. The casework / pipework is exactly the same as when it could be moved around, and so is the console.

    I guess reliving old times is a good way to relieve my COVID Craziness ? Should be practicing or something, but these are good memories.
    You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 5 photos.
    Regards, Larry

    At Home : Yamaha Electones : EX-42 ( X 3 !!! ), E-5AR, FX-1 ( X 2 !! ), US-1, EL-25 ( Chopped ). 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


    • myorgan
      myorgan commented
      Editing a comment
      Were the pipes from the organ ever a target for a stray ball? I've worked enough with high school students to know the temptation far outweighs their frontal lobe development.;-) Surely a ball could fit in over the plywood?

      Michael

  • #4
    I don't know if it was ever targeted to tell the truth. That plywood box that went around it might have had a top to it also. Too long ago - I really can't remember. But the backstage area was large, and it got pushed way back and off to a side. And the heavy stage curtains were always closed for gym classes or games.

    You would not have wanted to be found out as the person who deliberately damaged that organ anyhow. The head organist ( and "gatekeeper" of the organ ) was the Physics professor. And everyone needed to pass Physics to get a diploma ! I learned a lot about pipe organs from him, both in Physics classes, and by being allowed to play it regularly. He is one of the people who peaked my interest in just how and why organs work.

    That is a Lutheran high school also, so we all NEVER did ANY bad stuff ! Well, except for ...........
    Regards, Larry

    At Home : Yamaha Electones : EX-42 ( X 3 !!! ), E-5AR, FX-1 ( X 2 !! ), US-1, EL-25 ( Chopped ). 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


    • davidecasteel
      davidecasteel commented
      Editing a comment
      "Peaked" or "piqued" your interest?

    • Larrytow
      Larrytow commented
      Editing a comment
      I guess you are correct David; " piqued " is the right word. I did better in physics than in English composition.

  • #5
    Originally posted by Larrytow View Post
    I don't know if it was ever targeted to tell the truth. That plywood box that went around it might have had a top to it also.
    From your pictures, it looks like there was netting that would have prevented any basketball from getting to the organ.

    Originally posted by Larrytow View Post
    The head organist ( and "gatekeeper" of the organ ) was the Physics professor. And everyone needed to pass Physics to get a diploma ! I learned a lot about pipe organs from him, both in Physics classes, and by being allowed to play it regularly. He is one of the people who peaked my interest in just how and why organs work.
    I remember reading a fascinating book titled "Physics and the Sound of Music." There is a book with that title that is still available. Since I no longer have the book, I am not absolutely certain that it is the same book. However, it was very informative, especially for organists, since organ registration is based on principles of physics. (and principals too, of course.
    Bill

    My home organ: Content M5800 as a midi controller for Hauptwerk

    Comment

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