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What to do with an Earhuff pump organ?

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    What to do with an Earhuff pump organ?

    We have an Earhuff pump organ, made in St. Paul. My wife did some googling and says that puts it between about 112 and 130 years old. While that's certainly "antique", we're aware that it is probably not very valuable. My wife cannot bear to see it just tossed out, so we need some advice on how to move this on to someone who will value it or restore it or whatever.

    It was given to her in the 1980s in payment of a debt, but she doesn't play any instrument and I don't play keyboards. It did actually play as recently as about 8 years ago, but mice got into it while we were out of town a few years back and probably chewed up the bellows or something. Also most of the gingerbread was removed when we moved here to San Diego county in 2003 and was never put back on. We've got that in the garage.

    The guy she got it from told her that it has a flute stop which he said was unusual. I don't know if that really adds any value or not. The same guy had also done some refinishing.

    We'd like to move this organ along to someone who wants it. If it is worth anything we'd like a fair price, but if it isn't we'd still like to give it to someone who will value it. I'm not writing this as an advertisement, but as a request for advice. Is it likely that anyone would want it? How can I determine its value? Where would I advertise it? Any advice would be appreciated.

    Thank you

    #2
    I occassionally see pump organs listed in Philadelphia area on Craigslist. The ones asking for a couple hundred give or take seem to disappear relatively quickly. The ones that ask for more do not move so quick. More work needed seems to translate easilty to less value of course. I don't know much about pump organs to tell you that one brand or model is worth more than another.
    When I become dictator, those who preach intolerance will not be tolerated.

    Comment


      #3
      Hi, FB - Welcome to the forum.

      Pump organs are odd that, except for the couple of premium brands, potential takers tend to be very PICKY. They don't see the potential. Instead they see the liability. What will it take to me it playable? Atractive? Complete? Restored? The further an old organ gets from these end points, the less likely that you'll be able to GIVE the tootin' thing away.

      So the answer is to put it in on Craigslist for $100 - and include pictures of the trim that goes with it - and take the back cover off and see if mice have ruined the bellows. Include that, too.

      But don't advertise it for FREE. That brings out the crazies and somebody will want to turn into a bar or a Jacuzzi or a spice rack or garden ornament or something.

      Good luck with it and THANK YOU for wanting to pass it on to a player.
      -- I'm Lamar -- 1967 Allen TC-4 Project (forum thread)
      -- 1899 Kimball Parlor Organ (forum thread)
      -- 1999 Rodgers W5000C and Hauptwerk - spare W5000C for spares
      -- Conn 643 Theater - Hammond M3 and E-112 - Roland RD300nx stage piano
      -- Public domain hymn search: https://songselect.ccli.com/search/r...t=publicdomain

      Comment


        #4
        Hello and welcome to the Forum.

        Please search this site:

        http://www.reedsoc.org/Database/data...t0=0&B5=Search

        to see if you can spot the one you have.

        As some have commented, those old ones are really nice to look at (the eye of the beholder y'know...) but to others it may have real value in the sense that it can probably be restored and used. Invariably however, the old pumpers will need a serious overhaul if the owner wants to use it as a proper musical instrument. If you should ask anyone on this Forum and as Lamar has pointed out, it certainly does have some value. I am sure if anyone here is close enough to your location one or more will be interested to take it from you - and offer you something. I certainly would, but my location has a serious negative (expensive) word in this matter....

        Perhaps if you care to indicate whereabouts you are located, who knows.... and it will find a good home.

        Nico
        "Don't make war, make music!" Hammonds, Lowreys, Yamaha's, Gulbransens, Baldwin, Technics, Johannus. Reed organs. Details on request...

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Silken Path View Post
          Hi, FB - Welcome to the forum.
          Thank you.

          So the answer is to put it in on Craigslist for $100 - and include pictures of the trim that goes with it - and take the back cover off and see if mice have ruined the bellows. Include that, too.

          But don't advertise it for FREE. That brings out the crazies and somebody will want to turn into a bar or a Jacuzzi or a spice rack or garden ornament or something.

          Good luck with it and THANK YOU for wanting to pass it on to a player.
          I suppose that makes sense. Anyone who is interested will see the ad, anyone who wants to trash it would probably not want to pay. I hadn't thought about a Jacuzzi or spice rack, but I did worry that someone might gut it and put an electronic keyboard into the carcass.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Organfella View Post
            Hello and welcome to the Forum.

            Please search this site:



            to see if you can spot the one you have.
            It looks like the one registered as #4985, but without the upper part on the back. I see that under "Case Style" it says "Parlor (with or without top)" I guess this would be the Parlor without top. Even down to the semi-circular shelves to each side above the keyboard. What are those, 19th century cup-holders? (Just kidding! I assume that's where you'd put candles or lamps or something.) But the board with the stops on it looks different. Ours doesn't have the black background but the lettering is in black. And the stops are different. Ours are:

            Bass Coupler
            Principal
            Dulcimer
            Diapasom
            Vox Angelica
            Diapason Forte
            (Space)
            Flute
            (Space)
            Principal Forte
            Cremona
            Melodia
            Echo Horn
            Celeste
            Treble Coupler

            It's possible I misspelled some of these: I took a photo with my phone so I could sit at the computer and type them in, but were some harsh reflections and some were hard to read.

            The Flute stop is all by itself in the middle and maybe that's why the guy who had it before us thought it was special.

            As some have commented, those old ones are really nice to look at (the eye of the beholder y'know...) but to others it may have real value in the sense that it can probably be restored and used. Invariably however, the old pumpers will need a serious overhaul if the owner wants to use it as a proper musical instrument. If you should ask anyone on this Forum and as Lamar has pointed out, it certainly does have some value.
            I'm not an organist, but I do play mandolin and have played some 90+ year old ones and have looked at and decided not to buy quite a few old ones which were nice to look at but would need a lot of work to be "players". I've also spent most of my life making, fixing and rebuilding things. When I look inside the back of this thing I see an interesting project that probably anyone with patience, a few decent tools (or a relatively small tool budget), and a moderate amount of skill could accomplish. I have not looked deeply inside the real music-making parts, but the overall technology here is, well, 19th century - which means probably pretty simple. I suspect the real difficulty might be if there are specialized parts such as reeds that cannot easily be made in one's garage. But the thing did play not more than ten years ago. (I'm getting old and the years all blend together.)


            I am sure if anyone here is close enough to your location one or more will be interested to take it from you - and offer you something. I certainly would, but my location has a serious negative (expensive) word in this matter....

            Perhaps if you care to indicate whereabouts you are located, who knows.... and it will find a good home.

            Nico
            Yeah, South Africa is a bit of a stretch from San Diego. We live in the Lake Hodges area between San Diego and Escondido, California.

            Thanks for the help.

            --Brian

            Comment


              #7
              Thanks Brian for the information. It certainly sounds like you have a piece that may be worth restoring. From your description it could be a parlor with top (removed or lost) or even made without top such as the models often used in smaller churches although the ones specifically made for church use were called chapel styles. The most expensive bit in doing the bellows would likely be the bellows cloth needed to redo that part. The reeds do not often break or otherwise get damaged unless it is subjected to severe abuse. They do go out of tune though but even that albeit a tedious affair, can be remedied. The panels (candle or lamp holders) you mention are probably purely decorative but would certainly have been used for the purpose of holding the "electric" lights of the day. Some models sport two round wooden plates on either side for the purpose while others have very ornate brass candle holders such as you might have seen on older pianos.

              You sound like the tinkering type - just like myself, even down to the aging bit. I am now 72 and what frustrates me the most is the time and fair amount of grunting it takes to get up again after bending, kneeling or crawling around or inside the belly of the beast I am ogling. But somehow I do get things done and then I feel glad I did all that grunting....

              Perhaps you may find the time to post a couple of pictures to see the beauty of the thing.

              Nico
              "Don't make war, make music!" Hammonds, Lowreys, Yamaha's, Gulbransens, Baldwin, Technics, Johannus. Reed organs. Details on request...

              Comment


                #8
                J. G. Earhuff was my 4th great grandfather. I can probably help you find the organ a new home. You can send me an email directly at......

                We do not allow email addresses to be shown for obvious reasons! Contact can be made via the Private Message system on the Forum. Andy G - Moderator
                Last edited by andyg; 06-09-2018, 02:32 AM.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Sorry, I've been busy doing some remodeling and the organ is under tarps. My wife found this photo of the organ taken in about 1973. There is more to the decorative upper part than I remembered. I sure hope we still have all of the pieces and that they are all intact!

                  Click image for larger version

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                  I also see the posting from Terri Smith and I'll answer her by private message.

                  To Organfella: You've got ten years on me, but I still do strenuous work at times and some days I feel more like 82.

                  Thanks.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Well Terri was not able to find a family member to take the organ so I have placed an ad in Craigslist. It is here and I welcome comments, suggestions (or offers!)

                    https://sandiego.craigslist.org/nsd/...685313141.html

                    Thanks for the help.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Is this the correct place to advertise the organ for sale? I'm certainly open to suggestions. I'm not in it for the money, I'd just like to make sure a 100+ year old antique doesn't get trashed.
                      Thanks.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        The best place would be in classifieds - link at top of page. Be sure to include a picture or two.
                        -- I'm Lamar -- 1967 Allen TC-4 Project (forum thread)
                        -- 1899 Kimball Parlor Organ (forum thread)
                        -- 1999 Rodgers W5000C and Hauptwerk - spare W5000C for spares
                        -- Conn 643 Theater - Hammond M3 and E-112 - Roland RD300nx stage piano
                        -- Public domain hymn search: https://songselect.ccli.com/search/r...t=publicdomain

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Oh, duh. Sorry, I was looking for a for-sale forum and didn't see the classified link at the top. I'll go there.
                          Thanks!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            OK, I have posted it in the classifieds. Thanks to everyone for your help and advice.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Well the organ never sold from classifieds or Craigslist, so I guess it's off to the dump. Too bad, it seems like it would be a nice organ with just a bit of work.

                              Comment

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