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Moving a vintage pump organ

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  • Moving a vintage pump organ

    I've just been given a 5-octave Needham (NY) pump organ. The owner just turned 90 and is moving to a nursing home. She's a good friend and is thrilled the organ is going to someone who will use and enjoy it. It originally belonged to her parents, so it's at least 90 years old. It has 5 stops and a brass plaque that says Bergstrom Music Co., LTD, Honolulu. It's fairly light and will easily fit in my Toyota Highlander--but only on its back. I'm looking for feedback regarding the wisdom of placing the organ on its back for a 1-hour drive. I have tons of blankets and pillows I can use to soften the ride, but I'm concerned about damage occurring due to putting it on its back. Thanks for any suggestions or feedback. This is my first time using this website and forum, and I'm thankful for your expertise and advice.

  • #2
    Hello and welcome to the mob!
    If your Needham has a top, remove it by removing two or four screws, normally at the base where the bottom of the top portion sits on the upper part of the organ. The organ can safely be transported on its back and the top, if any, can ride separately to preserve the mirror and or other ornamental fittings. You might do well to wrap blankets and other soft materials around the old gal to save it from being scratched or dinged. Otherwise, get her to her new home and enjoy!

    Don't forget to take plenty of pictures to show the previous owner where her erstwhile treasure has found a new home. And while you are at it, post a few pictures here too. Thanks

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


    • #3
      Hello, Nico. This is exactly what I wanted to hear! Thanks so much for your suggestions--I'll do everything I can to protect this treasure, and will do so a lot more easily and comfortably after reading your response. Photos forthcoming.... Thanks again for your help. Much appreciated. Steve


      • #4
        The worst I have had happen is that reeds that were too loose in their slots slid out from the vibration. They just have to be sorted and slid back into the proper places at the end of the journey. The keys can also become disengaged from the front guide pins, but that takes a minute to sort out.