Who Really Built My organ?
Although the overwhelming number of pump organs built in this country bore the real manufacturer’s name, many did
not. It was common for pump organ manufacturers to build organs for other pump organ companies as well as
other businesses – like “music emporiums.”
Before music stores were called music stores they there called music emporiums. These emporiums sold all
things musical, from sheet music, banjos, pianos, harmonicas, pianos, along with pump organs.
It was also common for these emporiums to have their own line of pump organs, but in name only.
The emporiums would purchase organs from a pump organ manufacturer and instead of the manufacturer putting their
own name (label) on the organ they would stencil on whatever name the customer wanted. These organs were known in
the industry as “stencil organs.”
Today we would call this practice “private labeling.” Unfortunately, it can sometimes be difficult, if not
impossible, to actually determine just who these mystery businesses were, since all we can go on is the name that
appears on the organ.