Antique Organs
America's Best Known Restorer of Antique Organs

Antique Organs
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Why Did The Public Turn Away From Pump Organs?

There were probably several reasons. First, piano manufacturing technology in the early 1900s improved to such a degree that people could now afford them. Before that, people that couldn't afford a piano would buy a pump organ. But then most song writers were just not writing music for pump organs.

An antique reed organHowever, probably the main reason is that pump organs were simply overtaken by an industrial age that had no equal.

It was a time when telephones were becoming all the rage. The crank record player was arriving on the scene in ever growing numbers. And then there was the player piano which was almost a "must have" item.

And then there was the radio and then there was the automobile and then there was flight and then there was . . . the list kept going on and on.

At some point, the public simply viewed the pump organ as being "old fashioned" and that was the end of that.

Some people describe the brief era of the pump organ to that of a comet crossing the night sky. It burned brightly for a few moments and then it was gone. The pump organ's popularity was only about 30 or 40 years -- basically from around 1865 to about 1895. But much beyond that, time had pretty much passed them by.

You have to remember that by the time of World War One, a very large number of the 653 pump organ companies in this country had already gone out of business. And even before the turn of the century sales for pump organs were in a free-fall.

It's probably true that just about any story dealing with the demise of the American pump organ could be written in several ways, but for the most part, they wouldn’t be that far apart from one another.

Sadly, many of these once prized, beautiful, musical instruments, once so admired, have been turned into landfill.

 

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