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Thread: What's The Purpose Of The Hand Crank?

  1. #1
    ppp Pianississmo HiDesertHal's Avatar
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    What's The Purpose Of The Hand Crank?

    Hello,

    In my Reed Organ catalog there are a few Estey models with a hand crank protruding from the right side of the organ.

    These models all have a set of 30 bass pedals, except for one with the regular treadles.

    What is the function of the crank, please?

    Hal

  2. #2
    ff Fortissimo Silken Path's Avatar
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    Working the pedals, you couldn't pump, so you'd get a teenager to pump for you with the hand crank - they are actually up and down instead of rotary. Some still have them working so the organ can be pumped if the power fails.
    -- I'm Lamar - Rodgers W5000C - Conn 643 Theater - Hammond M3
    -- 1899 Kimball pump organ (forum thread) - can't find headphone jack!
    -- Public domain hymn search: https://songselect.ccli.com/search/r...t=publicdomain

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    ff Fortissimo SubBase's Avatar
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    The late Estey 2MP had 4 feeders (bellows) that were operated by a rotary crankshaft, so an electric motor, transmission and chain could operate it. Quite innovative, no duct or blower was required. The unit was called a Rimmer machine, a few come up for sale ever now and again. They are heavy, being cast iron.

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    Moderator myorgan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SubBase View Post
    The late Estey 2MP had 4 feeders (bellows) that were operated by a rotary crankshaft, so an electric motor, transmission and chain could operate it. Quite innovative, no duct or blower was required. The unit was called a Rimmer machine, a few come up for sale ever now and again. They are heavy, being cast iron.
    Casey,

    Mine has that device. The chain drive is quite loud, and the box the motor is in needs to be affixed quite firmly to the organ to negate the sound. I'd like to go back to the original hand device, but then I couldn't pump it at the same time (no treadles & uncooperative wife), so I guess I'll have to leave it as is.

    Michael
    Way too many organs to list, but I do have 4 Allens:
    • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony)
    • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
    • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

  5. #5
    ff Fortissimo Silken Path's Avatar
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    That's interesting. From FreeDictionary:

    crank: Middle English, from Old English cranc- (as in crancstæf, weaving implement)
    -- I'm Lamar - Rodgers W5000C - Conn 643 Theater - Hammond M3
    -- 1899 Kimball pump organ (forum thread) - can't find headphone jack!
    -- Public domain hymn search: https://songselect.ccli.com/search/r...t=publicdomain

  6. #6
    ppp Pianississmo HiDesertHal's Avatar
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    Thanks everybody...that explains it!

    Back in Bach's day, Hunchbacks were employed to ring bells and work the bellows of the Great Cathedral Organs.

    Two centuries later, the modest Reed Organ appeared, which required Teenagers to supply wind.

    Marvelous!

    HiDesertHal

    Last edited by HiDesertHal; 09-14-2017 at 11:22 PM.

  7. #7
    ff Fortissimo SubBase's Avatar
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    The squared shaft for the crank should still be on the crankshaft, right? A metalworker could use a 1/2" square drive socket to weld a handle on to and Bob's your uncle.
    I worked the crank for the Estey Phonorium demo video, it was a hell of a workout.
    Casey

  8. #8
    ff Fortissimo Organfella's Avatar
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    Considering the extended time the bellows have to be cranked - especially while the organist is busy with one of those long Opusses or something, I doubt much if it would have been teenagers doing the pumping or cranking as the case may be. Some muscle would be required and, thinking about that, might have been some privilege to be standing next to the organ listening to those sweet sounds, albeit at the expense of some hard work....

    My old 1880 Jilles van der Tak two-manual has lost its pump handle decades ago but I will replace it some day. The old gal sports 29 pedals and treadles. The Mannborg giant is still fully intact with pump lever, treadles, pedals and of course, the evil blower..... All I had to make was the handle for the pump lever which is the screw-in type and has to be removed for safe transport - probably got left behind when being moved somewhere in the past.

    The smaller 1950-ies Mannborg (Tudor) has no facility for a lever but does have the connection assembly for a blower.

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

  9. #9
    ff Fortissimo Silken Path's Avatar
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    Hal, I saw in some video where the teenagers had to run upstairs and take turns stepping on and jumping off two huge bellows to provide wind for the pipe organ. At the end of the set, their hair and shirts were dripping wet.
    -- I'm Lamar - Rodgers W5000C - Conn 643 Theater - Hammond M3
    -- 1899 Kimball pump organ (forum thread) - can't find headphone jack!
    -- Public domain hymn search: https://songselect.ccli.com/search/r...t=publicdomain

  10. #10
    ff Fortissimo Organfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silken Path View Post
    Hal, I saw in some video where the teenagers had to run upstairs and take turns stepping on and jumping off two huge bellows to provide wind for the pipe organ. At the end of the set, their hair and shirts were dripping wet.
    That would be one way to keep 'em off the streets and usefully occupied...
    Nico
    "Don't make war, make music!" Hammonds, Lowreys, Yamaha's, Gulbransens, Baldwin, Technics, Johannus. Reed organs. Details on request...

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