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Thread: Determining the age and model of a Estey reed organ with the serial number?

  1. #1
    ppp Pianississmo 123Tim's Avatar
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    Determining the age and model of a Estey reed organ with the serial number?

    Hello,

    This is my first post as I have come across an Estey reed organ that I became interested in repairing. I chose this forum since the members seem quite knowledgeable and the forum is pretty extensive. I am first seeking information on the age and model of my organ in order to ask some sensible questions further down the road.

    Thanks in advance for any help that you can provide. I really appreciate any help.

    My first question is this:

    Is the age of my machine (ser# 151785) close to the year 1884? I found one chart of serial numbers that seems to indicate this. I couldn't seem to find anything else online to help out although there is a mention of some sort of serial number search engine that didn't seem to have any web address attached to it.

    My second question is how to identify the model of my organ. It has a single keyboard with ten stops. Would this be the only model made for this year? Are the number of stops enough of an model identification to ask specific questions about repair?

    Since someone might be wondering, my questions should mostly be about air (vacuum) and bellows since I've already determined that the left foot pump isn't working properly (compared to the right) and there's hardly any sound coming out of the organ. There seems to be some sort of leather check valve which doesn't seem to be working properly and I'm sure that that will only be the start of the troubleshooting.....but, those will be questions for another day.

    Thanks in advance.
    Regards,
    Tim

  2. #2
    Moderator myorgan's Avatar
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    Tim,

    Welcome to the Forum. I hope you enjoy your time here.

    I checked the following website (http://www.pumporganrestorations.com...an_company.htm), and it appears your date range is accurate. You can also find information (i.e. old brochures, etc.) on the Reed Organ Society's webpage (http://www.reedsoc.org/), and you can search registered organs there to see if others have anything like yours.

    Again, welcome, and I hope this only the beginning of your participation here.

    Michael
    Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
    • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
    • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
    • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

  3. #3
    ff Fortissimo Organfella's Avatar
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    Hi Tim!

    Welcome also from a(nother) organ nut! It is always good to hear from someone venturing into the fascinating world of reed organs. You have obviously read extensively on this Forum and that is always a good start. Take your time and read some more. Michael has given you some pointers to interesting and relevant information. Once you are ready, post some pictures of the old one. From what you describe it would appear that the old gal would be needing some extensive TLC and it is really a pleasurable work of love. Once the bug has bit, it has bit!

    Enjoy!

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

  4. #4
    ppp Pianississmo 123Tim's Avatar
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    Thank you for the replies and date confirmation Michael and Nico.

    I'm glad that I found the forum...it seems like a great place with a lot of knowledge.

    You're right about my organ needing some tlc.....I wish that I had the organ this winter. I can see myself becoming obsessed with working on it while all of my other work goes by the wayside.

    I never knew how these organs worked and became fascinated with it from the moment I took off the back cover. All of the different mechanisms inside are amazing. The fan that makes the vibrato which (apparently) runs off of vacuum is awesome.

    Well, Thank you again. Not really sure when I'll start working on this. Probably sporadically throughout the summer.
    Have a good day.
    Regards,
    Tim

  5. #5
    ff Fortissimo Organfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 123Tim View Post

    You're right about my organ needing some tlc.....I wish that I had the organ this winter. I can see myself becoming obsessed with working on it while all of my other work goes by the wayside.

    I never knew how these organs worked and became fascinated with it from the moment I took off the back cover. All of the different mechanisms inside are amazing. The fan that makes the vibrato which (apparently) runs off of vacuum is awesome.

    Tim
    As we said: Once the bug has bit, it has bit - what a pleasure!

    Enjoy!

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

  6. #6
    ppp Pianississmo John S's Avatar
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    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    ppp Pianississmo jlightfoot's Avatar
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    From John S's link:

    Determining the Age of Estey Reed Organs
    Determining the age of an Estey reed organ starts with identifying its serial number. Serial numbers are generally found on a paper label on the back of the instrument.

    Each Estey reed organ was numbered as it was shipped out. By the time the company closed in the late 1950’s they had built over 521,000 reed organs.

    Some serial number dates are known for certain:

    No. 8,700 was shipped in May 1864
    No. 100,000 was built in 1880
    No. 250,000 in 1892
    No. 350,000 in 1905
    No. 500,000 in 1951
    The exception was the Estey Virtuoso Organ. These organs were given special serial numbers. A few organs have been identified with lower serial numbers than dates of manufacture, perhaps indicating that they were not made consecutively.

  8. #8
    ppp Pianississmo hp_lovecraft's Avatar
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    It also seems that they changed the style of tops every few years for the popular parlors.
    I noticed this once when I used the reedsoc.org website to show all its registered estey organs, sorted by serial number- Its easy to see that in general, every few years they changed the stye.

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