Monday, July 9, 2012

Follow the Pipes!

As we prepare the room that will house our new exhibit, “Allen County Innovation”, we’re taking photos of the construction process and some close ups of the artifacts on display. Since Follow the Pipes is next week, we thought you’d like to see the organ that has been in the soon to be remodeled room and the craftsmanship that went into it.

The Fort Wayne Organ Company manufactured organs here from 1872 through 1906. The company changed its name to the Packard Company in 1895. Interest in organs waned over time but not in pianos, so the company continued to make pianos until 1930 when they went out of business. These pianos also included player pianos, one of which is upstairs at the museum in our Orientation Room.

This Bond Piano was named after the Packard Company president, Albert S. Bond. Player pianos had their heyday from 1910-25 with 1916 being the peak year of production. But the rise in popularity of Victrolas and the radio spelled their demise.

But back to organs.

As you can see from the photos, the detailed woodwork is impressive but even more surprising to this writer are the needlepointed pedals. The top three photos show the wood carving, photo number four shows the needlepoint pedals (pretty worn, aren't they?) and the bottom photo shows the inside of the organ.

Follow the Pipes occurs this year on July 17-19. In cooperation with the American Guild of Organists, this annual event during the Three Rivers Festival is a self-guided “concert tour” of area pipe organs. Find the schedule in the events section of our web site and join us for some great music!

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