Austin Organs, Inc.

Austin Organs, Inc.

Austin Organs, Inc. is a manufacturer of pipe organs based in Hartford, Connecticut. The company is one of the oldest continuously operating organ manufacturers in the United States, the first instruments were built in 1893 with the Austin Patent Airchest, and many remain in fine playing condition to this day.

Austin Organ Company was founded in 1898 by John Turnell Austin in Boston, Massachusetts. Austin was from England and had come to the United States in 1889. Prior to founding the company, Austin had worked for Farand and Votey in Detroit, Michigan. His first organs were manufactured in Detroit, but he established his operation in Boston, moving to Hartford shortly thereafter.

Austin developed The Universal Air Chest System. This was an airtight chamber with the chest action at the top of the chamber. A feature of this system was that the chest could be entered while the organ was turned on, which allowed for fine adjustments of the organ action. The modern (current) chest design was further developed in 1913, and has been refined over the years. In 1905 the company began building electric consoles. The consoles as well have been refined over the years.

During the second world war the company contributed gliders to the war effort.

The company became Austin Organs, Inc. in 1937. The current President of the company is Michael B. Fazio, The CEO is Richard G. Taylor, Marilyn H. Austin, wife of former President Donald B. Austin, remains with the company as "Executive Consultant" and CEO-Emeritus. The company continues to build instruments in the factory located at 156 Woodland Street in Hartford, Connecticut. This wonderful four story edifice has been home to the company since 1937. It is located behind the building where the company originally moved after Boston. Over 2700 organs have been built with the Austin nameplate.

Organs Built by Austin

* Opus 2 - Sweetest Heart of Mary Catholic Church (Detroit, Michigan) - the oldest Austin in existence (1894)
* Opus 167 - St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church (Manayunk, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
* Opus 301 - Immanuel Baptist Church (Scranton, Pennsylvania), now the Houlihan McLean Center at the University of Scranton (1910).
* Opus 323 - Kotzschmar Memorial Organ, located inside Merrill Auditorium in Portland, Maine.
* Opus 453 - Balboa Park - This is the famous Spreckels Organ Pavilion, which is exposed to the outdoors when in use.
* Opus 591 - Calvinistic Congregational Church (now Faith United Parish) (Fitchburg, Massachusetts).
* Opus 1215 - Saint Matthew Lutheran Church, Hanover, Pennsylvania. Organ has four manuals, 231 ranks, and is among the world's largest.
* Opus 1416 - Curtis Organ at the University of Pennsylvania. Recently modified to be MIDI programmable.
* Opus 2785 - Blessed Sacrament Cathedral, Detroit, Michigan.

External links

* [http://www.austinorgans.com Austin Organs, Inc.]
** [http://www.austinorgans.com/images/austinopuslist.pdf Opus List] - Complete list of organs built.
* [http://www.serve.com/sosorgan/ Spreckels Organ Society]


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