Doug's 1955 Schlicker Pipe Organ   


Pipes Yrs truly and the pipes More pipes
Builder's plate

Stop List

GreatSwellPedal
8' Viola8' Gedeckt16' Bourdon
8' Gedeckt4' Rohrfloete8' Gedeckt
4' Fugara2' Principal4' Fugara
4' Gedecktfloete1 1/3' Larigot2' Rohrfloete
2' Rohrfloete1' Siffloete1' Octave
II MixtureTremoloII Mixture
Great stop tabs


This organ was built in 1954-55 by the Schlicker Organ Company of Buffalo, NY and is comprised of 269 pipes, in three ranks plus a 37-note, two-rank mixture stop, ranging in size (speaking length) from one-half inch to almost eight feet in height.   The entire organ, with the exception of the lowest pedal octave, is under expression.   My instrument was originally constructed for my first organ teacher, and I purchased it from her widower after her death in the fall of 1997.

This unit organ is an interesting instrument in the history of the Schlicker Organ Company.  According to information I received in 2001 from Stanton Peters, last president of Schlicker, "in early 1952 Herman Schlicker along with E. Power Biggs came up with the concept for a small 'unit' organ.  Interestingly enough Biggs also worked with Walter Holtkamp on the same concept and we [Schlicker] both started to build these unit organs, albeit our designs were somewhat different."

Mr. Peters continues, "your instrument along with two others (one for [another private residence] in Buffalo, NY) and one for ... Concordia Teachers College of River Forest, IL were the first three identical organs built using this new concept of unification ... they proved so successful that in the years since we have built several hundred ranging from only 2 stops up to 15 stops."  Indeed, in June, 1983 -- almost 30 years after my instrument was built -- a Schlicker Organ Company ad in The American Organist featured a photo of an organ with this very same windchest design and layout.  Click to see a scan of this ad.

"Both your organ and [the other private one] had expression, Concordia's did not. I do not know if [the other private] instrument is still around, but I do know that Concordia's was sold to [a private individual] who had us refurbish and enlarge it for his home just a few years ago."

Sadly, in September 2002 the Schlicker Organ Company closed its shop for the last time and the contents of its facility in Buffalo, NY were auctioned off.  The company, while continuing to build splendid instruments, had been plagued for many years by various financial and cash flow problems and could no longer stay in business.  Another concern has bought the Schlicker name and has a small web site utilizing the original Schlicker company banner, http://www.schlickerorgancompany.com/.

The console of my instrument is entirely electric in operation, with all the borrowing and sharing that takes place in a unit organ such as this occurring in the wiring of the console itself.  A 252-wire cable connects the console to the organ.  The console features a single general piston, which is set with the small knobs above the stop tabs.  The organist is left with two pistons: "0" which is what is set on the stop tabs, and "1" which is what is set with the knobs above the stop tabs.  The "1" piston latches in when pressed, and is released when the "0" piston is pressed.

After I purchased the organ, two friends and I moved the instrument, which was an interesting endveavour.  Considering none of us had ever done anything like that before, we still managed to do it without breaking anything, and had portions of it working within 24 hours of the move.  It was fully operational 3 days after the move.  After the first successful move, I commented to my college organ professor that all organ students should have to participate in a project like this -- it gives you a better appreciation of just what makes those whistles sing.

The organ has been moved twice in my ownership of it.  Check out the links below to the move stories.

Yrs truly at the console The Console
Specification
Rank# Pipes
8' Gedeckt
61
4' Fugara
61
2' Rohrfloete
61
16' Bourdon
12
Mixture II
74
TOTAL
269

Tuning: Equal Temperament (A=440)
Wind Pressure: 2½" Water column


Hear the Organ


Click below to hear some recordings of the organ.  Quality isn't the best in some of the files, but I now have a new digital recorder and I am working on posting newer recordings, like "Eine Feste Burg" and "O Come All Ye Faithful":

Hymn tune St. Flavian (367K) Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring (510K) O Come, All Ye Faithful (2 MB) Ein Feste Burg (680K)

The Move Stories


Read about the two times that the organ was moved, the first time in early 1998 and the second move in the summer of 1999.

     



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Updated April 20, 2017