|Doug's 1955 Schlicker Pipe Organ|
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
The organ has been moved twice in my ownership of it. Check out the links below to the move stories.
Tuning: Equal Temperament (A=440)
Wind Pressure: 2½" Water column
|Hymn tune St. Flavian (367K)||Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring (510K)||O Come, All Ye Faithful (2 MB)||Ein Feste Burg (680K)|