The New Organ at Church of St. Luke and The Epiphany (1925)

An article from the October 1925 issue of Parish Helper, St. Luke and The Epiphany, 13th Street between Spruce and Pine Streets:

“I [Presumably Rev. Dr. David McConnell Steele] remind you that this was to cost $25,000. That money, every dollar, was contributed before work was begun…You and I – very few of us – ever live to see the need for its replacement. I have asked Dr. [H. Alexander] Matthews to draw up a statement of facts and figures in such language as, although not highly technical, is naturally better than my own.”

“It was built by the Austin Organ Company, of Hartford, CT. The factory number is one thousand three hundred and nineteen.”

“The Philadelphia Electric Company having changed their entire system on Thirteenth Street, from direct to alternating current, a special kind of motor was required.”

“The removal of the two old organs, gallery, and chancel, took the labor of six men more than four weeks.”

“The old rooms below, behind and above, the chancel on the south side were entirely remodeled, plastered and floored; this in addition to the new room builded [sic] over the Baptistry.”

“As many as 400 of the time-seasoned pipes from the old organs were retained in the new, but only after being sent all the way to Connecticut to be revoiced and returned.”

“The organ is blown by an ‘Orgoblo,’ driven by a ten horse-power motor with a wind pressure in the blower pipe of fifty pounds to the square foot.”

“There are 3700 separate pipes, the largest being thirty-two feet by two feet square and weighing one ton. It reaches from the floor of the cellar to the level of the ceiling of the gallery.”

“On the keyboard there are four manuals, which amounts to the same having four separate organs. Together this makes 244 keys to control, in contrast to 88 keys on a piano, not to mention the pedals of 32 keys.”

“The console proper, the keydesk as it is more commonly understood, is movable. It is connected with other parts by cable one and one-half inches in diameter, so that it could be picked up and placed anywhere in the Church and yet the organ be played just as easily. The cable contains 365 wires.”

“All the pipes are contained in separate swell boxes with shutters two and one-half inches thick for the purpose of controlling strength and volume of tone at the will of the organist.”

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