An EPRO on Youtube
Holland/New Hampshire, June 2010
Click the images to see and hear an EPRO in use....
This page was created for a research project on a mailingslist on reed organs in the internet.
The EPRO can be heard on the link HERE
(Okay it's a kinda gimmick)
Estey Brattleboro (Vermont)
Estey EPRO - Electro Pneumatic Reed Organ
On december 1st 2008 Mark Petersen informed to an Estey EPRO ( electro-pneumatic reed organ) built by the Estey company of Brattleboro Vermont USA. This messages did not reach the reed organ user group due to too big attachments in his e-mail. I have contacted Mark to resend and deliver the pictures to me to be published on this website
This messages contained both pictures and stoplist. However, the mailing list does not support sending pictures to the list.
Below is pictorial information on this extremely rare type of reed organ. These pictures are to be found at the website of Estey.com Source Sales information provided by Estey:
This catalog picture of the EPRO is copied from the website of the Estey Museum.
We present a new two manual and pedal organ. Designed and built out of our experience of ninety-one years, we believe it to be a masterpiece of the organ builder's art. We offer it to you with a feeling of pride in our accomplishment and we feel sure that you will consider it as highly as we do. The novelty of this organ does not lie in unimportant changes in an old and familiar instrument. It is the result of a completely new and revolutionary concept. Not only does it embody new principles of design and construction, but most important it is a remarkable musical instrument.
The above picture was used by Estey.
The two above pictures are from the sales information bulletin by Estey. For comparing the two instruments sold at about the same period of time, below stoplists of the Estey Organ electro-pneumatic system and the the electro-magnetic Virtuoso model.
According to information by Ned Phoenix, the EPRO model was electro pneumatic and was manufactured from 1939 till 1944 and was succeeded by the electro magnetic model, called the Virtuoso. Ned also told me that about 450 EPRO models have been built. About the same number of Virtuoso models have been built from 1944 and later.
Mind you: All ranks are 73 reeds, that is 6 octaves. Voix Celeste starts at Tenor G. The composition of the pedal stoplists does raise some questions. Factual is that the pedal contains only one row of reeds. The 2nd and 3rd stop are derived. To me it seems that using 16 Gedeckt cannot be done at the same time with Flute 8. Gedeckt implies a derived softer voice (mute half opened). Using Gedeckt and Flute at the same time would be impossible. Using Bourdon and Flute would be possible. Both are at "full power".This pedal lay out seems to be about the same as in the Virtuoso model. The Balanced Crescendo pedal seems to me to be an "classic crescendo pedal' comparable to the crescendo pedal found on pipe-organs. Mark could tell us. Just because he has an EPRO at home.
Pricelist catalog Estey 1941
This is the backside of the Estey EPRO instrument. When this page was created, I wrote: "Showing 5 reedcell blocks stacked vertically. This implies to me that the Voix Celeste has separate cell blocks for both rows of reeds. The picture also shows that each reed cell block has it's own swell shade." At april 27th 2009 for the first time ( see below at Ebay auction) I saw the inner parts of this instrument. And I was wrong. There are two reed cell blocks with two layers in front and back. (The reed cell blocks are mounted vertical, so I should say: two layers in top side and bottom side.) Hence the back side shows 5 swell shades. And these are affected by the Balanced Expression Pedal.
Here it is, at Marks house..... Additional info: Mark is not restoring this rare instrument himself. He has it done by some one whose name he did not mention to avoid blatant advertizing. (I presume). Within a few days we hope to have a recording of this instrument on this page.
Some pictures of s/n 111
An ebay auction was mentioned to me on April 27. A special day, because it is the birthday of my late mother and also the birthday of our future King William IV. As to the pictures: This auction is about an EPRO scrapped by the owner. Shame on him. There were only about 450 built. And yes, I know restoration would be a challenge. But it can be done. Especially in the era of "yes, we can". The auction text shows that the present owner would like to keep some of the wood. So it would be possible to see it auctioned later as a writing desk. :-(
Ebay auction Item number: 190303729279
|The EPRO organ opened. Here it shows very clear that of the two reedcell blocks one is in reversed order (flipped horizontally). This is a way to save space.|
|A look at the valve magnets and the pneumatics to the reed cells|
|The NKA ( National Knive Association) has issued a press release stating they are not responsible for this cutted pneumatic hose.|
|The valve magnets in close up|
|A few of the various pneumatic couplers on this instrument.|
|To avoid a treatment by a physiotherapist, the picture turned for easier viewing.|
|we hope to have more pictures soon.|
EPRO were built from 1938/39 till 1944. Than the EPRO was succeeded by the Virtuoso from 1944 till....
The distinction between the two can be seen by the case. There are quite recognizable differences between the two cases.
Some referrals I have found on the internet: Link nr. 1 (quoted in full below)
Steinmeyer To Lecture On German Organs at Estey Museum Thursday,
August 24 2006 @ 10:25 AM EDT
Contributed by: cgrotke
Georg Steinmeyer, former director of the pipe organ division of the estey Organ Corporation, will be giving a multimedia lecture focused on the recent tour to selected sites during the Organ Tour to Southern Germany. The lecture will be held from 2:30pm to 3:30 p.m., Sunday August 27, 2006 in Building 11 of the estey Organ Complex on Birge Street, directly next to the Engine House Gallery.
Admission to the museum is $2 and free for members.
From the more than 30 organs visited " most of them seen, heard, and played by organist members of the tour" Steinmeyer has chosen three sites with historic instruments from three centuries, all located in churches whose origins go back to the Middle Ages. The tour included other elements that weren't instruments "the scenery of the rolling hills of Bavaria, historic monasteries, castles, and routes on which Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart had traveled. Mozart's 250th anniversary of his birth is being celebrated throughout the world this year. Steinmeyer will speak about the tour, and show views of sites and instruments visited using color transparencies presented by overhead projector. Audio recording will also be played to demonstrate the sounds of the instruments, with compositions selected for their relation to the locations and historic periods. The lecture is part of the estey Organ Museum's second "estey Museum Weekend" with special hours open to the public.
The museum will be open Saturday August 26 from 10am - 5pm and Sunday August 27 from noon to 5 p.m. Visitors can see new additions to the museum's collection, tour the gallery, and more.
The museum is also taking registrations for the second 2006 "Reed Organ Bee" with Ned Phoenix. It's a hands-on workshop that teaches about reed organ restoration, featuring an estey organ from the museum's collection - an estey EPRO/Electro-Pneumatic Reed Organ on exhibit in the corner of the Engine House.
Participants will learn about its unique design features and how it operates. The organ and reeds will be cleaned and discussed. Cost for the all day (9-6), Saturday September 23, 2006 experience is just $80 and goes to support museum programs.
To find out more about the workshop, call 365-7011 and leave a message. For more information about the estey Organ Museum, visit www.esteyorganmuseum.org
Link nr. 2 (quoted in full below)
Estey Day Celebrations This Weekend Thursday
September 21 2006 @ 12:26 PM EDT
Contributed by: cgrotke
The third annual estey Day program will be presented at the estey Organ Museum in the estey Factory Complex on Birge Street this weekend with open house both Saturday and Sunday and with special events all open to the public. estey Day celebrates the birthday of Jacob estey, founder of the company, who was born in Hinsdale, NH, September 30, 1814.
On Saturday, starting at 9am, Ned Phoenix will be leading an Organ Bee restoration workshop. There are still spaces available, and cost for the hands-on, all-day workshop is $80. Visitors to the museum on Saturday will be able to see an estey EPRO being repaired.
On Sunday, a highlight of the weekend will be a slide show and talk by Larry Leonard, organist and historian, who first played an estey pipe organ at age 13 in his native Randolph, VT, and has been an enthusiastic fan of estey pipe organs ever since. Along the way he has accumulated one of the major collections of estey artifacts, ephemera, and instruments, including Opus 1541, a pipe organ with player system originally built in 1917 for a residence in Providence, RI. To house his collection Leonard added a large music room to his house in Laconia in the 1980's, appropriately called estey Hall. Mr. Leonard will present his slide show and talk on the History of estey Organ Company at 2:30pm on Sunday, September 24th.
After the history presentation, the estey Organ Museum will be honoring Les Nicholas. Mr. Nicholas is a former employee of estey Organ Company and electrical engineer responsible for cutting-edge developments in electronic organs and sounds in the 1950's.
Friends and family are encouraged to attend the event, starting about 3:30pm on Sunday. After the presentation, members of the museum and the public are invited to attend the estey Organ Museum's Annual Meeting and pick up and Annual Report.
The estey Organ Museum invites you to take part in this final estey weekend for 2006 at the Engine House. The museum displays reed, pipe, and electronic organs as well as tools, photos, and other emphemera from the century of history of the estey Organ Company. For more information about the museum, please visit www.esteyorganmuseum.org
It seems obvious we should turn to the Estey Museum to acquire more information.
In order to find more info I have collected info on catalogs on the website of Peter H. Adams.
His site says:
MUSIC AND MUSICAL RESEARCH FROM Peter H. Adams
"An Annotated Index of Selected Articles from The Musical Courier 1880-1940 is at the printer and should be published in 2009 by Scarecrow Press."
Link to website
The Adams listing is a list of referrals to catalogs and quotes from the Musical Courier. This list is partially equal to the listing of Robert F. Gellerman on his website.
These two listing have been put together by me and can be found at this web site on a seperate page to be found here
Curiously the name Estey seems to be spelled too as Esty as appearing on Adams listing. Are these typos by mr. Adams or did printers make these typos in Estey's time?
At his website it becomes clear one can not contact mr. Adams through e-mail or any other way through the internet. The only way to reach him is to write by snailmail.