Farrand & Votey Organ Company
The following is just about all the information that’s survived the passing of
time on the Farrand & Fotey Co.
The Farrand & Votey was located on12th St. & Grand Trunk Railway, Detroit, MI; and
started as the Detroit Organ Co. in 1881.
It was a worker-owned enterprise which proved unsuccessful and was bought out by Detroit music
dealer C.J. Whitney and organ builder Edwin S. Votey, a former Estey employee.
In 1883 they incorporated as the Whitney Organ Co. and W.R. Farrand joined the same year as
financial manager. Whitney retired in 1887 and the name changed to Farrand & Votey.
They started building pipe organs in 1888 and in 1889 acquired the patents of Frank Roosevelt,
successor to Hilborne Roosevelt and Acquired the Granville Wood Pipe Organ Co. in 1890.
Votey did pioneering work on piano players, developing the famous Pianola. However, in 1897 the
company split up, Farrand remaining with the reed organs as the Farrand Organ Co., and Votey taking the pipe
organ and player piano business into the Aeolian Company where he became a Vice-president.
The Farrand Organ Co. later brought out its own piano player, the Cecilian, and went bankrupt in
1887 - 16992 1892 - 29300 1898 - 50384
1888 - 15471* 1893 - 33000 1900 - 62081
1888 - 20000 1894 - 35200 1902 - 79646
1889 - 21000 1895 - 38000 1906 - 106001
1890 - 23000 1896 - 41000 1908 - 122812
1891 - 26000 1897 – 44951
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