Pump , Reed and Melodeon Organ Restorations
America's Best Known Restorer of Antique Pump Organs , Reed Organs and Melodeon Organs

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Reed Organ Information

Did You Know?
American reed organs were built to operate on the principle of suction, while the Europeans built them to operate on pressure.

Below are over 60 articles, or points of information that I've done on the reed organ. It's basically a "soup to nuts" compilation.  My guess is that you, like so many other people that own reed organs, don't know a whole lot about what makes them tick.

To view one of the articles listed below, simply click the blue article title.

  1. Information About YOUR Reed Organ
    Are you looking for more information about YOUR reed organ? Rod can probably help; he's got quite a bit of information on most of the 600+ manufacturers available. Just email for assistance!
  2. How Do I Find My Organ's Serial Number?
    If you're not sure where to locate the serial number on your antique reed organ, this article will help you find it.
  3. Reed Organ Materials
    If you would like to try your hand at just repairing your reed organ, Rod can help. This article includes contact information for a business that carries a variety of materials to repair your pump organ.
  4. My Pump Organ Won't Make a Sound!
    Many people have no idea how to get any sound out of their reed organ. Is that you? In this quick article, Rod reveals the solution.
  5. Leading Reed Organ Manufacturers
    As in almost any industry there are always a handful of companies that are recognized as "Industry Leaders." On this page, you'll find a list of the two dozen or so best-known Reed Organ manufacturers
  6. America's 653 Pump Organ Companies
    In the United States alone, there were approximately 653 names of pump organ companies! Rod presents the counts broken down by state.
  7. Pump Organ Manufacturers
    At one time or another (generally between 1840 and 1930) there were 653 pump organ manufacturers in the United States.
  8. Too Much for a Reed Organ
    Don't pay too much for a reed organ! In this article, Rod arms you with some important information about the market for used pump organs and how much you should expect to pay for an antique reed organ.
  9. Proper Way to Operate the Foot Pedals
    Rod explains how to properly operate the foot pedals on an antique pump organ.
  10. Do You Have Questions About Your Pump Organ?
    This document describes how you can contact Rod Fudge of Pump Organ Restorations to get answers to your questions about pump organs or reed organs.
  11. Parts for Pump Organs
    The "go to guys" when it comes to finding parts for old pump organs. If you need a piece for a repair, this is definitely the place to start.
  12. The Customer's Restoration Photo CD-ROM
    One of the products of a pump organ restoration done by Rod Fudge is a photo CD-ROM showing all aspects of the restoration process.
  13. Dealing With Damaged Hutch Mirrors
    A quick fix for a hutch mirror that has lost some of its "silvering" over the years.
  14. Abolitionist John Brown's Wedding Present to his Daughter
    Abolitionist John Brown gave his daughter a beautiful melodeon as a wedding present. This short article includes a photo of the instrument.
  15. Where Can I Buy A Reed Organ?
    Curious about where you can find a reed organ to buy? Rod's got some suggestions.
  16. Estey & Co. Was The Biggest
    More than 600 companies manufactured pump organs in the United States, but no one built more organs than Estey & Co of Brattleboro, Vermont.
  17. Why Reed Organs Were Made From Hard Woods
    Curious about the wood that was used to build your antique reed organ? This article explores what kinds of woods were traditionally used to build these magnificent instruments.
  18. Does My Organ Have Ivory Keys?
    Many pump organ owners are interested in knowing if their organ has ivory keys. In this article, Rod explains how to find out.
  19. What Are The Folding Knee Levers For?
    Ever wonder what the folding levers located above the foot pedals are used for? Rod sheds a little light on the mystery...
  20. Is It Pump Organ, or Reed Organ?
    The answer to a question that comes up a lot in my line of work: Is it a pump organ, or a reed organ?
  21. Estey Philharmonic Organ
    A great article about The Estey Philharmonic Organ; not your typical, garden variety antique parlor reed organ!
  22. Video Music Clips
    Links to some very interesting clips on YouTube of Pump Organ music. This is a great opportunity to hear what these fantastic instruments sound like!
  23. The Physics of the Pump Organ
    An interesting research piece into the physics of the Pump Organ by Kristina Knupp.
  24. How Can My Reed Organ Be In Tune and Yet Out of Tune?
    How can my reed organ be in tune (relative to the notes on the organ itself) and yet out of tune (relative to other instruments)? This article looks at the specifics of reed organ tuning, and why some organs aren't in tune with other instruments.
  25. Visit A Pump Organ
    A list of museums (and other locations) where you can visit an antique reed (pump) organs.
  26. No More Foot Pumping
    An electric bellows unit can be retrofitted to your antique pump orgran so that you can have an option of whether or not to manually pump the organ by foot.
  27. Eliminating Musty Antique Smells
    Some informational tips for caring for your antique reed organ, including how to get rid of musty antique smells, hide light scratches, and more!
  28. Why Children Stop Playing the Piano
    An interesting article explaining the five reasons that children stop playing the piano. It doesn't pertain directly to pump organs, but is interesting nonetheless.
  29. Family Heirloom Considered Priceless
    Heirlooms take on a special significance in some families, such as the one described in this article, who wanted the foot peddles on their antique reed organ left undisturbed in the restoration process.
  30. Pump Organ Diagram
    A fascinating look at the inner workings of an antique pump organ.
  31. Finding Reed Organ Sheet Music
    Information about finding sheet music suitable for your antique reed organ.
  32. Products for your Reed Organ
    Some products that Rod recommends for those who would like to keep their reed organ looking its best.
  33. Meet the Brass Reed
    Meet the all-important brass reed. It's the brass reed that makes the sound we hear when playing a pump organ.
  34. A Selected Bibliography on Reed Organs
    Resources for information regarding reed organs, as compiled by the Smithsonian Institution.
  35. Canadian Reed Organ Manufacturers
    This page contains an excellent list of Canadian Reed Organ Manufacturers
  36. Number Of Stops
    Is it important how many stops my pump organ has? Does more stops mean it's a better pump organ? This article from Pump Organ Repair and Restoration Services answers just that question!
  37. Common Stop Face Names
    American pump organ manufacturers used approximately ninety different names to identify a wide variety of different musical tones and pitches. This page, provided by Pump Organ Restorations, lists about 40 commonly used "stop face names"
  38. Reed Organ Seats
    Piano Stools are NEVER Reed Organ Seats! Here, we look at what a proper reed organ stool (or seat) really looked like, along with a variety of pictures for illustration.
  39. Learning to Play The Pump Organ
    A great resource for those who may be interested in learning how to play the pump organ.
  40. You May Want These Books
    Information on how to order Robert F. Gellerman's "The American Reed Organ and Harmonium" as well as "Gellerman's International Reed Organ Atlas"
  41. What's The Upper Section of a Pump Organ Called?
    It was very common for pump organs to have an upper section called a hutch or canopy. Learn more about it in this article.
  42. Insects in my Reed Organ!
    Avoid nastry surprises when you bring home an antique reed organ...clean it thoroughly before you bring it inside because of the possibility of everything from mice and snakes to moth infestations!
  43. They Were Called Melodeons
    Articles and information about Melodeons; small reed organs with a five- or six-octave keyboard, most often housed in a piano-like case.
  44. Walt Disney's Pump Organ
    In Disney's 1939 classic motion picture, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, we get to see the only pump organ that Disney Studios ever made.
  45. Home Delivery Way Back When
    A picture showing how home delivery of pump organs was accomplished in the 1800's.
  46. The Men That Built The Reed Organs
    Who exactly built all of those old reed organs? Here's a picture that answers the question!
  47. Turn Yellow Keys into White Keys
    If you have an antique keyboard instrument with keys that have yellowed over the years, here are some techniques for turning them white again.
  48. 100 Pictures of Restored Reed Organs
    A link to a website with dozens of pictures of restored reed organs.
  49. A Reed Organ Liquor Bar?
    Found on eBay: An antique reed organ converted into a bar!
  50. Reed Organ Drawings
    Parlor organs were often known for the exuberence and detail of their cases. This article includes a link to a wonderful collection of sketches that were intended as design ideas for future instruments.
  51. History of the Player Organ
    A fascinating history of the player organ -- or Pianola -- is available from the Pianola Institute's website.
  52. Why People Turned Away From Pump Organs
    The pump organ was wildly popular in the late 1800's. What happened?
  53. Oil Lamps & Candles for Reed Organs
    Many antique reed organs were built with round, wooden candle holders. In this article, Rod talks a little bit about how these were used.
  54. Types of Reed Organs
    In this article, Rod outlines the 12 different categories of reed organs, complete with pictures.
  55. Tuning the Reeds
    Some insight into the process Rod uses to tune an antique reed organ.
  56. Pump Organs at War
    Pump organs were used throughout all branches of the armed forces during both World Wars, as well as the Spanish American and Korean conflicts.
  57. Common Pump Organ Problems
    Rod provides a list of common problems with pump organs and their causes. Useful in troubleshooting issues with your reed organ.
  58. Reed Organ Manufacturers By Country
    An interesting chart showing the count of reed organ manufacturers by country. It's fascinating to see all of the places from which reed organs and pump organs originated!
  59. Dollhouse Pump Organ
    Pictures of a dollhouse hobby model pump organ that Rod put together.
  60. On The Lighter Side
    A humorous letter from a colleague working on restoring a large Estey reed organ.
  61. The ORGAVAC
    The "ORGAVAC" - Reed Organ Vacuum Pumps - Completely eliminate foot pumping and improve the performance of any reed organ!
  62. A Reed Organ Music Box
    A "not so antique" reed organ music box.



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