From: Cory Wright, Dec. 1997
Opus 1280 was sold by Mr Charles Koester of Alden Ny to myself (Cory Wright
of Tonawanda NY) in May of 1996. It really cannot be refered to as a style
100 anymore, Mr Koester had augmented it with various new components and
additions. Also to be omitted is the wireing sched.... i have removed the
original cableing and replaced it with new modern PVC cableing. It started
its life as a 2/3 and has evolved into a 3/7, retaining all of the original
pipe work of course.
From: Cory Wright, May. 1998
2 years ago i purchased a 7 rank theatre organ. It started
out life as a 2/3 WurliTzer, Opus 1280, and has evolved into a 3/7
concoction containing WurliTzer, Hope-Jones, Gottfried, Moller and Hook
& Hasteings pipework and components. They are as follows:
Concert Flute/Bourdon 16'-2' (WurliTzer)
Diapason 8' (Hope-Jones)
Salicional 8'-4' (WurliTzer)
Violin 8'-4' (Moller)
Dopple Flute 8'-4' (Hook & Hasteings)
Trumpet 8'-4' (unknown)
Vox Humana 8' (Gottfried)
Xylphone (WurliTzer 30 notes)
Glockenspiel (WurliTzer action, Musser bars, 30 notes)
Chrysoglott (unknown..... looks kinda crapy, maybe Marr & Colton??
Chinese gong thingie (from Riviera WurliTzer, opus 1524)
Chimes (WurliTzer action, J.C.Degan chimes)
Chimes (Mass, DE action, 21 notes)
1929 Gottfried Opus 229, 3 manual. From Grace Luthern Church, So.
WurliTzer, Gottfried, Wicks
The entire organ is located in a medium sized basement. The blower &
relays are in the old coal room under the front porch, with a single
chamber constructed in front of that. Chests have been rewired and
installed, with pipes racked and ready for tooting.
January 5th 1997 was a day for much rejoicing, the 8' Concert Flute was
made playable from the Great manual. A neighbor, whom was outside
shoveling at the time (contrary to popular belief, Buffalo winters are not
THAT bad), came over it was audible from across the street. I can only
imagine how loud it will be once it is all completed, the church diagonally
across the street from me will have some competition! Maybe a little
of "The Striper" while services are being conducted! hehehe
Other than that crowning moment, no more progress has been made. I
decided that the WurliTzer, Gottfried, Wicks relay arrangement was dumpster
material, and have halted wiring the remaining 60 stack switches. When
funds to purchase a new relay materialize, ill start again.
From: Larry Chace, August 2008
It seems that Opus 1280 was repossessed by Wurlitzer and was then rebuilt by them into a church organ in 1934.
The organ got a new console, which still exists at the Tonowanda Historic Society,
the Vox was replaced by a Viol (perhaps from a pit organ???), and the Diapason/Principal was added.
Later, perhaps in the 1960s/70s, a new 4-rank chest was built to hold the Salicional, Flute, Viol, and Diapason.
We guessed that perhaps the Wurlitzer chest(s) had gotten damaged.
Still extant from the original 1280 are the Salicional, Concert Flute, Chimes, shade motors, and swell shades.
When David Peckham and I left there, the shade motors were in his van and
Gary Shipe (Buffalo area organ enthusiast) had just arrived to take the Salicional.
David looked at the "Principal" and said it looked like Wurlitzer to him, though he thought the cut-ups
seemed a bit crude; perhaps they got revoiced at some point. The bottom octave of Cory's set was marked "OP"
and no one doubted its Wurlitzer origins. (We had just dropped off some Hope-Jones Diapason pipes at
Organ Supply in Erie, Pennnsylvania, for repair. They are from H-J opus #2, the Unitarian Church in Rochester, NY,
which David takes care of, so I'd guess he knows a H-J rank when he sees one! ;-)
The Salicional, on 5" pressure, had quite large toe openings and was still pretty strong.
The added Viol was a bit milder, thought still no weakling. Its bottom octave was quite small, about 68 scale,
and was stamped VdO, I believe. Starting at tenor C the pipes were mitered (inverted "J") for almost an octave,
suggesting an original location in which height was an issue. The pipes look like Wurlitzer, at least to me.
I bought the Viol, but it is still in David's storage area.
Cory had already sold the blower that he had gotten out of the
church: 3/4 hp, 300 cfm, 7" pressure.
I was tempted to buy the Concert Flute, which looked brand-new. We didn't have room for it in the van,
and I suspect that the 16' octave would have eaten up far too much space in my very small organ chamber.
David also bought the Vox that Cory was offering. It was from opus 624, Statler Hotel Ballroom, Buffalo, 1923.
I don't know what happened to that organ, but perhaps Cory could fill you in.