From: Tom Blackwell, Nov. 1997The following ad appeared in the July 1976 issue of The Console Magazine. It caused quite a stir at the time since many people were unaware of the large instruments' existence:
4m/26r Wurlitzer original 3 chamber 1926 factory installation unchanged, good condition and now playing. Standard console w/combons, Suitable Bass, Dbl. Tch. Ranks include 32' Bourdon and 9 - 16's. Chrys. and Chimes only percussions. Available immediately for buyer removal. Will not divide. Minimum bid $40,000. Serious inquires contact Delaware Organ Company, Inc. 252 Fillmore Avenue, Tonawanda, New York 14150
The September 1976 issue of The Console had a follow-up article with more information:
Mystery Wurlitzer Surfaces
For the past several months an advertisement has appeared in organ journals offering a 4m/26r Wurlitzer for sale, an original installation in three chambers, etc. Location of the instrument was not divulged and this prompted numerous inquires to learn where it was erected.
This month information has been received that the organ is in Our Lady of Victory Basilica, Lackawana, New York. And it has an interesting history in that it was the only FREE Wurlitzer ever given away by the famous theatre organ firm.
The Late Farny Wurlitzer was a friend of one of the church officials, and when he was trying to gain foothold in church organ business, he donated the organ purely as a promotional move when the Basilica was being built. Whether this gift helped Wurlitzer land more church jobs has not been learned. The organ is not large enough to even fill the tremendous structure; it was poorly placed to add to the detractions. Actually it is two organs in one, having two entirely separate sets of relays connected to one console. A 4m/20r in the back of the church and a 2m/6r in the celestial division in the front. All someone would need is a two-manual console, wire it direct, and with little effort have two organs._________________________________________________________ From: Joseph Mc Cabe, April 1999 In fact, the organ originally in Our Lady of Victory Basilica was a 4/26 WurliTzer. It was however really a nice sized 4/20 with chryosglott, chimes and a 32' Bourdon (unlike a 32' Tibia as previously stated). In the apse of the building on the right hand side behind some grill work held another 6 ranks as an "echo" division. As it truely was not an echo either......it was practically just a 2/6 minus the console and percs.... The organ never really "got out" because it was chambered in in the left tower of the church. The grill work across the rear gallery (on the large side too!) actually only has 2-3 feet behind it which did not allow for Wurlitzer to install anything behind it. A good chunk of sound got caught in this space of rather narrow (but long) proportions.....