WurliTzer Opus List - STYLE
List of STYLES
List of STYLES - sorted by size
The STYLE field indicates the STYLE or "MODEL" of instrument.
Wurlitzer designed a series of standard models which were
given a STYLE designation.
Standard models were built and sold but many instruments were
SPECIALs. Actually more specials were built than standard models.
Many church instruments were also specials.
There were four main series of styles during the years of production. These
series overlapped and similar styles were present in two, three or
four, of the series. e.g. Style J, in the earliest series,
became the Style N, then Style 3, and then Style 185.
Some styles were designed for a particular theatre chain, e.g.
BAL1, BAL1A, BAL2, BAL3, BAL4 were for the Balaban & Katz organization.
GRA1, GRA2 were for the Granada chain, UNN1 and UNN2 were for
Union Theatres in England and HYMGB was for Gaumont-British Theatres.
The R and RJ styles were residence organs.
The SCH series were church instruments.
The common special suffixes attatched to the style designation
- A divided instrument in two chambers when the style was
usually installed in a single chamber. This was only applicable
to instruments up to seven ranks.
- No Piano, on a style which had a piano included in the standard
- Fitted with a role player mechanism.
- Echo Chamber
- 2M, 3M, 4M, 5M
- Indicating the number of manuals, e.g. the Style H, which was a 2
manual 10 rank instrument, was also built as Style H-3M and H-4M.
- 3C, 4C
- These indicate 3 or 4 manual consoles in which
the top manual, called "Manual III" or "Manual IV",
was a coupler manual only, i.e. it was played
through a number of coupler stop tabs plus a very small number of
its own stops for tuned percussions. These had the visual advantage
of an extra keyboard and some limited extra facility without the
cost of an extra relay and stop switches. These instruments were
only installed in Engand.
Most of the larger instruments were specials but there were
specials based on any of the standard styles. There were many
reasons for a special order :-.
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- Designed to perfectly match the location.
- This may have been the best reason but it may not have been
the real reason as often as it should have been.
- Designed for the requirements of the organist.
- Many organists had their own ideas of what they wanted in
"their" instrument. Some of them had good ideas and good reasons
for those ideas. This may have been the substitution of one rank
with another or some additions.
- Designed for the requirements of the owner.
- Some owners had their own ideas as well. The customer is
- The instrument needed to be better than the one down the street.
- The organ was often a major selling point for a theatre and in
the competition for customers it could help to have a bigger, better and
more exciting instrument than the competitors. Some specials were
only the addition of a few blank tabs on the console to look more
impressive to the public.
- To reduce the price.
- If the customer was hesitant about the cost of a model he may
be pursuaded to buy if the price could be reduced by modifying the
specification a little. The result may have been very similar to
a smaller standard model, even if the cost was still higher, but
there was still the prestige value of owning the bigger model and
it was even specially created for that owner.
- To increase the commission paid to the salesman.
- Theatre organ salesmen were often motivated by the same thing
as all other salespersons - to maximise their own income. By selling
a special they probably received more commission than they would have
if they had sold just the standard models. Hooking the customer on a
smaller, less expensive, instrument could be followed by selling a few
extras to get the total sale back to around the same cost of a larger
- To sell more instruments.
- The company obviously had an great interest in keeping their
customers happy and providing just the right special instrument would
have been good business. It also offered the chance to charge for that