Updated 15. 06. 07.
Make your selection by clicking on the blue organ tradename:
Ahlborn-Galanti Organ - Italian company who mainly manufactures church organs.
Allen Organ The Allen Organ was invented by Jerome Markowitz and released to the public in 1939. These independent oscillator organs found their way into many churches because of their tonal similarity to pipe organs. In 1971, Allen introduced the world’s first digital organ.
Baldwin Organ - This master oscillator organ came out in 1947 as the Model 11.
Conn Organ Charles G. Conn, a noted Indiana figure, founded C.G. Conn, Ltd. in Elkhart, Indiana in 1875. The company was noted for its line of famous band instruments. Their first electronic organ came out in 1947, and their first successful model was introduced in 1951. Conn was an independent oscillator organ.
Gulbransen Organ This maverick of the organ industry was founded by Axel Gulbransen in Chicago in 1904, manufacturing pianos and harmoniums. In 1957, Gulbransen introduced the world’s first transistor organ, the Model B, which also included the first built-in Leslie speaker. Independent tone generators were the rule here. Gulbransen also introduced the first preset chimes stop, the piano stop and built-in automatic rhythm, among other pioneering innovations. The Rialto, Model K, was Gulbransen’s greatest and most famous work. This was the first electronic theatre organ and included two auxiliary Leslie speakers with no internal sound system. The company was merged with Seeburg in 1966, and C.B.S. absorbed the entire operation in 1968. Gulbransen is now based in California, in affiliation with Elka, an Italian brand, and manufactures MIDI products.
Hammond Organ The Hammond Model A Organ was released in June, 1935 and used independent tone wheel generators. It caused a commercial landslide. In 1955, Hammond came out with the immortal classic, B3. The B3 included Touch-Response Percussion, the first attack-type percussion on electronic organs and this became standard in the industry. A model revision in 1965 unveiled the X66, a cross between drawbar design and a theatre organ. In subsequent years, Hammond went electronic. So much information about the Hammond Organ is available on the Internet that anything stated here would be repetition. Type “hammond organ” into your search engine and go.
More on Hammond Organs by Eric Larson.
Heathkit Organ - These were kit organs distributed from Michigan, USA. They were exact duplicates of several Thomas organ models.
Kimball Organ – This company started in Chicago, by William Kimball, as a major manufacturer of pipe organs, later manufacturing pianos as well. They eventually made their way into the electric organ field with photoelectric cell organs that were not successful. In the mid 1960s, the company changed to transistor organs and carved a place for themselves in many homes.
Lowrey Organ The Lowrey Organo, an organ-like attachment for a piano, started this company in 1941. Their first successful organ, the Berkshire, Model S, came out in 1955. The Glide, mounted on the left side of the expression pedal, was introduced in 1956 for Hawaiian guitar and singing strings effects, among others. Lowrey was successful in breaking Hammond’s overwhelming lead in the industry.
Rodgers Organ - Rodgers was founded in 1958 and soon after, came out with the first solid-state organ (tone generators and amplifiers, all amplifiers in organs were vacuum tubes previously). They are of the master oscillator type and found in many churches.
Technics Organ - This was a division of the Panasonic Corporation. These organs are no longer made, but still commonly seen.
Thomas Organ This instrument was unveiled in 1957. Their first models were one manual affairs with dial stops, and some models included a built-in phonograph. These organs used a two-note generator. They soon changed to the master oscillator tone generating system. Standard two manual and pedal organs came on the scene quickly. Thomas pioneered several firsts in the organ industry; Repeat Percussion which is now standard in organs and Vibra-Magic which others call Delayed Vibrato. This company is a phoenix as it was resuscitated in recent years.
Viscount Organ – This is another Italian brand and is related to Ahlborn-Galanti.
Wurlitzer Organ This great old company started life in Germany in the 1600s making lutes and violins and produced a full line of band instruments. Their jukeboxes were well known. In 1910, Wurlitzer bought out the Robert Hope-Jones Organ Company and the Mighty Wurlitzer theatre pipe organ was born. After World War II, Wurlitzer began producing electro-static reed organs and started using electronic master oscillators in 1959. The last reed organ was manufactured in 1964. The Ssh-Boom, the first “theatre organ traps-style” rhythm was a Wurlitzer innovation. The Orbit came into existence in the 1970s. This was a synthesizer built into a substandard third keyboard above the Upper Manual of the organ.
More on Wurlitzer Organs by Eric Larson.
Yamaha Organ This brand was introduced to the United States in 1969. It started in the 1800s, and yes, another division of the company makes the Yamaha motorcycle. Yamaha organs and keyboards are famous throughout the world.