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View Full Version : Wiggy story about two 111 year old organs.


Dinny Blues
03-08-2006, 03:21 PM
A few months ago, I restored an old W. W. Kimball reed foot-pump organ for my friend to sell on ebay. I knew nothing about these things, but dove in anyway.

The serial number, date of manufacture and someone's initials are written in pencil on the front edge of the main board. I assume these initials belong to the guy who assembled the main board. I can't find any info about the manufacturing process, and very little about the history of the company in the 19th century.

So anyway, I've been checking ebay to see what these things are selling for, and last week, I stumbled on an auction with only two hours left. It was pick up only in Eldorado Springs, MO, no bids, starting at $9.99. I got it for $9.99.

Just got back with it a little while ago, took the front off, and it was built by the same guy. The first one had 11-23-94, and the second 7-3-95, with the same guy's initials. They were made at a big factory in Chicago with over 1500 employees, and it seems odd to me to have two built by the same guy.

All the pieces are there on this second one, and all keys and drawbars work, but there have been some less than favorable repairs on the cabinet. I think I can make it presentable.

Working on these old instruments, like I said before, is like working on Fred Flintstone's car. And it seems that they have more soul than your average "chester drawers".

Dinny

Reaper16
03-08-2006, 03:23 PM
Organs are cool. I'll admit that I thought this was going to be some strange medical story, though. :)

Gonzo
03-08-2006, 03:25 PM
My grandfather had a 98 year old organ before he died. My grandmother told me it always got him in trouble.

Baby Lee
03-08-2006, 03:31 PM
That was the true enigma of Liberace.

Wonderful on the piano, sucked on the organ. :shrug:

Reaper16
03-08-2006, 03:33 PM
That was the true enigma of Liberace.

Wonderful on the piano, sucked on the organ. :shrug:
ROFL

Bob Dole
03-08-2006, 03:42 PM
Does it still have the top section, or has someone already taken it off to use as a mantle/bookshelf? Historically, the resale value falls significantly if the fancy schmancy top piece is missing (and it typically is). There used to be a guy in Stockton that sold replacement parts. With the advent of the 'net, there's bound to be more sources than there was when Bob Dole tore into his around 1978.

Bob Dole will have to take a photo of his when he gets back to the house. It's nothing amazing to look at, but when it was resurrected, it had been in Bob Dole's grandparent's garage for as long as Bob Dole could remember.

And in case you didn't know it already, serial numbers back then were actually serial, so you can usually figure out the date of manufacture if you find one that has the date missing.

Dinny Blues
03-08-2006, 04:49 PM
The top section of the first one is there. It is very ornate w/a mirror, etc.

The one I just got doesn't have a top section, but it was only 10 bucks. I think I will keep it. They don't sell for alot, and I like furniture and decorations that make music.

The Estey reed organs are the ones that bring good money. These Kimballs, not so much. I just find the old engineering incredibly fascinating.

Dinny

Bob Dole
03-09-2006, 02:30 PM
The top section of the first one is there. It is very ornate w/a mirror, etc.

The one I just got doesn't have a top section, but it was only 10 bucks. I think I will keep it. They don't sell for alot, and I like furniture and decorations that make music.

The Estey reed organs are the ones that bring good money. These Kimballs, not so much. I just find the old engineering incredibly fascinating.

Dinny

Most of them had ornate mirrored tops originally, which is why people pulled them off and kept them while getting rid of the bulky organ.

They're very cool to look at and a good conversation piece. Bonus if someone can actually play them. Bob Dole's little house has a niche in the front room that might as well have been built for his.

Troy1220
03-09-2006, 04:43 PM
Cool..bet you can get around 9.99 for it on ebay!
Troy

el borracho
03-09-2006, 04:49 PM
Bob Dole will have to take a photo of his when he gets back to the house. It's nothing amazing to look at, but when it was resurrected, it had been in Bob Dole's grandparent's garage for as long as Bob Dole could remember.
Quit teasing golickbuttscrap.