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Ottawa House By-the-Sea


Accession number: 1980.1.1
Date: 1832
Materials: Wood,glass
Marks/Label: Possible makers mark on organ, above keys? (Thomas Organ and Woodstock Ont painted above keys?)
Narrative: Belonged to the Methodist Church and then to William Sterling.

The organ is a musical instrument which produces sound by projecting air through pipes or reeds  by pressing foot pedals which send air through bellows which make the sound. Reed organs like the one seen here were mass produced in the nineteenth century most commonly used in churches and homes and occasionally in theatres to accompany silent films. Reed organs are believed to have been developed in Asia around 1100 BC.They eventually became popular in Europe and spread to other parts of the world. Reed organs were recognized for and became popular for being considered easy to move, maintain and being cost efficient. 
This reed organ is built in a piano case. This method of construction became popular around 1905. Pianos were quickly becoming more popular than organs. Many organ manufactures turned to creating pianos to stay in business, and for awhile made organs inside of piano cases to try to stop the organ from becoming obsolete. This particular organ is designed similar to Victorian parlour organs with its decorative embellishments. Elaborate carvings, mirrors and painted panels are all common decorative features. 
This organ was possibly made by the Thomas Organ company of New York which was founded by Daniel Thomas in 1820.There is a  Thomas Organ Company of Woodstock Ontario founded in 1875.This companies start date may be too late according to initial information.
More information or a maker’s mark is needed to determine which company made this organ. 

A reed organ inside of a upright piano case. The cabinet is carved from wood in the Victorian style.
There are three carved back panels, decoratively carved legs (on wheels?) and a decorative railng with a framed mirror at the top.There are two pump,foot pedals at the bottom and a fallboard with one small handle at the front to cover the keys when not in use. 

History of Use: 1832 Thomas Organ, in a upright piano case. Came with a stool (See: 1980.1.1) This organ was used in the Old Methodist Church in Parsboro, N.S.