Estey Organ Company - Brattleboro, Vermont
Posted by: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
N 42° 50.868 W 072° 33.993
18T E 698839 N 4746785
Historic former organ manufacturing company in Brattleboro, Vermont.
Waymark Code: WM4WPF
Location: Vermont, United States
Date Posted: 10/06/2008
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member Hikenutty
Views: 7

Of the many manufacturing firms that came into being during the last century, the most widely known was the Estey Organ Company.  This business was begun in 1846, but did not develop until 1855, when it became the sole property of Jacob Estey.  It was Estey's perseverance that triumphed over adversities--his factory was twice destroyed by fire and once devastated by flood -- to win pre[eminence for his product in its field.  During the latter half of the nineteenth century thousands of American women sewed till the small hours, picked berries under a blazing sun or rented the spare room, and saved their egg money in a cracked teapot on the top shelf with just one goal in mind: a black walnut Estey organ in the parlor.  The 'parlor organ' is almost as obsolete as the top buggy, but the Estey Organ Company now leads in the manufacture of multi-manual pipe organs for churches and private homes. - pg. 97

The Estey Organ Works, Birge St.,  occupy half a dozen slate-shingled buildings on a commanding plateau, the central elevation of three that rise up west of the main business district.  The buildings to the rear of, and at right angles to, the main plant are the 'dry-houses,' where wood for the cases and inner parts of the organs is thoroughly dried by a patented process.  The pant has a capacity of 1800 organs a month. - Vermont: A Guide to the Green Mountain State, 1937, Brattleboro Section, pg. 100

The Estey Organ Company went bankrupt during the Great Depression and its assets sold.  The company reorganized with the Estey family controlling the new company in a smaller scale. The new company operated manufacturing organs along with other products until purchased outright in 1953 by the Rieger Organ Company.  The factory closed in 1961 when operations were moved to California.  The buildings have since been converted to other uses.  The buildings are listed on the Register of Historic Places.  For a more complete history of the company see the National Register Nomination Form

Book: Vermont

Page Number(s) of Excerpt: 97, 100

Year Originally Published: 1937

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