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2/3 Estey Minuette & Toys &
Chickering Ampico reproducing grand piano
Private Residence - Ridgewood, NJ



Estey Minuette Opus 2819
Fred Feibel at home in Ridgefield Park, N.J.
Playing his Estey Minuette, Circa 1929

(Revised 2013)

Estey Minuette Opus 2819
Picture: July, 2005

History

The Estey Organ Co. was founded in 1846 and was located in Brattleboro, Vt. Reed and pipe organs were made for residences and churches. It was famous for its Haskell bases which were "a pipe within a pipe" making the pipe speak an octave lower.

In 1929 an unusual Estey "Minuette" made for special requirements was delivered in Ridgefield Park, NJ to the home of prominent Paramount Theatre Organist Fred Feibel. The Minuette was the series of organs wherein three ranks were squeezed into cabinets requiring no more floor space than an upright piano.


Fred Feibel
(Source: Virtual Radiogram)

Theatre organs have a history of traveling, and this Estey was no exception.

"I got my Estey from a music teacher I worked with. She had gotten it from her minister who had it donated to him years earlier. The teacher in conversation told me she was throwing out this organ.

I called my wife and asked her if WE wanted a pipe organ. Up until this time I had never seen pipes up close. She thought the kids at school had gotten to me. We felt that it might be used in the church where she was the organist.

So I dragged it home (physically), not knowing what damage I was doing to the relay switches. Through my wife's' sister we met Frank Cimmino who kindly, after telling us it was an organ, agreed to help me assemble this monstrous jigsaw puzzle." It arrived as a complete organ but all in bits and pieces with no directions for assembly.

 

"He visited me once a week and gave me my instructions for that weeks work. With the help and excellent directions from a well-known theatre organist Frank Cimmino the organ was assembled. I got the organ in June of 1962 and that December we had our first pipe organ New Years Eve Party, with one rank, the Tibia Clausa (flute) playing." The unique properties of the organ were soon realized. Fred Feibel had designed it as a theatre organ, but it was also very suitable for church work.

"As you can see in the picture of the organ in our home above there seems to more to it."

"An organ friend, Bruce Louden who had a large collection of organ parts, but nothing playing pulled up to my house one day with a Deagan Vibra Harp, which is behind the organ and all the Toy Counter instruments you see above the organ and said "connect these things so I can hear them" Over the years he would visit and enjoy HIS organ in my organ."

"The Chickering grand piano came with my wife when we married. One evening Frank explained that the decal on the piano's fall board meant that it had been an Ampico Reproducing Piano. My wife said that the store she got the piano from told her they had removed the player parts. She said "I don't care". I immediately began looking for the replacement parts. Another friend in Minneapolis found them and brought them out to me and began installing them. When it was playing I connected the piano to the organ so that we had an organ with piano attached."

"Through the years we have hosted many GSTOS meetings and gatherings here. It has been great fun."

Specifications

Opus. 2819 1929 New York NY Estey Studio, later sold to Fred Feibel, Full Factory Specs - Shop Order

Analysis
4 Vox Humana              61 Pipes
8 Stopped Diapason    85 pipes
16 String                         85 Pipes

Accompaniment
16 Violone
  8 Vox Humana
  8 Viola
  8 Gedeckt
  4 Vox Humana
  4 String
  4 Flute
 
Accom. Second Touch
8 Tibia Clausa
4 Flute d'Amour
4 Violina
2 2/3 Twelfth
2 Piccolo

Pedal
16 Contra Viol
  8 Viola
  8 Flute
Swell
16 Tibia Clausa (TC)
16 Bass Viol
  8 Vox Humana
  8 Oboe (Syn)
  8 Clarinet (Syn)
  8 Tibia Clausa
  8 Violin
  8 Saxophone (Syn)
  4 Vox Humana
  4 Flute d'Amour
  4 Violina
  2 2/3 Twelfth
  2 Piccolo
  1 3/5 Tierce

Tremolo


The pipes are squeezed into the organ case.
Source: Estey Pipe Organ Virtual Museum

(Revised 2006)

References:

  • Sept. 1997 GSTOS Newsletter & July 2005 email from current organ owners.
  • Estey Pipe Organ Virtual Museum (Special thanks to Phil Stimmel for picture permission)
  • Fred Feibel - Sounds of American Organists @ Virtual Radiogram (Special thanks to Ian McIver for picture permission)
  • Junchen's Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Organ Vol. 1

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