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3/24 Griffith Beach Private Residence - Little Falls, NJ

GB1 GB3

GB2

History

The organ, a 3 manual 24 rank Griffith Beach Theatre Organ, was built by Earl Beach and Company of New Jersey. The pipework is Gottfried except for a Barton Tibia Clausa and a Kinura of unknown origin. Earl Beach was an employee of Hope Jones, the father of theatre organ, when Jones first came to America from England to build the Ocean Grove Organ in the Ocean Grove Auditorium on the Jersey Shore. This is one of the most famous organs ever built. After Hope Jones departed from this job, the organ was cared for by Mr. Beach for some time.

With the death of Hope Jones, Earle Beach went into business for himself, building pipe organs for various schools, Masonic Temples and Theatres.

Our organ had been installed in the Elizabeth Masonic Temple Auditorium in 1928 and was removed by me in 1986. In December 1986 I was told that the Masonic Temple in Elizabeth was to be torn down to make room for condos and its entire contents were to be auctioned off. We bid on the organ and upon getting the papers for the sale, we were told we had 1 week to remove it. After working 3 days on the task of removing it piece by piece and laying it out on a lodge room floor we were told by the demolition contractor that the wrecking ball had arrived and the power was to be shut off and we would have to leave everything and leave the building.

Bruce Williams, who with his wife Jean was helping me remove the organ, brought this information up to me and I practically got on my knees and pleaded with the contractor to give us a little more time to at least save what was already removed and ready to go. He agreed to give more days.

Most of the windows in the building had already been removed and the cold December air made us work all the faster. By the end of the week all 1700 pipes, chests, regulators, toy counter, Xylophone, harp, chimes, blower and console were loaded on a moving van and on their way to their new home in Little Falls, NJ

We built a 30 X 55 foot room on the rear of our home and began the task of rebuilding and rewiring the organ for installation. We have replaced the old relay with a Devtronix computerized unit that has record-play back capabilities. We have a Moller Artiste roll player waiting to be hooked up so we can play paper rolls. We hooked up a piano making it playable from the organ console. The console was replaced by a more theatrical looking one and after about 4 years of part-time working, I had it playing. We are enjoying the music and friendships that we have made because of this instrument being in our home. We have had quite a few famous organists come here to play a concert or just have fun.

In the Masonic Temple the the organ chambers were located in the back of the building by the projection booth rather than on each side of the stage. The console was located on a side balcony. 16 ft Tibia Plenas were flat in the ceiling.

Author: Bob (current owner of the organ)  

New Jersey Organ Builder Earle J. Beach

Tibia Plena * 
Tibia Clausa 

Concert Flute * 
Flute Celeste * 
Dulce Flute * 
Spitz Flute * 
Open Wood Flute * 
Quintandina * 

Open Diapason * 
Second Diapason (currently removed) 
Double Open Diapason * 
Diaphone 

Post Horn * 
Kinura 
Tuba * 
Clarinet * 
Oboe * 
Vox Humana * 
Vox Humana II 
 

Violin * 
Violin Celeste * 
Viol D'Orchestre * 
Gamba * 
Salicional * 
 
Dulciana * 
Lieblich Gedecht * 

Harp * 
Orchestra Bells 
Glockenspiel 
Xylophone * 
Chimes * 
Piano 
Crysoglott 
 

Möller Console 
Relay: Devtronix Multi-Action with MIDI & record/playback capability 
 
 
 

Bass Drum * 
Crash Cymbal * 
Cymbal * 
Snare Drum * 
Tambourine * 
Castenets * 
Wood Block * 
Kettle Drum * 

Sleigh Bells 
Chinese Gong 
Train Whistle 
Automobile Horn 
Fire Gong 
Telephone Bell 
Siren 
Thunder Sheet 
 
 
 
 

*= original to organ 
 

 


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