Pipe Organ Database

a project of the organ historical society

Geo. S. Hutchings (& Co.) View Extant Instruments View Instruments

Distinction:

Boston, 1884-1908; Waltham, Massachusetts, 1908-1911.
Classification: Builder

Update This Entry
September 19, 2015:

From OHS Database Builders editor, September 25, 2016. —

George Sherburn Hutchings, was born in Salem, Massachusetts, Dec 9, 1835. Trained as a carpenter, he joined the E. & G. G. Hook firm of Boston as a casebuilder in 1857, later becaming foreman. During the American Civil War, Hutchings served in the Union Army from 1861 until 1863. After his military service, he returned to the Hook firm and was appointed factory superintendent in 1863, a post he held until 1869 when he and two other staff members left to form a new firm with organist J. H. Wilcox.

Hutchings joined with fellow Hook alumnae Mark Plaisted and G.V. Nordstrom, in conjunction with John Henry Wilcox to form J.H. Wilcox & Co. of Waltham, Massachusetts (1869-1872). This firm became Hutchings, Plaisted and Company in 1872. Plaisted left in 1884 and the firm became Geo. S. Hutchings Company of Boston. Murray M. Harris apprenticed there 1889-1894. Ernest M. Skinner was employed there in the 1890s, he and Hutchings developed an electro-pnuematic action in 1895, a forerunner to Skinner's Pitman chests. Skinner left in 1901.

In 1901, Hutchings went into partnership with Edwin S. Votey (formerly of Farrand and Votey, vice-president at Aeolian at the time) as Hutchings-Votey and built a new factory in Boston. The partnership lasted until 1908 when the firm declared bankruptcy* and Votey left the firm. Hutchings reorganized as Hutchings Organ Co., of Waltham, Massachusetts. Hutchings continued building organs there until his death, he died June 1, 1913 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

*The financial panic of 1907 caused many business closings in 1907–08. —Ed.

Sources:

  • Richard Kassel, "Hutchings, George S." in The Organ: An Encyclopedia edited by Douglas Bush & Richard Kassel (Utah and New York: Psychology Press, 2006), 265-266.
  • Orpha Ochse, The History of the Organ in the United States (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1975) 233-235.

We received the most recent update for this note from Database Manager on January 31, 2020.

September 19, 2015:

For further information, see: Hutchings Organ Co., and Hutchings-Votey. See also Ernest M. Skinner.

We received the most recent update for this note from Database Manager on April 09, 2020.

October 30, 2004:

From the OHS PC Database, derived from A Guide to North American Organbuilders by David H. Fox (Organ Historical Society, 1991). —

Cabinetmaker; with E. & G. G. Hook firm of Boston, Massachusetts, 1857-1861, became foreman of casemakers, then factory superintendent; in Civil War; returned to Hook firm, 1863; partner with J. H. Wilcox, M. H. Plaisted and G. V. Nordstrom in J. H. Wilcox & Co. of Boston, Massachusetts, 1869-1872; in successor Hutchings, Plaisted & Co., 1872-1884; established George S. Hutchings & Co. of Boston, Massachusetts, 1884; firm merged with Votey Co. as Hutchings-Votey Organ Co., 1901-1908; partner with Emory W. Lane in Hutchings Organ Co. of Waltham, Massachusetts, 1908-1911; relocated business, 1911.

Patents held:

  • Patent #375,356; December 27, 1887; pneumatic action.
  • Patent #451,380; April 28, 1891; combination stop action.
  • Patent #164,585; June 15 1875; valve (jointly with G. V. Nordstrom).

Sources:

  • Boston Organ Club Newsletter, 125:18.
  • The Diapason, November 1917, 1.
  • Elizabeth Towne Schmitt.

We received the most recent update for this note from Database Manager on January 31, 2020.

Database Specs:

  • 310 Organs
  • 18 Divisions
  • 7 Consoles

This builder has been viewed 370 times.