Pipe Organ Database

a project of the organ historical society

Joseph Downer (1788ca.)

Location:

Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, PA US
Organ ID: 47458

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Status and Condition:

  • This instrument's location type is: Museums
  • The organ has been removed from this location and currently in storage.
  • The organ's condition is not playable.
We received the most recent update for this instrument's status from Database Manager on May 13, 2018.

Technical Details:

  • Chests: Slider
  • 5 ranks. 1 manuals. 5 stops.
All:
  • Chest Type(s): Slider chests
  • Position: Portable instrument, fully movable.
We received the most recent update for this division from Database Manager on May 13, 2018.
Main:
  • Manuals: 1
  • Stops: 5
  • Position: Keydesk attached.
  • Manual Compass: 49
  • Pedal Compass: 99
  • Key Action: Mechanical connection from key to chest (tracker, sticker or mix).
  • Stop Action: Mechanical connection between stop control and chest.
  • Console Style: Traditional style without cover.
  • Stop Controls: Drawknobs in vertical rows on flat jambs.
  • Combination Action: No combination action.
  • Pedalboard Type: No pedalboard.
We received the most recent update for this console from Database Manager on May 13, 2018.
Database Manager on December 08, 2010:

Updated through on-line information from Philip Maye. -- This is the earliest known organ built west of the Allegheny Mountains, by earliest known organbuilder this far west. It remained within the Downer family until 1920, when it was loaned to the Carnegie Museum, now Carnegie Museum of Natural History (CMNH), and and spent part of the next 40 years on loan to the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, to whom it was finally given in 1986. Another Downer organ was offered to the CMNH in 1978, but was turned down; it is unknown if this survives to the present.

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

Database Manager on December 06, 2010:

Identified through on-line information from Philip Maye. -- One rank has a 25 note compass, though it's currently unknown specifically which rank belongs to that toeboard.

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

Instrument Images:

Organ Case: Photograph from <i>The Pittsburgh Press</i>; image courtesy of Kelly Linn. Taken on 1954-03-14

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