Project: Shaw Kimball
Client: Shaw Estate

About The Project
DIMENSIONS        Footprint: 8’6” wide 5’8” deep (+ ~3’ for bench and organist)
                            Ceiling height required:  11 feet  

The instrument is a Kimball "boxcar" organ, so-called because they were shipped by box car, mostly assembled, to the far corners of the US between 1890 and about 1915.
I would consider the instrument 'adequate' as is for a practice organ, requiring only a little bit of improvement to be quite a first rate instrument.

The spec and dimensions are below.

The instrument came from a church in rural Wisconsin, and was moved to a private museum in Ohio -- a wealthy woman collected buildings and assembled her own frontier village, including a church.  When she died, the kids put everything on eBay.
The organ was rebuilt when it moved to Ohio, and the pipes now sit on direct-electric chests, with exception of the pedal bourdon.  The workmanship was not great, but is sufficient.   There are a few quirks that ought to be sorted out when the instrument comes apart .  The re-builder got some of the wiring messed up, and rather than fix the wiring, he moved a few treble pipes around.   

The pipework in general is in good condition.  There are a few trebles that could use some attention.

Overall, the tone is warm and rich.  It fills the room nicely without overpowering.  The room it is in is about double the size you would expect from the photograph.

The keys are the original Kimball keys intended for the original tubular pneumatic action.  As such, they are very deep.  They can be made shallower without much difficulty, but again this is best done while the instrument is apart for moving.   The key coverings are original, in good condition, and either celluloid or ivorine.  There is no ivory in the instrument, so it can be legally sold or transported across state lines.

To get reed tone without the tuning problems of a real reed (the temperature in the house varied widely) we added an Estey Oboe-Gamba on a new chest which sits on top of the swell box (and is not under expression).  This is a tenor C stop currently playing on the swell as a foil to the great Diapason.  

The Swell Gamba should originally have been a full compass 61 note stop, but the bottom octave was left out in the rebuild.  I don't know why.

The crescendo shoe does not function.
The swell is balanced mechanical.

The instrument uses a Peterson Diode-Matrix switching system.  The system could easily be expanded to make the current ranks available at different pitches,  or to address additional pipe or electronic voices, such as Hauptwerk.  

The case is quartered oak.  There are 5 pipes in each of the corner towers.  The remainder of the sides is quartered oak panel.  The Diapason is in the facade for 1-24, the remainder is in the single expression box, along with all of the other manual ranks.  (except the Oboe-Gamba as previously noted)  

The blower is included.  I don't remember the size off hand, but it fits in a 3 1/2  foot cube and can be carried by 2 people.  It is wired for 120 volts single phase.  The blower was originally installed right behind the instrument, but was moved to the basement to gain some space in the room.  If the blower needs to be in the same room, I would recommend an additional enclosure for sound proofing.

Terms of sale:  the executor's goal is to make the thing go away as quickly and as effortlessly as possible, so I can offer it as "free to good home, where is, as is." 

The house needs to be sold to settle the estate, so removal is as soon as possible, with the closing on the sale of the house as the drop dead date.  Probably the end of the summer, but the phone could ring at any time.
The house is in Boston MA.    


GREAT (Manual I, 61 notes, Enclosed)
8              Open Diapason (17 basses in facade, metal-61 pipes)
8              Dulciana (metal-61 pipes)
4            Violina  (metal-61 pipes)

SWELL (Manual II, 61 notes, Enclosed with Great)
8              Stopped. Diapason (wood-61 pipes)
8              Gamba T.C. (metal-49 pipes)
4              Flute D'Amour (wood and metal-61 pipes)

8'        Oboe-Gamba (tenor C) Estey flue pipes on a new chest, added in 2012

PEDAL (27 notes)
16            Bourdon (wood-27 pipes)

COUPLERS   Great to Pedal, Swell to Pedal, Swell to Great, Swell to Great Octave
ACCESSORIES       Swell Expression Shoe
                                 Crescendo Shoe
DIMENSIONS        Footprint: 8’6” wide 5’8” deep (+ ~3’ for bench and organist)
                            Ceiling height required:  11 feet