The keys are the original Bakelite, restored and polished. All the stop names and the gold lettering have also been renewed to be historically accurate.
The stool is original, and is completely refinished and upholstered with tufted crushed red velvet.
This family heirloom 1889, Loring & Blake, Palace Parlor pump organ spent its entire life in a southern home. When its owner moved North, the organ was brought along by a family member. Unfortunately, the person doing the transport felt it necessary to remove nearly every single screw and part from the instrument to make it fit in the vehicle. Not knowing how to disassemble a pump organ, they took many extra things apart that were not required. In the process, some parts were lost, and others were broken, greatly complicating the rebuilding effort.
One of the positive aspects of rebuilding a Loring & Blake organ is the old adage, that 'The quality went in before the name went on.' The craftsmanship in these Palace organs was top notch, and the engineering was light years ahead of most other organ makers of the time. The stops were made to work simple and smooth. The grand organ and knee swell are fixed in place, preventing a lot of rattle and damage. And the reedpan and cell block are of the very best quality. Every part of the organ is easily accessible for service and the tone quality is excellent.
J. W. Loring and Rufus W. Blake began the Loring, Blake & Company at Worcester, Massachusetts, in the year 1868. Both Loring and Blake had done their apprenticeship with the Taylor and Farley Organ Company of New York. Taylor and Farley date back to 1830, and were very large makers of reed organs.
W. W. Whitney and W. H. Currier were also primary investors in the venture with Loring & Blake, as Whitney operated an organ factory in Toledo, Ohio from 1860. He joined into partnership with Currier in 1870, and their operation was known as the "Palace Of Music," This became the source of the "Palace" name for Loring and Blake organs.
Loring & Blake prospered so well that it was necessary to relocate the factory four times by 1881. Their final move was to the Toledo, Ohio factory owned by Whitney and Currier, and the name of the company was changed to The Loring & Blake Organ Company. While Blake kept some interest in the company, he actually departed the firm in 1873, to become the secretary and general manager of the Sterling Organ Company, of Derby, Connecticut. While Sterling began making organs in 1866, they apparently needed the expertise that Blake could offer.
W. W. Whitney became the new president of Loring & Blake, and (along with Currier, as vice-president) ran the business well until 1899. By that time the piano had become the primary source of home entertainment and organ sales were on the decline nationwide.
Loring & Blake consolidated operations with the Taber Organ Company of Worcester, Massachusetts. All Loring & Blake organs made after 1900, came from the Taber Organ Company factory.
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The advertisement in the center frame is from a Loring & Blake Organ (and sewing machine) dealer in Maine.
Speaking of Loring & Blake organs made in 1889, here is another a family heirloom organ, which is also back home in New Jersey.