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The Vocalion Organ. A Historical Overview. Roots in England with James Baille Hamilton Introduced In Worcester, MA. 1885 Hamlton Vocalion Mfg. Co. 1886 Mason & Risch New York-Worcester 1890 Aeolian Ownership 1903 Demise 1910.

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the vocalion organ
The Vocalion Organ
  • A Historical Overview.
    • Roots in England with James Baille Hamilton
    • Introduced In Worcester, MA. 1885
    • Hamlton Vocalion Mfg. Co. 1886
    • Mason & Risch New York-Worcester 1890
    • Aeolian Ownership 1903
    • Demise 1910
special features of vocalions that sets them apart from all others
Special Features of VocalionsThat Sets Them Apart From All Others
  • Vocalions operate on pressure/positive wind
  • Reeds are large scaled, for the most part.
  • All reeds of a particular note are winded (speak) from a common channel as in a pipe organ with slider chests
  • All stops are fitted with qualifying chambers (tubes) of differing dimensions based upon a particular sound desired.
  • Tone holes can be opened or closed at will
attributes of special features
Attributes of Special Features
  • Pressure generated tone projects from the organ case. Suction generated tone remains “localized”.
  • Large scaled reeds in conjunction w/QTs
  • Produce broad-bodied tonal effects.
  • Manipulation of tone holes makes valid “regulation” possible.
  • Reeds on a common channel are speech synchronized.
a tracker actioned instrument
A Tracker Actioned Instrument
  • Large scaled reeds require a chest that is wider than the keyboard.
  • Typical pump organs are of key-scale design. Valves are acted upon via pitman rods located beneath the keys.
  • Vocalions utilize a traditional backfall mechanism to spread the key scale to that of the chest. Connections are via trackers.
musical values
Musical Values
  • The long note pallets and associated square rail produce the authentic “pluck” that is characteristic of mechanical actioned pipe organs.
  • Diverse and diffused tonal egress as well as variety of sound make for valid registrational changes.
  • Octave Coupler brightens the overall sound.
  • Composition pedals allow crescendo/diminuendo.
the vocalion awakening
The Vocalion Awakening
  • My first Vocalion Experience, age 11 at Elks Memorial Service in Troy, NY. 1949
  • Repair of 17 rank at age 23, Stephentown, NY.1961
  • Acquisition of 9 rank Vocalion from a farmer’s porch. 1985
  • Stephentown Vocalion revisited and restored for new owner in 1989
the vocalion group
The Vocalion Group
  • More Vocalions came to COC for restoration. Calls from out of town seeking help.
  • Rockwood Vocalion on Cape Cod and personal acquisition of my Vocalion in 2004 posed a question. How many were there and where are the extant ones?
  • The Vocalion Group was formed in Nov 05.
sources of information
Sources of Information
  • Existing lists from COC, Keith Williams,Jim Tyler and Jim Bratton.
  • Volunteer info from England, Holland, Germany and Australia.
  • Periodicals and advertisements.
  • Unsolicited Emails
status quo and where to go
Status Quo and Where to Go?
  • There have been 283 Vocalions identified since the founding of the Vocalion Group.
  • Lowest number is 546; highest is 7420
  • We will keep it alive until?
  • Info remains for someone else to develop as more information is uncovered in the future.