In the shadow of the Master
Ernest Skinner, genius American organbuilder, was born in Clarion, Pennsylvania in 1866. He began his organbuilding career in the workshop of George Ryder in Taunton, Massachusetts at the age of twenty, and continued with Hutchings-Votey where he rose to factory superintendent. In 1902 he entered into partnership with James Cole. That partnership was dissolved in 1904 and Ernest M. Skinner & Company was formed. After World War I, the company was re-organized with Arthur Marks as President and Ernest Skinner as Vice-President ? and the company was renamed The Skinner Organ Company.
Ernest Skinner?s many innovations included the invention of the Pitman Windchest, Whiffle-tree Expression Engine, and a design system for the organ console that is recognized as one of the most comfortable, user-friendly system.
This wonderful organ built in 1922 includes several signature voices developed by Skinner including the mellifluous FlŁorn and Erzšer. (Though the specification lists French Horn 8?, we did not see pipes for such during our initial inspection.) Each manual includes an independent Diapason 8?, and the Bass voice is a majestic 16? Open Wood Diapason.
This magnificent and complete instrument is a wonderful candidate for a true restoration as all pipework and interior components are in impeccable condition.
Your visit to see and hear this organ can be part of a ?Skinner Pilgrimage? ? his burial site is in Bethel, Maine, about 45 minutes from the church.