Showing results

Hide images

Reed organ

Reed organ, Canadian, 19th-C. Organ specialist, Christopher Gray reported: "Technically speaking, this is an American Organ, a type of reed organ. This as made by D.W. Karn and Company of Woodstock, Canada. Dennis Karn was a farmer and Musician, originally building violins as a hobby. About 1867 he joined John. M Miller, who was building one cabinet organ a week. In 1870 Karn bought out Miller. He retained the name Miller & Karn for some years, however, before he adopted the name D.W.Karn Co; in the 1870s the name Woodstock Organ Factory was also used. Production increased rapidly, and Karn’s factory was expanded several times and rebuilt after three fires. The company began to make pianos in the late 1880s. In 1896 it bought out the Warren & Son organ company of Toronto, and in 1897 it began to make Karn-Warren pipe organs (tracker, tubular pneumatic, and electro pneumatic), though reed organs remained in production for some time. The first Karn player piano was built in 1901. During the first decade of the 20th century, branch warerooms existed in London, Ontario; Ottowa, Winnipeg and Montreal (including a 750-seat Karn Hall on St Catherine St West), and branches in London and Hamburg. Besides operating his company, Karn was active in municipal affairs. He was elected mayor of Woodstock in 1889 and stood twice for election to Parliament. He retired in 1909, at which time the company amalgamated with the Morris piano makers of Listowel (north of Woodstock). The organ at Cotehele is a ‘Style OSP’ Serial number 26620. I cannot find an exact date, but the serial number suggests about 1889 as a date. The organ was certainly purchased locally, as there is a retailers transfer – H.E.Prout, 83 Old Town Street, Plymouth."

  • Maker:
    D.W. Karn Co Ltd. [Corporation]
  • Collection:
    National Trust, Cotehele
  • Inventory number:
  • Place of production:
    Woodstock (Timezone: America/Toronto)
  • Culture:
  • Period:
  • Materials:
  • Specific materials/techniques:
  • Decorative elements:
  • Inscriptions:
  • Hornbostel-Sachs category:
  • Repository:National Trust, Cotehele