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The Studebaker's Packard

Guest Earl

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Thought you might get a kick out of this one. It probably isn't what anyone is expecting, but this organ was made in Ft. Wayne Indiana in the early 1890's and so they would have bought it back when they were a buggy manufacturing outfit. The people I got it from said that it came from one of the grandchildren of the original owners and they sold all of the stuff out of the house back in the later 60's or early 70's. The organ was in Detriot so it would have ended up in whatever branch of the Studebaker family that ended up in that part of the country.

It will be a winter project for me this year or next. I won't keep it as I have another organ I like better. I got it on a trade deal. Packard made some really wild case designs back in the later 1880's & early 1890's. And I have no idea if there was any connection between them and the auto company.

And of course I have no way to prove any of this unless an old photo of one of the family homes turned up with this in view. But it seems reasonable. And organs like this one expensive and it's not your average Parlor organ.


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  • 2 weeks later...

The Packard outfit that made organs, and later pianos, was out of business by 1930. But the name was probably bought and used on the later stuff. That happened a lot in the piano trade. Something like 250 outfits were making pianos here in the US in the middle 20's and I think there are only 3 left now. And as the piano industry collapsed, the remaining companies bought up the names to get whatever patents they though were worth having. The fighter plane technology that was used in WWII depended some on player piano technology from the Link piano company. They also developed a fighter plane simulator using player piano technology for the guys to learn how to fly those planes. Since it all worked on suction, and works very quickly, it worked well for what they needed it for. It wouldn't surprise me though if Seeburg or Wurlitzer ended up with the Packard name somehow and used it in the 50's on something else.

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Thank you for posting the image of the Packard Organ, it is a splendid example of a top of the line product. Looks to have led a protected life in good care.

Wish I had a 9 foot ceiling room it would look good in.


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