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MOVING AN ANTIQUE PIPE ORGAN!
A good friend recently purchased an antique Moller 3/12 theatre pipe organ! (Originally installed in the lobby of the San Francisco Fox theatre in 1928) I was asked to help remove and transport it to storage so the new owner can build a room large enough to house this historic item! We actually played the organ before starting removal! It was removed from the Fox in 1963 and later installed in the home of Hal Wilmunder in Sacramento CA., untill Wendell Jacob of Davis Cal. purchased it and we then removed it. Wendell is the third owner of the organ since it's manufacture! I have had little prior experience with a device such as this, so it was quite a learning experience!! And quite a lot of work!! The original work time was estimated at 5-7 days, well, after 14 days we had the last piece moved!! 12-01-05 I had to close the guestbook due to spammers, sorry!
Date(s): September 9, 2004. Album by John Eickhof. Photos by John. 1 - 60 of 60 Total. 864 Visits.
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It was known as 'THE BEAST' it is a 1928 M.P.Moller 3 manual, 12 rank theatre pipe organ! Installed in a residence since it's 1963 removal from it's original home in the lobby of the Fox Theatre in San Francisco!

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This is the organ console or keyboard.. there are three keyboards (manuals) plus a number of pre-selects or 'stops' that cann arrainge the pipes in different order and sounds...

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Wendell Jacob, the new owner of this unbelievable instrument!

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Don Burford, a volunteer from the local Sierra Chapter of the ATOS (American Theatre Organ Society)is taking the swell shutters off the solo pipe chest...

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Looking into the Solo chest, there are approximately 7 ranks of pipes in here. A rank consists of approximately 64 or more pipes, one for each note!

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detail of the metal pipes...

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more metal pipes plus some of the Tibia Clausa wooden pipes

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This is the original Moller Artiste roll player that would automatically play the organ when an organist was not available!

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These are the 'swell shutters' or basically the 'volume control' of the organ! If opened fully, the full volume of the pipes would be heard!

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This is back of the organ console.

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a closer look at the piano..all the keys are operated by vacuum!

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another view of The Beast looking at the solo chest in the background..

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This sign describes it all perfectly!!

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This is the air blower that supplies all the pressurized air to operate the organ and the pipes, it has a 5 HP motor attached to a specially designed air blower...the rigging I set up is shown here in order to lift the 300lb motor off the frame...

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you can see the blower partially disassembled in the back ground...

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the motor is free...

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this is the blower rotor, it is high volume and can supply 1300 cfm into 7" static pressure!! That's a LOT of air!!

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This is the blower housing..all made of hardwood and dampened for sound...

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This is the all steel blower mainframe!

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electrical controls for the blower..

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The frame weighs in at 250 lbs or more!!

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The nameplate of the blower..made in 1928!

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Here is the mother / daughter team of Barbara and Beverly Harris of the Sierra Chapter ATOS, wrapping and packing the metal pipes into crates for transport..they labled each one too! I learned a lot about the various types of pipes!

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One of the 6 crates to be filled with the metal pipes alone!!

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when filled the crates weighed in at over 300 lbs each!!

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here is Wendell in a contorted position attempting to remove a wind "air' pipe from one of the chests!!

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another view...the working space was very tight!!

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yes that is his hand and screwdriver!!

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this is some of the Tibia wooden pipes..the lowest note pipe is over 16 feet tall, and weighs over 200 lbs!!

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this is the back of the 'relay' it is the heart of the organ..the relay takes electrical signals from the console and relays them to the proper pipes via electrical and air power!

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these are two of the many air regulators the make certain that the proper air or wind pressure id provided to each part of the organ...

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this is a large chime above the relay..I estimate it's weight at 400 lbs or more, it will be a tough thing to get down!

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this is an electric siren, it is part of the sound effects that the organ can produce!! It was originally suspended above Main street in Placerville, Cal.! It was not part of the original organ!

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here are some of the thousands of electrical connections that will have to be rewired when the organ is re-installed!

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Here is a set of chimes located in the 'main' chest..

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More pipes in the 'main' chest...

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and more pipes!!!

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This is the percussion and sound effects section...there is everything from drums to a model T claxon horn here!! All air operated!!

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Here is the first load on my trailer...you can see the larger wooden Tibia pipes as well as the crates of metal pipes! Note that this organ was ordered and made entirely of birch wood!! Very pretty indeed!

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the blower parts are visible in this shot!

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more crates of pipes...

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the blower itself made it on this load too!..

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here are some pipe chests waiting for the next load...

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the bass drum and other pieces awaiting transport!

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these are two Metal Harps in the main chest awaiting removal..

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heres that big Liberty Harp again, now the relay has been moved...

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here is a typical pipe chest..these are the units that contain all the electro magnets and valves to supply air to each pipe as it is played..they are very heavy!!

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looking at the xylophones in the main chest again...also heavy!

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the Metal Bar Harp hammers after they were out of the chest...

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one of the Metal Bar Harps...about 6 feet long!

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here we are looking at Wendell's dining room after unloading all the Diapason pipes! up to 18 feet long! things are getting a little crowded!!

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Finally, we had all the smaller stuff out, it was time to call in the reserves!! Jimmys Piano Movers came to do the tedius work!

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There were seven items we needed a professional to move...the Console, the Artiste Player, the Piano, the large chests, the relay, and the large chime!

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Jimmy's crew has the piano, the Artiste player, and some other items in the truck...

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here they are unloading the console at Wendell's home...for storage

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the console is about 7 feet wide, 5 feet high and 4 feet deep!!

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next they unload the truck into Wendell's garage...

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one of the three large chests gets transported into the house..

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a look at the consloe on the porch awaiting its move into the house..

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back at the original location, the wall has been cut out so a large lift can be postioned to lower the chimes down for loading..This is when I ran out of pictures! I will add more when the organ is installed sometime in 2005!!!

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