Wicks Organ Company
The Wicks Organ Company was founded by Adolph Wick, John F. Wick, and Louis Wick in the early 1900s at their jewelry and watch making store in Highland, Illinois. A local priest asked John Wick to study organ. He studied organ at St. Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri and then became the church organist. The church later decided to replace an old reed organ with a pipe organ.
The brothers utilized their skills in watch making, cabinet making, and jewelry to construct a small, two manual and pedal, mechanical action pipe organ for the church.
They incorporated as the Wicks Organ Company in 1906.
The Wicks Organ Company invented, patented, and trademarked the Direct Electric chest action. This action was created in 1916 and it is still in use today. The chest action is not affected by temperature or humidity and it does not have to be re-leathered like tubular pneumatic or electro-pneumatic action.
The Wicks opus list encompasses over 6440 instruments installed mostly in the U.S. and some throughout the world. In January 2011, the company announced it would phase-out manufacturing, a decision driven largely by changing tastes in church music.
- Hillig, T. (2011) Highland pipe organ maker to halt production, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 13.