Austin Organs

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Austin Organs, Inc.

Austin Organs, Inc. is a manufacturer of pipe organs based in Hartford, Connecticut. The company is one of the oldest continuously-operating organ manufacturers in the United States. The first instruments were built in 1893 with the Austin Patent Airchest, and many remain in fine playing condition to this day.

Austin Organ Company was founded in 1898 by John Turnell Austin in Boston, Massachusetts. Austin was from England and had come to the United States in 1889. Prior to founding the company, Austin worked for Farand and Votey in Detroit, Michigan. His first organs were manufactured in Detroit, but he established his operation in Boston, moving to Hartford shortly thereafter where integrity was the mainstay for all generations to come.

Austin developed the Universal Air Chest System. This was an airtight chamber with the chest action on the ceiling of the chamber. A feature of this system was that the chest could be entered from below while the organ was turned on; this allowed for fine adjustments of the organ keying action. The modern (current) chest design was further developed in 1913, and has been refined over the years. In 1905 the company began building electric consoles; these have also been refined over the years.

During the Second World War, the company contributed to the war effort by constructing gliders.

The company became Austin Organs, Inc. in 1937. The current president of the company is Michael B. Fazio; the CEO is Richard G. Taylor. Marilyn H. Austin, wife of former president Donald B. Austin, remains with the company as "Executive Consultant" and CEO-Emeritus. She had taken over for her daughter, the (appointed president by DBA) Kimberlee J Austin. After a "re-structuring," The company continues to build instruments in the factory located at 156 Woodland Street in Hartford, Connecticut. This four-story edifice has been home to the company since 1937. It is located behind the building where the company originally moved after Boston. Over 2700 organs have been built with the Austin nameplate. The Austin name itself is a brand that echoes through time on its own as far as superior design, building, and tone are concerned.

Selected installations[edit]


  1. ^ Paul W. Motter (September 2003). "Remembering Wallace Sabin" (PDF). The San Francisco Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. Retrieved 2009-07-04. 
  2. ^ "Auditorium Organ History" (PDF). City of Chattanooga. Retrieved 29 July 2012. 
  3. ^ "Outline of St. Matthew History". 2 July 2011. 
  4. ^ "Austin Opus List" (PDF). Austin Organs, Inc. Retrieved 2011-05-06. 
  5. ^ "St. Florian's Church". September 2002. Retrieved 2011-05-05. 

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