Reed Organ Collection

The “bread and butter” of the Estey Organ Company was the reed organ. Also referred to as the American Reed Organ, parlor organ, and pump organ, the reed organ was the most popular instrument of its day, gracing both chapels and fashionable American parlors.

Although there were many manufacturers of reed organs, Estey’s dominance in the market was due largely to the company’s innovations in both design and marketing.

The Estey Organ Museum is pleased to have a wide range of Estey reed organs in our collection, from utilitarian to highly decorative. Our collection includes early Estey melodeons, ornately carved organs for the home and chapel, diminutive children’s organs, and folding travel organs.

As our collection represents the history of reed organs in America, a number of early reed instruments by other American manufacturers supplement our Estey collection.

A Sampling of Reed Organs in Our Collection

  • The Perfect Melodeon

    Perfect Melodeon
    In 1855, Jacob Estey and H.P. Green formed a partnership to manufacture melodeons sold as the Perfect Melodeon.

  • Flat Top Cottage Organ

    Flat Top Cottage Organ
    In the 1860s, Estey & Co. added a Cottage Organ line, a reed organ with a rectangular case that enclosed the mechanisms of the instrument and two pedals to operate the bellows.

  • Grand Salon Reed Organ

    Grand Salon Organ
    By the 1880s, cases of Estey reed organs had become more decorative with elaborate high tops. The Grand Salon Organ exemplifies this style.

  • Acclimatized Folding Organ

    Acclimatized Folding Organ
    Estey organs accompanied Christian missionaries throughout world. To withstand the climatic challenges of the tropics, Estey developed an Acclimatized Organ in the late 1880s.

  • Chapel Organ with Decorative Pipes

    Chapel Organ with Decorative Pipes
    In the 1920s, Estey manufactured reed organs with non-functioning pipes to give the instrument the appearance of a pipe organ.

  • New Melodeon

    New Melodeon
    In the 1930s, Estey introduced the New Melodeon, a reed organ with the look of a melodeon and an internal blowing mechanism to replace foot pedals.

  • Electro-pneumatic Reed Organ

    Estey Electro-Pneumatic Reed Organ
    In the late 1930s, Estey introduced a line of reed organs with electro-pneumatic action in sleek “modern” cases.

  • Miniature Organs

    Estey Children’s Organs
    The EOM reed organ collection includes a number of Estey children’s organs from the mid-20th century. These fully-functioning instruments were designed for the young musician. Click here to read more about Estey children’s organs.