Kingsland Manor Artifacts continued

This 1700s Colonial Is Steeped in History and Here Are Some Items You Should See When You Visit

Virtual Tour, Page Seven

A Tale of Two Instruments

In our Ballroom we have an attractive pump organ manufactured by Mason & Hamlin that was purchased for the Kingsland Manor. Wikipedia supplies a background on the company:

Mason & Hamlin was founded in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1854 by Henry Mason, son of Lowell Mason, the American hymn composer and musical educator, and Emmons Hamlin, a mechanic and inventor who had worked for melodeon makers Prince & Co. in Buffalo, New York.

Mason and Hamlin, Pump Organ, Kingsland Manor, Nutley NJ

They originally manufactured only melodeons, but in 1855 introduced the organ-harmonium or flat-topped cabinet organ. This design placed the bellows vertically and underneath the reeds, and served as the model for the suction operated American-style reed organ. By the early 1870s they were considered the largest and most important manufacturer of reed organs, employing about 500 and producing as many as 200 instruments a week. Mason & Hamlin supplied organs to several prominent composers, notably Franz Liszt, whose name the company applied to their patented selective sustain mechanism for organs comparable to the sostenuto in pianos.

Based on the serial number of the organ – 179134, and the style – 3329, we believe that our instrument was produced in 1888 or 1889.


Carhart & Needham melodion, Kingsland Manor, Nutley NJ

Piano Style Melodeon

In our Parlor we have a Melodeon made by Carhart & Needham. The company was founded 1846 in Worcester, MA by Elias Parkman Needham, and Jeremiah Carhart. In 1855 the company became Carhart, Needham & Co. with the introduction of another partner, Samuel C. Swartz until 1865 when Samuel died. The company was again named Carhart & Needham and remained so until the death of Jeremiah Carhart in 1868 when the name was changed to E. P. Needham & Son. Logically, our Carhart and Needham melodeon was built between 1865 and 1868 based on the name plate on the case.

Our piano style Melodeon was donated to the Trust by Mr. and Mrs. Clifford Wells of Whiting, NJ in 1974.

The description entered when the Melodeon was received by the Trust: Burled wood 45 inches wide x 31 inches high and 22-1/2 inches depth; 25 black keys; 36 white keys; legs 4 – heavy, 8-sided, tapered at bottom; foot pedals placed in wooden lyre-shaped frame.

The mechanism of a melodeon is like the Mason & Hamlin suction operated reed organ. Air from the bellows is pulled into the organ reed and not pushed like most other pump organs. Our Melodeon is displayed in our Parlor.

Kingsland Manor Balloom Concert, October 12, 2003, Nutley NJKingsland Manor Balloom Concert, October 12, 2003, Nutley NJ

On October 12, 2003, there was a concert in our Ballroom. The Mason & Hamlin organ and the Silas Mountsier III, Mathushek Spinet Grand piano were played. If anyone remembers the concert and the names of the women who played these instruments, please send a comment so that we can recognize them.


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