1868 Odell Organ

Brothers John Henry Odell (1830-1899) and Caleb Sherwood Odell (1827-1892) founded the organ building firm of J.H. & C.S. Odell in 1859. They set up shop at a building on the corner of West 42nd Street and 9th Avenue in New York City and would become one of the longest lived organ-building firms established in the 19th century. The firm built just over 600 pipe organs and remained active in the Greater New York Metropolitan until 1983. Of the firm’s entire catalog, only about 70 instruments remain.

Canterbury’s pipe organ was originally built in their Manhattan shop at 407-409

West 42nd Street, in New York City. The organ was first installed in the Community Presbyterian Church of Chester, NJ where it served the congregation for over 100 years. Eventually, the instrument fell in to disrepair and was acquired in the 1990s

by Anthony Meloni of Meloni and Farrier Organ Builders in Rye, NY. The organ was finally restored by Meloni & Farrier in 2016 and acquired by Canterbury in 2019.

The specification of the instrument is consistent with “spec #4” as offered by the company in 1868:

MANUAL (Expressive)
8’ Open Diapason (TC)
8’ Keraulophone (TC)
8’ Dulciana (TC)
8’  Clarionet Flute (TC)
8’ Stopped Diapason Bass (12 notes)
4’  Principal
2’ Fifteenth

16’ Bourdon     20 notes  (CC to G)

Manual/Pedal Coupler

The tuning temperament is set to Kellner’s Bach.

Below are scans of the original contract for the organ dated September of 1868:

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