The OHS Pipe Organ Database

BuilderID 1069

Builder Identification

Van Nuys, California, 1912-1929.

Additional Notes

  • From Organ Database Builders editor Charles Eberline, May 6, 2018. -

    David Junchen reproduced a letter, headed "Van Nuys Calif. II/18/64,” from Paul Carlsted to Tom B-hend, compiler of a history of the Robert-Morton firm, in which Carlsted stated:

    I date my particular interest in this compilation of data to the year 1912, when I came out to Los Angeles, having left the W.W. Kimball Co. that year to seek out the organ company I had been told was operating in Los Angeles. I was hired by Mr. E.A. Spencer, in September of that year and remained with the company as draughtsman, and in the late years of their operations as Assist. Superintendant, [sic] untill [sic] they ceased operations in 1929 except for a short period of time in 1919 when the plant closed, and I returned to the Kimball Co.---and came out again when the company resumed operations.
    Carlsted did not say anything in his letter about his career after Robert-Morton ceased operations. Junchen also reproduced the patent drawing of Carlsted-s unit chest and gave further details of his activities at Robert-Morton.


    • David L. Junchen, Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Organ, vol. 2 (Pasadena: Showcase Publications, 1989), 491 (reproduction of Carlsted-s letter to Tom B-hend), 496 (reproduction of the patent drawing), 498-500, 516, 557, 562.


  • Note from Organ Database Builders editor Stephen Hall, November 22, 2017. -

    Paul Carlsted was born c. 1892; he began with the Robert-Morton Co. of Van Nuys, California, as a draftsman, eventually rising to factory manager. One of his major contributions to the company was the redesign of the consoles shortly after starting there. The firm's earlier designs tended to be more conservative in a style associated with churches and concert halls rather than movie palace theaters. Carlsted brought a flamboyance in styling to better compete with Wurlitzer's over-the-top theater console styles.

    Carlsted also was responsible for a different chest style used by Robert-Morton after 1925. The Carlsted unit chest (U.S. Patent #1,711,989) held only one rank, and did not allow the most efficient use of floor space, but it was far lighter than the previously used design and thus allowing much easier to install. The new windchests placed the pouches very close to the magnets which exhausted them, and made it possible to locate all the serviceable elements of the windchest on the bottomboard, service was thus simplified.


    • David H. Fox.
    •, accessed November 22, 2017,
    • Information taken from the text of United States patent #1,711,989.

  • From the OHS PC Database, derived from A Guide to North American Organbuilders, revised edition, by David H. Fox (Organ Historical Society, 1997). -

    Born c. 1892; with Robert-Morton Co. of Van Nuys, California, factory manager.


    • Elizabeth Towne Schmitt.

Database Entries

There is one entry in the database that describes an organ by Paul Carlsted.

We are always interested in adding to our information about builders and correcting any errors that our Database may contain. If you can provide us with corrections or additions to the information presented here, please click the Update button and use the online form to send us details.

Your cooperation and support are greatly appreciated.


OHS Logo

This page was opened in a secondary window or tab. To return to the list of builders, simply close this tab.

At present we have no photographs that should be displayed on this page, though we may well have photographs under a related entry with a different form of the name. We would very much like to have photographs of all builders, nameplates, and other appropriate images in our database. If you can assist us with this project, please send a message to Our photo editor will be happy to assist you.