The OHS Pipe Organ Database

BuilderID 1326

Builder Identification

Ivoryton, Connecticut, c. 1860.

Additional Notes

  • Note from the OHS PC Database, derived from A Guide to North American Organbuilders, by David H. Fox (Organ Historical Society, 1991). Edited for the revised OHS Online Database website, 2017. -

    Samuel M. Comstock was a partner with George A. Cheney in Comstock, Cheney & Co. in Ivoryton, Connecticut, c. 1860, the firm made keyboards for pianos and organs.


    • David Junchen, Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Organ, Vol. 2 (Pasadena: Showcase Publications, 1990), 833.

  • See main entry: Comstock, Cheney & Co.


  • From OHS Database Builders Listing editor Stephen Hall, December 2, 2016. -

    Samuel Merritt Comstock, born in 1809. After an early partnership to produce screwdrivers and ivory goods, Comstock set out on his own to manufacture ivory products. Earlier in the century, a machine invented by Deacon Phineas Pratt of Essex, enabled the cutting of ivory for combs and other fine items. Comstock continued to refine the process and eventually concentrated on the manufacture of ivory piano keys and piano actions.
    George Cheney, ivory importer and salesman, became partner with Samuel Comstock in 1862; the company became known as Comstock, Cheney & Co. When Comstock died in 1878, George Cheney headed the company. although Comstocks sons remained with the company. The company merged with Pratt, Read & Co. in 1936 doing business by that name. They struggled on making ivory keys until the late 1980s.


    • (Essex Historical Society website, "History of Essex, CT" ( accessed Sept 13, 2015)


  • From the OHS Database Builders Listing editor, December 2, 2016. -

    Pratt, Read & Company, long associated with the Connecticut River Valley, closed as a piano parts manufacturer in the late 1980s. Harwood Comstock, a great-great-grandson of Samuel M. Comstock, carried on the corporate name as president of the Pratt-Read Corporation. The company, now called Pratt-Read Tools and based in Illinois, manufactures screwdrivers, the same product that was Samuel-s first business venture in 1834.


    • (CTHumanities website "Connecticut History.Org" ( accessed Sept 13, 2015)


  • Suggested for further reading:


Database Entries

There are no entries in the database that describe organs by Samuel M. Comstock.

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