The OHS Pipe Organ Database

BuilderID 1587

Builder Identification

Buffalo, New York, 1865-c.1872; Erie, Pennsylvania, c.1873.

Additional Notes

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

    Partner with Augustus B. Felgemaker in Derrick, Felgemaker & Co. of Buffalo, New York, 1865-c.1872; the firm relocated to Erie, Pennsylvania, c.1873.

    Patent held:

    • With Augustus B. Felgemaker: Patent #77,703; 5 May 1868; portable pipe organ.


    • Orpha Ochse, The History of the Organ in the United States (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1975), 281.

  • From John Speller, via a post to OHS Members List September 12, 2008: -

    Quimby Pipe Organs is currently restoring E. & G. G. Hook Op. 488 of 1869, which has been obtained through the Organ Clearing House for Rainbow Mennonite Church, Kansas City. The organ is in original condition, retaining its original tracker action and with and its pipework in pristine condition at its original pitch and with cone tuning. It was originally built for Woodside Presbyterian Church in Troy, New York (the Hook Opus List erroneously listed it as Woodside Episcopal Church). Richard Hamar, who has been doing some of the work on the instrument for QPO in the firm's Warrensburg workshop, discovered the following pencil inscription on the casework: "Nov. 1, 1875 / S. L. Derrick / Cooperstown / New York."

    November 1875 was a year or two after Derrick & Felgemaker had moved from Buffalo, New York to Erie, Pennsylvania and very shortly after the firm had reorganized as A. B. Felgemaker & Co., presumably because Silas L. Derrick had left. I had no idea before that he then seems to have been working as an organ builder in Cooperstown, New York.

    • Reply from Scot Huntington: Thank-you John for supplying a missing piece of information to a puzzle I have been trying to solve for some time. I have an undated business card: "S.L. Derrick, Organbuilder Cooperstown, New York". I have been wondering if I could connect him to a very old organ relocated to the Middlefield Baptist Church at the turn of the century (internal inscription that it was repaired in 1833). The organ was heavily rebuilt at some point in its distant past, and was roughly converted from G-compass to C-compass either before or during its move to Middlefield (which is just over the hill from Cooperstown)."

    Also from John Speller: "In the 1880 Census Silas L. Derrick was given as resident in Middlefield, Otsego, New York. According to Google Maps this is 6.2 miles east of Cooperstown, so Cooperstown would probably have been the postal address. He had been born in New York City and his age was stated to be 42 (implying he was born circa 1838). His occupation was organ builder. He was married to Hattie Moore Derrick, who was also 42 and had also been born in New York City."

Database Entries

There are no entries in the database that describe organs by Silas L. Derrick.

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