The OHS Pipe Organ Database

BuilderID 2540

Builder Identification

New York City, New York, 1824-1827.

Additional Notes

  • From the OHS PC Database, derived from A Guide to North American Organbuilders by David H. Fox (Organ Historical Society, 1991). —

    Partnership of Thomas Hall and Henry Erben in New York City, New York, 1824-1827.

    Staff: James Hall (brother of Thomas).


    • Stephen Pinel.

  • From the OHS PC Database Builders Listing editor, Mar 20, 2016 —

    After leaving the partnership of Hall & Erben, Thomas Hall would move on to form a new partnership with John Labagh - Hall & Labagh (1846-1868) succeeded by Hall, Labagh & Co. when James Kemp became junior partner in 1868. Hall retired in 1872.

    After leaving his brother's firm in New York City, James Hall spent some time in Philadelphia, then established his own short-lived firm in Baltimore in 1845. The firm was acquired by Henry Erben later in the same year, James stayed on with Erben as his foreman.


    • Compiled by the editor from other notes in the OHS Database.

  • From the OHS PC Database Builders Listing editor, Mar 20, 2016 —

    Thomas Hall had previously operated his own firm where his brother James had worked. Hall took Henry Erben as an apprentice in 1816, Erben completed his apprenticeship in 1823 and -after taking his own father to court to obtain the funds- became a partner in the firm in 1824. The partnership was short-lived, Erben was a hard-driven entrepreneur who had brought more business to the firm than the more reserved Hall. But his ruthless business sense and quick temper made him a very difficult partner:

    "...the business marriage between Erben and Hall, was not one “made in heaven?, for within three years, the partnership between the two was dissolved, with Erben becoming the sole owner of the establishment."

    Erben would continue his new firm as sole owner, becoming one of the most productive builders of the 1800s through a combination of high-quality work, extensive advertising, and his cultivation of clients, particularly in the southern coastal cities. His business therefore suffered due to the Civil War and post-war Southern economy. The Panic of 1873 compounded his business woes and the stubbornly independent businessman was forced to accept a partner again, this time William M. Wilson in Henry Erben & Co.


    • Robert C. Delvin, "A Tale of Two Organs: Henry Erben and Apalachicola, Florida" (2000). Scholarly Publications. Paper 3., accessed Oct 13, 2015.

Database Entries

There are 9 entries in the database that describe organs by Hall & Erben.

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