The OHS Pipe Organ Database

BuilderID 256

Builder Identification

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, c. 1882-c. 1920.

Additional Notes

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

    Born March 18, 1846 in Petersville, Pennsylvania; active in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, c. 1882-c. 1920 as an organist, and music store operator; died 1926 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


    • Elizabeth Towne Schmitt.
    • The Tracker, 9:2 (Spring, 1965), 9.

  • From the OHS Database Builders Listing editor, updated March 8, 2016. -

    Cornelius Absalom Bachman was born March 18, 1846 in Petersville [possibly Pennesville1], Pennsylvania. He was active in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, c. 1882-c. 1920 as an organist, and music store operator; he died December 251, 1926 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    He is mentioned in passing by Eugene McCracken in an article in The Tracker2 as part of the German influence in the 1870s along with Felix Barkoff and Bernard Mudler. This is somewhat puzzling because Barkoff and Mudler headed sizable firms engaged solely in organ building, while Bachman was an organist and store owner. If he built instruments, he must have followed the older pattern of organ crafting as described by Orpha Ochse:

    At a time in our history when large factories claim the greater part of our attention, it is both interesting and important to note that some old traditions continued. There was still the solitary craftsman, turning out a few instruments, working at other crafts, and in general folowing a pattern that dated back to the earliest organs built in the colonies.3


    1. Find-a-Grave Website, accessed Dec. 9, 2015.
    2. Eugene McCracken, Pennsylvania, The Keystone State" The Tracker 3:4 (January 1960), .
    3. Orpha Ochse. The History of the Organ in the United States (Indiana University Press, 1975), 284.

Database Entries

There are no entries in the database that describe organs by Cornelius Absalom Bachman.

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