The OHS Pipe Organ Database

BuilderID 4062

Builder Identification

Kansas City, Kansas 1938-85; Walnut Creek, California, by 1989.

Additional Notes

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

    Born 17 Mar. 1913 in Kansas City, Kansas; husband of Charlotte McManis, father of Philip L. McManis; studied organ at University of Kansas, 1937; part-time apprentice with Austin representative, 1933-1937; established Charles W. McManis Co. in Kansas City, Kansas, 1938, associated with Holtkamp Organ Co. of Cleveland, Ohio, 1941; in W. W. II; closed firm in Kansas City, Kansas, 1985; in Walnut Creek, California, by 1989, voicer and tonal finisher; in Woodbury, Connecticut, by 1992-1995. Died December 3, 2004, Burlington, Vermont.

    Staff: James F. Akright; Gene Bedient ; Edward T. Bollinger; (John Chrastina?); Charles R. Eames; Philip L. McManis.

    Patent #2,535,645; Dec. 26, 1950; organ pipe assembly

  • While serving in the U.S. military in Europe in World War II he studied organs in England and France; these were described in several articles he wrote for The American Organist. He was a charter member of the Organ Historical Society, and helped found the American Institute of Organbuilders. During his career, which spanned roughly sixty years, he built or restored nearly 140 organs across the U.S.
    Source: "Charles McManis," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed October 3, 2015).
  • Author: Wanted: One Crate of Lions autobiography by Charles McManis as well as a first person account of the US organ reform movement. (2008, Organ Historical Society, Richmond VA) [Available through OHS catalog]

Database Entries

There are 32 entries in the database that describe organs by Charles W. McManis Co.

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