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 (Richmond, Va.: Organ Historical Society, 1991). —

    Born March 17, 1913 in Kansas City, Kansas; husband of Charlotte McManis, father of Philip L. McManis.

    McMamis studied organ at the University of Kansas, 1937; was a part-time apprentice with an Austin representative, 1933-1937; he established Charles W. McManis Co. in Kansas City, Kansas, 1938, and was associated with Holtkamp Organ Co. of Cleveland, Ohio, 1941. He served in the United States Army in World War II. He closed his firm in Kansas City, Kansas, 1985; and was in Walnut Creek, California, by 1989, working as a voicer and tonal finisher. He lived in Woodbury, Connecticut, by 1992-1995. Charles McManis died December 3, 2004, in 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.


    • Correspondence of David H. Fox.
    • Uwe Pape, The Tracker Organ Revival in America, (Berlin: Pape Verlag, 1978), 424.
    • The American Organist October 1988, 93.
    • The American Organist April 1989, 92.

  • From Pipe Organ Database Builders editor, Stephen Hall, October 3, 2015. —

    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.


    • "Charles McManis," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, accessed October 3, 2015,

  • From Pipe Organ Database Builders editor, Stephen Hall, October 3, 2015. —

    Author: Wanted: One Crate of Lions autobiography by Charles McManis as well as a first person account of the United States organ reform movement. (Richmond Va.: Organ Historical Society, 2008).
    [Available through OHS Catalog.]

Database Entries

There are 34 entries in the database that describe organs by Charles W. McManis Co.

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