The OHS Pipe Organ Database

BuilderID 617

Builder Identification

El Cajon, California 1960s-ca.1996.

Additional Notes

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

    Lyle Blackinton & Associates, Inc. was active in El Cajon, California, (from the 1960s?); the firm was still active in 1996.


    • Jim Lewis.
    • The American 0rganist, January 1983, 36.
    • The American 0rganist, May 1989,75.

  • From the OHS Database Builders Listing editor, November 7, 2016. -

    Lyle Blackinton & Associates, Inc. of El Cajon, California is a small firm, better known for service work and rebuilding than construction of new instruments. Despite the small number of new instruments produced, it has had a major impact on organbuilding by virtue of a new key action invented by Lyle Blackinton.

    The Blackinton action combins the traditional slider wind chest with the conveniences of an electric key action. The chest is identical to the mechanical key action instrument except for the redesigned pallet which now travels vertically rather than pivoting from one end and is operated by an electrical rather than mechanical connection to the keyboard.1 This style of wind chest quickly became popular with many builders. The chests are lighter and smaller than the traditional electro-pneumatic chest, and are much simpler (and therefore cheaper and faster) to re-leather as the number of valves is greatly reduced.2


    1. Jason Barnsley, Slider Chests (article on Patrick Murphy website) accessed Nov. 7, 2016.
    2. Randal Dyer.

Database Entries

There are 13 entries in the database that describe organs by Lyle Blackinton & Associates, Inc.

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Builder's Nameplate. Photograph by Angelina Ngo