The OHS Pipe Organ Database

BuilderID 737

Builder Identification

Melrose, Massachusetts, circa 1875-1915.

Additional Notes

  • Note from the OHS PC Database, derived from A Guide to North American Organbuilders, by David H. Fox (Organ Historical Society, 1991). Edited for the revised OHS Online Database website, 2017. -

    Boston Water Motors were made by Frank E. Whitney (died c. 1915) in Melrose, Massachusetts for 40 years [c.1875–c.1915.]

    Staff: D. P. Gosline.

    The water motor was a miniaturized, self-contained variation of the water mill. A pipe supplying water was attached on one side of a turbine case with an out flow pipe on the other. When the water supply was turned on, the turbine blades would spin, turning the central shaft which would turn a belt. Depending on the size of the motor, it could be used to power coffee grinders, drills, small lathes, or fans. The larger models were often used to power a blower for pipe organs before electricity became a reliable and easily available power source. -Ed.


    • Piano and Organ Purchaser-s Guide, Purchaser-s Guide to the Music Industries, (published by Music Trades, New York)

Database Entries

There are no entries in the database that describe organs by Boston Water Motor [Boston Hydraulic Motor Co.].

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