The OHS Pipe Organ Database

BuilderID 768

Builder Identification

Providence, Rhode Island, 1842-1843.

Additional Notes

  • Note from the Organ Database Builders editor Charles Eberline, July 15, 2017. -

    According to Barbara Owen, in 1842 John Bowden added a Swell to Great coupler to the Thomas Johnston organ in St. John-s Church in Providence, Rhode Island. 1 This organ had originally been in Concert Hall in Boston, Massachusetts; it had been replaced by a Snetzler organ in 1763 and had been sold to what was then King-s Church in Providence in 1771.2 However, in 1834 the firm of E. & G.G. Hook installed its opus 14 in St. John-s Church, an organ with 2 manuals and 22 registers.3 This organ is ID 15897 in the Organ Historical Society Pipe Organ Database. According to information from Scot Huntingon in that entry, "In 1842 a Swell to Great coupler was added. This organ was sold to Christ Church Episcopal, Springfield, Massachusetts in 1851.� 4 This suggests that Bowden added the coupler to the Hook organ; further research may substantiate or refute this conclusion.


    1. Barbara Owen, The Organ in New England: An Account of Its Use and Manufacture to the End of the Nineteenth Century (Raleigh: Sunbury Press, 1979), 25.
    2. Ibid, 24. King-s Church was renamed St. John-s Church in 1794 and the Cathedral of St. John in 1929; it closed in 2012 because of declining membership. Wikipedia, accessed July 19, 2017,,_Rhode_Island). Owen, Organ in New England, 398, anachronistically states, "JOHN BOWDEN made additions to the organ in King-s Church, Providence, Rhode Island in 1842.� David H. Fox, "Bowden, John,� in A Guide to North American Organbuilders (Richmond, Va.: Organ Historical Society, 1991), 59, paraphrases this statement as "Repaired organ in Providence, RI, 1842-1843.� His entry on Bowden is unchanged in the revised edition of his Guide, (Richmond, Va.: Organ Historical Society, 1997), 78.
    3. "List of Organs built by Hook & Hastings Co.,� booklet, May 1, 1895, in The Hook Opus List, 1829-1916 in Facsimile: With a Compiled List of Organs 1916-1935 and Facsimiles of Promotional Publications, compiled by William T. Van Pelt (Richmond, Va.: Organ Historical Society, 1991), [11].
    4. Organ Historical Society Pipe Organ Database, accessed July 19, 2017,

  • / / / / Archived Note / / / /
    The following note is from a previous version of this entry; it has been superseded by the note above, which contains new information or corrects errors or inaccuracies.

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

    Repaired organ in Providence, Rhode Island, 1842-1843.


    • Barbara Owen, The Organ in New England (Raleigh: Sunbury Press, 1979), 398.

Database Entries

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