The OHS Pipe Organ Database

BuilderID 960

Builder Identification

Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1857–1901.

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). —

    Partner with Cyrus Tracy in Burnham & Tracy of Boston, Massachusetts, 1878.

    Builder's first and middle names and the location, Cambridge, Massachusetts were supplied by Charles Eberline. based on information in the directories of the place and period. —Ed.

    Sources:

    • Local directories of the period.
    • Barbara Owen, The Organ in New England (Raleigh: Sunbury Press, 1979), 398.
    •  

  • From Organ Database Builders editor Charles Eberline, April 8, 2018. —

    Barbara Owen gives the following information in The Organ in New England: “BURNHAM & TRACY are listed as organ builders in the Boston directory of 1878.”1 Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts, city directories contain the following listings for Charles T(heodore) Burnham and Burnham & Tracy (directory listings for Cyrus Tracy are included for years in which Burnham & Tracy is listed):

    1857, Boston, page 57: Burnham Chas. T. pianomaker, 514 Washington [See page 144: “Gilbert Lemuel, pianoforte manuf. 514 Wash.” Lemuel Gilbert (born February 10, 1804; died February 27, 1864) and his oldest brother, Timothy Gilbert (born January 5, 1797; died July 19, 1865), were “celebrated piano manufacturers.”]2

    1862, Boston, page 65: Burnham Charles T. pianomaker, h. Gold, near E [Charles T. Burnham, “pianomaker,” is not listed in the Boston directories for 1858 to 1861, but the directories for 1857 to 1862 list “Burnham, Chas. T.” (1857) and “Burnham, Charles T.” (1858 to 1862), “captain, house Gold, near E”; Captain Burnham was the piano maker’s father.]3

    1863, Boston, page 57: Burnham Charles T. pianomaker, h. Gold, near E

    1864, Boston, page 59: Burnham Charles T. pianomaker, h. Gold, near E.

    1865, Boston, page 71: Burnham Charles T. 239 Cambridge, bds. 59 Third [See page 443: “Woods Geo. melodeonmaker, 239 Cambridge, h. at Cambridgeport.”]4

    1866, Boston, page 77: Burnham Charles T. boards 103 Third

    1867 to 1876, Boston: [no Charles T. Burnham is listed]

    1872, Cambridge, page 77: Burnham Chas. T. organ maker, h. 20 Green

    1873, Cambridge, page 73: Burnham Chas. T. organ maker, house 20 Green

    1874, Cambridge, page 77: Burnham Charles T. organ-maker, house 20 Green

    1875, Cambridge, page 80: Burnham Charles T., organmaker, house 20 Green

    1876, Cambridge, page 78: Burnham Charles T., organmaker, house 20 Green

    1877, Boston, 151: Burnham C. T. (Burnham & Tracy), 32 Pemberton square, house at So. Braintree

    1877, Boston, page 151: Burnham & Tracy (C. T. Burnham and Cyrus Tracy), manufs. cab. organs, 32 Pemb. sq. rm. 2

    1877, Boston, page 878: Tracy Cyrus (Burnham & Tracy), 32 Pemberton sq. h. at S. Braintree

    1877, Boston, page 1062 (“Boston Business Directory,” under the heading “Organ Builders.”): Burnham & Tracy, 32 Pemberton square

    1877, Cambridge, page 78: Burnham Charles T., organ maker, house 13½ Franklin5 1878, Boston, page 151: Burnham C. T. (Burnham & Tracy), 10 Pemberton square, house at South Braintree

    1878, Boston, page 151: Burnham & Tracy (C. T. Burnham and Cyrus Tracy), manufs. cabinet organs, 10 Pemb. sq.

    1878, Boston, page 876: Tracy Cyrus (Burnham & Tracy), 10 Pemberton sq. h. at S. Braintree

    1878, Boston, page 1062 (“Boston Business Directory,” under the heading “Organ Builders.”): Burnham & Tracy, 10 Pemberton square

    1878, Cambridge, page 81: Burnham Charles T., organ maker, house 13½ Franklin

    1879, Boston, page 154: [No Charles T. Burnham or C. T. Burnham is listed.]

    1879, Boston, page 155: [Burnham & Tracy is not listed.]

    1879, Boston, page 907: Tracy Cyrus (Burnham & Tracy), 10 Pemberton sq. h. at S. Braintree 1879, Boston, page 1088 (“Boston Business Directory”): [Burnham & Tracy is not listed under the heading “Organ Builders.”]

    1879, Cambridge, page 51: [No Charles T. Burnham or C. T. Burnham is listed.]

    1880, Boston, page 160: [No Charles T. Burnham or C. T. Burnham is listed.]

    1880, Boston, page 1132 (“Boston Business Directory,” under the heading “Organ Builders.”): Boston Organ Co. 10 Pemb. sq. [This is the same address as that for Burnham & Tracy in the 1877 and 1878 directories, but there is no indication that either Charles T. Burnham or Cyrus Tracy had any connection with the Boston Organ Co. Burnham & Tracy is not listed.]

    1880, Cambridge, page 51: Burnham Charles T., h. 13½ Franklin

    1881, Boston, page 165: Burnham Charles T. organmaker, h. Chester block, Allston

    1881, Boston, page 1177 (“Boston Business Directory”): [Neither Burnham & Tracy nor the Boston Organ Co. is listed under the heading “Organ Builders.”]

    1881, Cambridge, page 54: Burnham Charles T., house 13½ Franklin

    1882, Boston: [No Charles T. Burnham or C. T. Burnham is listed in this or any subsequent Boston directory up to 1900.]

    1882, Cambridge, page 55: Burnham Charles T., piano action maker, Rhoades bldg., State, b. 87 Plymouth

    1883, Cambridge, page 71: Burnham Charles T., piano-action maker (Beech, cor. Washington, B.), boards 87 Plymouth

    1884, Cambridge, page 72: Burnham Charles T., piano-action maker Broadway, h. 87 Plymouth

    1885, Cambridge, page 86: Burnham Charles Theo., piano-action maker, 139 Broadway, h. 87 Plymouth [See page 324: Tower Sylvester, piano-key and action mnfr., 137 to 145 Broadway, house 17 Fayette.]

    1886, Cambridge, page 89: “ Chas. Theo., piano-action maker, 139 Broadway, house 87 Plymouth [“ is a ditto mark for the name “Burnham” in this directory, the 1887 directory, and the directories for 1897 to 1901.]

    1887, Cambridge, page 99: “ Charles Theo., piano action maker, 139 Broadway, h. 92 Winsor 1888, Cambridge, page 114: Burnham Chas. Theo., piano action maker, 139 Broadway, house 92 Winsor

    1889, Cambridge, page 114: Burnham Chas. Theo., piano action maker, 139 Broadway, house 92 Winsor

    1890, Cambridge, page 125: Burnham Chas. Theo., piano action maker, 139 Broadway, house 92 Winsor

    1891, Cambridge, page 133: Burnham Chas. Theo., piano action maker, 139 Broadway, house 92 Winsor

    1892, Cambridge, page 118: [Burnham] Charles Theo., piano action maker, 139 Broadway, h. 282 Winsor [The last name in brackets indicates that it is to be assumed from a preceding “Burnham” listing.]

    1893, Cambridge, page 121: [Burnham] Charles Theo. piano action maker, 139 Broadway, h. 282 Winsor

    1894, Cambridge, page 121: [Burnham] Charles Theo. piano action maker, 139 Broadway, h. 282 Winsor

    1895, Cambridge, page 125: [Burnham] Charles Theo. piano action maker, 145 Broadway, h. 282 Winsor

    1896, Cambridge, page 139: [Burnham] Charles Theo.piano action maker, 145 Broadway, h. 282 Winsor [There is no space between “Theo.” and “piano.”]

    1897, Cambridge, page 143: “ Charles Theo. foreman, 145 Broadway, h. 282 Winsor

    1898, Cambridge, page 144: “ Charles Theo. foreman, 145 Broadway, h. 282 Winsor

    1899, Cambridge, page 135: “ Charles Theo. foreman, 145 Broadway, h. 282 Winsor

    1900, Cambridge, page 139: “ Charles Theo. foreman, 145 Broadway, h. 282 Winsor

    1901, Cambridge, page 122: “ Charles Theo. foreman, 145 Broadway, h. 282 Winsor [This is the last listing of Charles Theo. Burnham in the Cambridge directories up to 1910.]

    A death notice in the Cambridge (Massachusetts) Chronicle, April 20, 1901, states:

    BURNHAM—In this city, April 10, at 282 Winsor street, Charles T. Burnham, 61 years, 9 months, 21 days.

          Mr. Burnham was born in Edgecomb, Me., Jan. 19, 1839; his parents were Charles T. and Sophronia Baker Burnham; he was a Cambridge resident 20 years. The burial was in Cambridge cemetery.6

    According to the Boston city directories, Burnham & Tracy built cabinet organs, that is, reed organs, but Burnham & Tracy, Charles T(heodore) Burnham, and Cyrus Tracy are not listed in Gellerman’s International Reed Organ Atlas (cited in note 4).

    Sources (in addition to the works cited in the notes):

    • The Boston city directories for the years 1789 to 1900 can be downloaded as PDF files from the website of the Boston Athenaeum; the URL http://cdm.bostonathenaeum.org/cdm/landingpage/collection/p16057coll32 provides the links.
    • The Cambridge, Massachusetts, city directories for the years 1848 (“the first number of the CAMBRIDGE DIRECTORY”) to 1850, 1852 to 1854, 1856 and 1857 (no directory was published in 1855 or 1858), 1859 to 1861, 1866–1867 (one volume), and 1872 to 1910 can be downloaded as PDF files from Internet Archive; the URL for the list is https://archive.org/details/cambridgepubliclibrary.

    ________________________________

    Sources:

    1. Barbara Owen, The Organ in New England (Raleigh: Sunbury Press, 1979), 398. William Richard Cutter, ed., Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of the State of Massachusetts, vol. 4 (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1910), 2094–95.
    2. “Captain Charles T. Burnham, a retired sea captain, living with his son at 282 Windsor [sic] street, died Tuesday from a paralytic shock, sustained Sunday, aged 83 years and 7 months. He was a native of Edgecomb, Me., but had lived in Cambridge for 24 years. He leaves a widow and one son. The funeral on Thursday was conducted by Rev. Chas. Olmstead and the burial was at Cambridge cemetery.”
    3. “Cambridgeport” column, Cambridge (Massachusetts) Chronicle, December 19, 1891, accessed January 28, 2018, https://cambridge.dlconsulting.com/cgi-bin/cambridge?a=d&d=Chronicle18911219-01.
    4. On George C. Woods, see Robert F. Gellerman, Gellerman’s International Reed Organ Atlas, 2nd ed. (Lanham, Md.: Vestal Press, 1998), 273. (Gellerman’s middle initial is incorrectly given as “R.” on the title page of the book.)
    5. On the surface, the 1877, 1878, and 1881 Boston and Cambridge listings for Charles T. Burnham appear inconsistent. It is possible that the 1877 and 1878 Boston directories gave the location of Cyrus Tracy’s home as that of Burnham as well. In the absence of further evidence, any explanations of the 1881 inconsistency would be speculative.
    6. “Died” column, Cambridge (Massachusetts) Chronicle, April 20, 1901, 16, accessed January 24, 2018, https://cambridge.dlconsulting.com/cgi-bin/cambridge?a=d&d=Chronicle19010420-01.

Database Entries

There are no entries in the database that describe organs by Charles T. (Theodore) Burnham.


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