Pipe Organ Database

a project of the organ historical society

Skinner Organ Co. (Opus 618)


Kilpatrick Estate
Litchfield, CT US
Top O'World Farm
Organ ID: 23291

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Status and Condition:

  • This instrument's location type is: Private Residences
  • The organ is unaltered from its original state.
  • The organ's condition is playable, but not in usable condition.
We received the most recent update for this instrument's status from Database Manager on April 17, 2019.

Technical Details:

  • Chests: EP pitman
  • 14 ranks. 890 pipes. 3 divisions. 2 manuals. 45 stops. 56 registers.
  • Chest Type(s): EP pitman chests
  • Position: In side chambers at the front of the room. No visible pipes.
We received the most recent update for this division from Database Manager on April 17, 2019.
  • Manuals: 2
  • Divisions: 3
  • Stops: 45
  • Registers: 56
  • Position: Console in fixed position, right.
  • Manual Compass: 61
  • Pedal Compass: 32
  • Key Action: Electrical connection from key to chest.
  • Stop Action: Electric connection between stop control and chest.
  • Console Style: Traditional style with roll top.
  • Stop Controls: Drawknobs in vertical rows on angled jambs.
  • Combination Action: Fixed mechanical system.
  • Swell Control Type: Balanced swell shoes/pedals, AGO standard placement.
  • Pedalboard Type: Concave radiating pedalboard meeting AGO Standards.
  • Has Crescendo Pedal
  • Has Tutti Reversible Toe Pistons
  • Has Combination Action Thumb Pistons
We received the most recent update for this console from Database Manager on April 17, 2019.
Database Manager on April 17, 2019:

Updated by Scot Huntington

Relocation identified by Kinzey, date and reason for move unknown. Organ played by this correspondent at a wedding in 1968, estate owned then and for some time by Walter S. Mack (President of Pepsi 1938-1951; President of Great American Industries at time of his daughter\'s wedding). Estate has changed hands at least once since he or his heirs sold it. Organ received periodic tuning in the past two decades, but not in recent years. The organ\'s most recent technician reports the present owner has allowed the console to deteriorate to the point manual playing is essentially non-functional, but player mechanism is reported as being maintained by an unknown individual at minimal functionality. The organ is sorely in need of a full restoration before it lapses into unplayability.

Perry D. Saylor of Manhattan and White Plains signed the contract for $16,500.00 on Sept. 9, 1926, 3 years after his company P.D. Saylor & Associates acquired Canada Dry from its Canadian founders and formed Canada Dry Ginger Ale Inc. On November 26, the contract was amended for an unspecified amount, adding a 2-rank Cello Celeste (Expression II) and large-scale stopped flute unit for manual and pedal in Expression chamber I. On December 1 it was amended again with the addition of Chimes and 3 stop knobs controlling them, costing $500. The organ was moved to Litchfield without changes, into a Great Room addition built especially to accommodate the instrument. At the time I played the organ in 1968, the Expression I expression pedal was blocked closed and the instrument was solely under the control of expression pedal II. In addition, it was explained to me by most recent technician, that the chambers spoke into a \"mixing room\" with a second set of small doors behind the grill work which could be opened or closed to further subdue the organ\'s tone.

Typical for Skinner residence organs, the pitman chests are duplexed, allowing identical dispositions on the Great and Swell keyboards. The ranks were originally divided into two expression chambers, with the expression pedals labeled as such on the console: Exp. I represented the \"foundation or main\" containing the Diapason, Harp and two celestes; Exp. II was the \"solo\" containing a unit stopped flute and a battery of solo reeds. Within a division, the stopknobs are grouped by expression box with contracting engraving colors.

We received the most recent update for this note from Database Manager on April 18, 2019.

Database Manager on April 07, 2019:

Updated by Scot Huntington, who has heard or played the organ.

I was allowed to play this organ as a young teenager during my cousin\'s wedding reception in 1969. The estate at that time was owned by by great uncle Walter S. Mack, entrepreneur and former president of Pepsi (1938-1951). I\'m unsure when they purchased the property- it could have been as early as his tenure at Pepsi or as late as 1960. The family history connected with this house is the organ had been willed to a church in the former owner\'s will. When the church found out what it would cost to move and install it, they declined the gift and the organ remained with the home. It was the presence of the organ that made the estate attractive to my aunt (Ruth Jurgenson Mack), who took lessons to learn to play it. They would often play rolls in the evening while entertaining. The former Kilpatrick estate was a 19th-century farmhouse, and a two-story shoebox-shaped Great Room was added to the left of the original building and perpendicular to it, to accommodate the organ, which was installed in a single chamber on the second level of the long side wall opposite the console (installed in the middle of the right-side long wall), directly over guest room suite. The decoration of the room was plain, in colonial-revival style. The organ was installed behind a plain square-holed metal grill painted white. The drawknob console was oak. The original installation of the organ in White Plains was divided in two chambers I and II, and at Litchfield the unused expression pedal was blocked closed. The estate has not been in the family for many years and unsure if my uncle sold it in the 1980s, or if his son inherited it and subsequently sold it post-1990; or what the current status of the organ is in 2019.

We received the most recent update for this note from Database Manager on April 08, 2019.

Database Manager on April 15, 2006:

Identified through information adapted from E. M. Skinner/Aeolian-Skinner Opus List, by Sand Lawn and Allen Kinzey (Organ Historical Society, 1997), and included here through the kind permission of Sand Lawn:
Relocated from the residence of Perry D. Saylor, White Plains, New York.

We received the most recent update for this note from Database Manager on April 09, 2020.
Contract and console.: Open In New Tab Original document from Scot Huntington. Originally published 2019-03-20
We received the most recent update for this stoplist from Database Manager on March 20, 2019.

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