Only its double keyboard, a row of stops above it, and an inconspicuous pipe at the rear reveal that the latest musical instrument for the home is an organ. In size and form it looks like a piano. But within the case are concealed 231 pipes that, it is claimed, equal in richness and variety of tone the effects produced by pipe organs of great size. The “baby” organ is designed especially for dwellings of moderate size. An average-sized living room offers adequate space for it.

The makers discovered that the tone of a sixteen-foot pipe can be duplicated by one only eight feet long by fitting a smaller pipe telescoped within it. By making a continuous air passage through the small pipe and then back through its outer shell, an effective length of sixteen feet is obtained. Thus the same tones produced by a large concert organ are obtained from this portable instrument.

  1. James R. Stettner says: April 14, 20094:01 am

    The pipe organ pictured was built by the Estey Organ Co. of Brattleboro, VT. It came in two styles. The first was like a large upright piano, and was called a “Minuette.” The second, as pictured above, was known as the “Grand Minuette.”

  2. Toronto says: April 14, 20095:43 pm

    Man, that would be LOUD!

  3. jayessell says: April 14, 20099:31 pm

    This would be perfect for my submarine!

  4. Rob says: August 1, 20112:21 am

    Holy Toledo! That’s one UGLY organ! I’d like to drop a wrecking ball on that hideous behemoth!

  5. Zanesfriend says: January 4, 20134:11 pm

    The latest issue of AMERICAN ORGANIST has a description of one of these that has been restored and rewired. It is like the one in the picture except the case is less ornamented and it has a full pedal keyboard as well as the two ‘rockers’. (For those who don’t know, the rockers control the volume; the one for the upper manual by opening and closing a cover–not unlike a set of Venetian blinds] over those pipes and the one for the lower by adding or subtracting stops.)

    I’d imagine that this wouldn’t be a good instrument for organ concert literature, but it would be good for:
    1. A small church or chapel, primarily to accompany hymn singing;
    2. In a small concert hall, primarily as the ‘continuo’ in a chamber group;
    3. For a college or conservatory as an instrument for students to practice on;
    3A. In the home as a practice instrument.

    I’m a little surprised that, after Estey went belly up, that some other company didn’t buy the rights to the design. BTW, according to the article in AMERICAN ORGANIST, the patent for the Grand Minuette is US Patent #1,835,360; filed 15APR1929, issued 8DEC1931.

    Estey was primarily a producer of reed organs (pump organs, parlor organs), but it did also make pipe organs.

  6. Zanesfriend says: January 5, 20138:33 am

    Here’s an illustration of the upright model: http://www.esteyorgan.c…

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