Date: August 1997
Creator: Alcorn-Oppedahl, Allison A. (Allison Ann)
Description: Founded in 1879 by John L. Hinners, the Hinners Organ Company developed a number of stock models of small mechanical-action instruments that were advertised throughout the Midwest. Operating without outside salesmen, the company was one of the first to conduct all of its affairs by mail, including the financial arrangements, selection of the basic design, and custom alterations where required. Buyers first met a company representative when he arrived by train to set up the crated instrument that had been shipped ahead of him. Tracker organs with hand-operated bellows were easily repaired by local craftsmen, and were suited to an area that, for the most part, lacked electricity. In all, the company constructed nearly three thousand pipe organs during its sixty years of operation. Rapid decline of the firm began in the decade prior to 1936 during which the company sold fewer than one hundred instruments, and closed in that year when John's son Arthur found himself without sufficient financial resources to weather the lengthy depression. The studies of the original-condition Hinners organs in the Dakotas include extensive photographs and measurements, and provide an excellent cross section of the smaller instruments produced by the company. They are loud, excellently crafted, ...
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