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date: 17 November 2019

Hammond organlocked

  • Hugh Davies
  • , revised by Brandon Smith

Extract

An electronic organ developed in 1933–4 by engineers Laurens Hammond (b Evanston, IL, 11 Jan 1895; d Cornwall, CT, 3 July 1973) and John M. Hanert (1909–62). Hammond founded the Hammond Clock Co. in Chicago in 1928 to manufacture clocks incorporating a synchronous motor that he had patented. From 1933 he and Hanert developed the Hammond organ, patenting it in 1934 and demonstrating it in April 1935. The instrument was an immediate success—Henry Ford and George Gershwin were early purchasers. By the end of the 1930s the company (renamed the Hammond Organ Co.) was making about 200 instruments a month. The original Hammond organ Model A (introduced in 1935) had two 61-note manuals and a 25-note pedal board. Also familiar to organists was the “swell” pedal, a foot-operated volume control. The stops of a pipe organ were replicated with the electronic equivalent “drawbars,” which controlled the relative volume of the different tone wheels. This was soon followed by other improved models, the most famous of which was the B-3. The company pioneered several features of electronic organ design that remain common. In ...

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