- Hugh Davies
Electronic organ, conceived by the radio repairman Burton Minshall of London, Ontario. Initially he assembled these organs himself and sold them to funeral homes. Several models were later designed by George Hadden and others and manufactured commercially from about 1950 to the mid-1960s by Minshall Organ Inc. of Brattleboro, Vermont. Initially the organs were produced in collaboration with the Estey Organ Co. (for promotional purposes) under the name ‘Minshall–Estey’, but this was changed to ‘Minshall’ alone about 1953, when Estey were beginning to make their own electronic organs. The Minshall range consisted of smaller one- and two-manual instruments for home and church, including a chord organ. In most of them the sounds are generated by 12 oscillators using frequency division, but at least one early model used tuned reeds, the vibrations of which were converted by electrostatic pickups into voltage variations and made audible over a loudspeaker. In 1954 Minshall touted the Tone-Arama, consisting of two loudspeakers, one on each side of the spinet organ. About ...