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date: 14 November 2019

Wave organlocked

  • Hugh Davies

Extract

Electronic organ developed by (Frank) Morse Robb (b Belleville, ON, 22 Jan 1902; d Belleville, 5 Aug 1992) during 1926–7, patented in 1928, and manufactured by the Robb Wave Organ Co. in Belleville between 1934 and 1938; it was designed specifically for use in churches. The sounds were generated by electromagnetic tone-wheels, one for each note, which produced waveforms derived from oscillograph patterns of those of a pipe organ. An early model had a touch-sensitive keyboard, but this was later abandoned. In 1932 a five-octave, single-manual instrument was constructed, and from 1934 between 16 and 20 two-manual Wave organs (with 32-note pedalboard) were manufactured. The instrument was successfully demonstrated in department stores and at a concert in Toronto (1936), but although it was well received, Robb had to abandon the project in 1938 owing to lack of financial backing; he then turned to inventing mechanical packing devices and designing silver wares. The Wave organ was one of the earliest electronic organs and was an exact contemporary of the Cellulophone and Coupleux-Givelet organ....

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