As noted by Laurence Elvin [50], there were many craftsmen and tradesmen who supplied to the English organ pipe-organ builders, and this is equally true of reed organ builders, as noted by Fritz Gellerman [74]. Here we list some of the better known supply establishments producing such things as reeds, cases, sound boards and keyboards.

G.F. Adamson (c.1880-1900)

Of 1 Nisbet Place, High Street, Homerton, London. Key maker for pianos, harmoniums and organs.

B.P.A. Ltd. (-1970s)

Of Llanelli, Wales seem to have been keyboard makers and suppliers to Spencers and many others. An example is number 4032 which is the Great keyboard of Spencer number 6528. They were making keyboards into the mid 1970s, e.g. as fitted in Knight pianos.

BOB: British Organ Blowers

Derby. Quite a few reed organs of the 1930s onwards were fitted with BOB blowers such as the TOT1 model.

H. Brooks and Co. Ltd. (-1920)

Keyboard makers for pianos and organs, Henry Brooks and Company Ltd. and Herrburger merged around 1920 so earlier instruments would have the separate names. For instance H. Brooks and Co. is found in the Hillier instruments.

The company of Henry Brooks was founded in London and had premises at 31 Lyme Street, Camden Town which was the centre of piano and harmonium building at the time. They were very famous for their piano actions, but also made a huge number of keyboards for many different instruments.

Until 1998 Herrburger Brooks was the world's oldest established maker of piano actions, hammer heads and keyboards. The company was originally founded in London in 1810 by Henry Brooks. In 1844 in Paris, Jean Schwander set up production of the famous Schwander action. This branch was later named after his son-in-law Josef Herrburger. He retired in 1882, but his name can still be found on many actions of fine pianos made today. His successor was his son-in-law Joseph Herrburger, who formed a New York branch in 1900. Twenty years later Brooks of London and Herrburger amalgamated, so the firm of Herrburger Brooks came into being. The Paris branch of Herrburger Brooks closed in 1953 and moved to Long Eaton near Nottingham.

R.W. Clark, later Sebright and Clark (1877-c.1963)

Camden Town, London. In the 1930s advertised as the largest organ key maker.

A. Clayton (c.1898)

Arthur Clayton of Archway Tavern, London was a reed organ voicer who also advertised as enlarging and altering the pitch of the organs.

T. Croger (c.1859-62)

Thomas Croger of Hertford Road, Kingsland, London factored harmonium ``notes'' and keyboards.

W. Dewar (c.1883)

178 Drummond Street, London. Piano, organ and harmonium key maker. He worked alongside many other firms in Drummond and neighbouring streets on the outskirts of District of Camden.

Jean Estève (1840-c.1875)

Paris. Probably the best known brass reed maker for harmoniums and used by many English as well as French manufacturers such as Mustel. They won several awards in international exhibitions, for instance a bronze medal in the 1878 Paris Exhibition for excellent precision work and a first prize in Sydney, Australia in 1880.

Estève amalgamated with Berthion-Hédou and was later succeeded by Léon Pinet in 1875. They introduced a new alloy for reed making in 1852. They had 44 workers in 1872. [need list of patents from Deiterlen]

Fletcher and Newman (-c.1976)

Of North London. Suppliers of keyboards and other materials including reeds.

Herrburger-Brooks (1920-)

Of Long Eaton, Nottinghamshire. Keyboard makers. Henry Brooks and Company Ltd. and Herrburger merged around 1920 so earlier instruments would have the separate names. For instance H. Broooks and Co. is found in the Hillier instruments.

J.A. Jacobs (1873-c.90)

15 Seymour Street, London NW. Maker of movements and fittings for harmonium and organ makers.

JAS, London

See A firm in London still makes their own reed frames with riveted steel reeds, for their own Indian style harmoniums. According to Louis Huivenaar, they sound perfect, but it took them seven years and a lot of machinery to do it.

J. & J. Goddard (1842-c.1924)

Were suppliers of harmonium and American organ reeds and cavity boards. They also supplied parts for pianos and pipe organs, and their full catalogue ran to 199 pages. Some advertisements are re-produced by Ord-Hume [125]. The remaining stock of reeds was bought by Michel Jacot in the 1960s. In 1920 you could buy a cavity board with 4 rows of un-tuned reeds for £120. The following is from the preface to the 1920 catalogue number 50.


The firm of J. & J. Goddard has been established since 1842 and for 76 years has had the same address, 68 Tottenham Court Road. The picture shown above is a view of the premises as existing in 1890, when the shop front was modernised, the entire premises being rebuilt in 1907.

The founder of the business, Mr. Joseph Goddard, died in 1889, when the management passed into the hands of his sons, Charles and Frank Goddard, who were joined in partnership in 1903 by Herbert J. Brinsmead. Mr. Charles Goddard retired in 1919 and the remaining partners still carry on under the well-known name.

We venture to claim this Catalogue as the most complete List of Pianoforte Supplies, etc.

We have revised the prices as far as possible, though we regret that the prevailing and uncertain heavy costs preclude a return to pre-war figures.

It will be found that several new features are introduced.

We thank our customers for their past favours and hope to merit a continuance of that same confidence which they have given to us for many years.


Mainguet (-1910)

Reed makers of Paris. Eugéne Mainguet was born in Fontenay sous Bois in 1838 and died in Paris in 1910. Mainguet reeds are found in later Hillier harmoniums (earlier ones have Estève reeds).

Munroe Organ Reed Co. (c.1890)

Depot of the American company at Brooke Street, Holborn. Supplied reeds, cavity boards and sundries.

Joseph Marshall (1900-19)

Of Preston Park (1900), 12 Kensington Place (1911-15) and 17 Gordon Road Preston Park, Brighton (1919). He was recorded as a brass reed maker.

James Murgatroyd (1884-)

Of Belle Vue Organ Works, Manningham Lane, Bradford was noted [50] as a patentee and sole maker of hydraulic blowing aparatus for American organs.

J. Payne

Case and keyboards. Had the floor above R.F. Stevens workshop.

Pinet (1875-)

In Paris. Took over reed-making business from Estève.

E. Smith and Co. (1879-c.1909)

Organ builders who provided blowers.

R.F. Vestey and Son (c.1897-c.1927)

2 Dartmouth Villas, Seven Sisters Road, Stamford Hill, London N16. Piano, organ and harmonium key manufacturers. Supplied to Rushworth and Dreaper among others. In 1909 were advertising as manufacturers of painoforte, organ and harmonium keys at 597-9 Seven Sisters Road, S. Tottenham, N.

Turban & Cie

Harmonium reed manufacturer of Paris exhibited at the Paris of 1878, see [38] p479.


C. Virot (c.1878-83)

of Euston Road, London made reeds.

C.A. Wallgate & Co. Ltd. c.1933

C.A. Wallgate & Co. Ltd. were suppliers to the reed organ, harmonium and piano trade. Thanks to Louis Huivenaar for supplying information about this company which was previously unknown to me.

They had a shop at 36 Southwark Bridge Road, London SE1. and published a catalogue c.1933 (we do not know of any others).

It is known that they supplied to a large number of manufacturers both in the UK and overseas, including Lindholm in 1933.

The catalogue provides a lot of interesting information about the parts available and their price. Items included the following large range:

cavity boards
octave couplers
organ keys
vox humanas
stop knobs, faces, rods etc.
valve pins
pedal [treadle] frames and heel plates
pedal carpet and matting
rubber cloth
bellows webbing
felts, cloths and baizes
organ and piano locks etc.
pitman rod etc.
bellows rollers
action levers
knee lever brackets
brass stockings
reed hooks
leather buttons
rubber pads etc.
wood buttons
tapped eyed wires
tuning tools
dust bellows
american organ bellows
glass paper
book holders
glue etc.
polish etc.
damp preventer
pedal gut
nails etc.
tuning forks
name plates, labels etc.
covers etc.
corrugated fasteners

Watkins and Watson

Blower manufacturers supplying the Discus brand available from c.1900. Earlier examples carry the Watkins and Watson name.

Rob Allan