Perhaps we should have called the episode “The Theatre Organ”, because the specimens we examine are all American. Pith helmets girded tight, safariers Leah and Simon venture into the wilds of California to study this little-understood animal.
The dubiously named “dump box” tremulant system.
The Trinity Presbyterian Wurlitzer.
Trinity Wurlitzer console—note the horseshoe layout and the many stop tabs.
In our many years of safariing, this is the craziest piece of pipe organ DIY we have ever come across. Brother Jorge’s Organ San Patricio contains parts of dozens of other instruments and has been a lifetime in the making.
The first bamboo rank that Brother Georg constructed.
His stupefying single-mindedness yet again on display, Simon brings us another contender for the world’s oldest organ—this time from the wilds of a Swiss mountaintop. Oldest or not, the organ at the Valère Basilia in Sion, Switzerland is a singularly fascinating beast.
Sion’s Valère Basilica fairly looms over the town.
Of note: the scene of St Catherine on the left panel, and the 19th century sub-bass pipes sticking up behind the organ.