Estey Organ's role in American Capitalism


The Estey Organ Museum will sponsor a presentation titled "The Estey Organ - Its Place in the Emergence of American Capitalism" at its Engine House Gallery, 108 Birge Street, on Sunday, June 29, at 3 p.m.. Kit Barry, curator of The Ephemera Archive for American Studies in Brattleboro will lead the presentation.

The Estey Company, along with 1,000's of other 19th century companies, was both a part of, and the epitome of the single driving force determining the personality, the very being of the United States - American Capitalism.

By exploring the Estey product and its place in the American home we find an example of how American Capitalism worked. And the Estey Company was a reflection of the Estey Family being dedicated to the pursuit of business to the highest levels possible. If one follows the Estey Company's beginnings to its height of success, to its demise, one sees the story of American Capitalism.

Images and explanations of Estey print advertising will be shown and discussed. It was the advertising that linked the organ to the public. This is what advertising does. It creates the link between the factory, the product, and the public, the consumer.

For over 100 years, the Estey Organ Company was known worldwide for its manufacture of organs, building some 500,000 reed organs and 3200 pipe organs. Many of these instruments still grace homes, churches and fraternal organizations. The Estey Organ Museum was founded in 2002 to celebrate this heritage. The Engine House Gallery is open Saturdays and Sundays, 2 to 4 p.m., and other times by appointment (802-246-8366). In addition to the collections of organs and materials owned by the Museum, its Managing Director, Philip Stimmel, maintains his own large collection of Estey advertising materials and memorabilia.

The presentation is free and open to the public. The Estey Organ Museum is handicapped accessible. For further information about the Museum, visit


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