April 3, 1849 (Tuesday)

Went to St. Paul’s church this evening, which was open to the public, the new organ being tried.  It is a splendid instrument—quite a number played on it.  The church was crowded, and quite a treat the audience had.

The April 3 edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer called the new organ “superb,” “magnificent,” and “one of the noblest instruments of the kind in this city, if not on the American continent.”  The instrument’s facade was Grecian in style with white wood accented by the “dead” and burnished gold pipes.  There were at least thirty-seven “speaking stops,” forty-nine registers and some two thousand pipes. The organ, which actually consisted of three organs, namely the Great, the Choir and the Swell, was built by Boston organ builders William Benjamin Dearborn Simmons (1823–1876) and Thomas McIntyre at a cost of $6,000. Several “musical professors” and St. Paul’s organist were expected to play “such pieces as are calculated to develop all the varied powers of the instrument.”

For more information on St. Paul’s Church, see the entry for January 21.


Bush, Douglas, ed. The Organ: An Encyclopedia New York: Taylor & Francis, 2006.

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