Epler's Church

(now in the Berks County Historical Society, Reading, PA)

John Jacob & Christian Dieffenbach - 1800

John Jacob & Christian Dieffenbach apparently built this organ in 1800 for use in a residence. Later, it was sold to Epler's Church where it was used until 1877. In that year, it was replaced by Thomas Dieffenbach, Christian's grandson. Thomas rebuilt it in 1879 and then it was again used as a house organ for the Dieffenbach family. Thomas replaced the wind system with a later 19th century design. The feeders are pumped with reed organ style foot treadles so that the player can pump the organ. The case was raised about 5 inches in order to fit this new wind system in the case. Thomas also altered the key and stop actions and replaced a Mixtur (probably 2 ranks) with a Principal 4'. This metal pipes of the Principal begin at low F and appear to be very similar to Tannenberg pipes. It is interesting to note that Thomas Dieffenbach had just rebuilt the c.1795 Tannenberg organ in Hain's Reformed Church in Wernersville the year before. Thomas also painted the front pipes.

In 1920, the organ was given to the Berks County Historical Society. In 1984 Brunner & Heller restored the organ to its 1879 condition.

The stop list is:

Manual: C - c3, 49 notes
Grob Gedakt
Qund: Dehn
Klein Gedakt

The Grob Gedakt 8' and Klein Gedakt 4' are identical stopped wood ranks. The Qund: Dehn (Quintadena) 4' is capped metal. The Salicet acts as a Principal 4' and blends well with the Grob Gedakt 8'. The first 39 pipes of the Octav 2' are in the front.

Click on the thumbnails to see the larger pictures:


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