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This is the first book on the prestigious American organbuilder and his brother and successor. Fox traces the family’s genealogy, the history of the Roosevelt Organ Works, Hilborne Roosevelt’s association with the telephone and with Thomas Edison, and the firm’s magnum opus at the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Garden City, New York. Hilborne Roosevelt was one of the few 19th-century American organbuilders to tour organ factories in Europe—not just once, but three times—and his impressions are recorded in his diaries, quoted in this book. Roosevelt had an early interest in the application of electricity to organ action and featured it in the instrument he built for the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. Operating factories in New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, Hilborne built 357 organs within 18 years and when, on his death, his brother Frank succeeded him, the firm built an additional 181.
Hilborne and Frank Roosevelt contains an annotated numerical opus list of all 538 organs, conveniently searchable alphabetically or geographically; stoplists of 114 Roosevelt organs; and 55 accompanying photographs with a gallery of 26 additional photographs.