The c1873 John Jackson Reed Organ Restoration (2014) 



In early July 2013, I was contacted about a collection of organs that were looking for a home.  The previous collector had passed away two years earlier, and the estate was sold.  There was no place for these organs to go, and there were no interest in saving them.

This John Jackson & Co. organ was one of the organs in this collection which was spared.  There were six other organs in his workshop, but unfortunately being abandoned for 2 years the rain and rodents found their way in and and caused havoc.  Two organs were saved, and the remaining organs were documented and parted out on site.

This 4 stop 2 rank organ is an early example of the Canadian cabinet organ builders/suppliers, from Guelph, Ontario.  The case is much like a Shoninger from USA, there is a label inside stating “Guelph Organ and Melodeon Co.”.  The case condition was very poor, but surprisingly the organ does not function that bad.  

The restoration of this instrument was a two stage process.  First, it was cleaned up and repaired for the ROS organ gathering in Woodstock in October 2013.  After the gathering was over, the 'real' restoration began in January of 2014.

The Repair/Restoration:

Click on the images below for the story of the restoration of this instrument, 279 pictures:


Information on John Jackson & Co.

John Jackson & Co. existed between the years of 1872-1876.  They were successors to McLeod, Wood & Co., who were in Guelph from 1869-1872.  The inside label of this organ indicates it was made by the Guelph Organ and Melodeon Co., which suggests an earlier model.  Click the images below to enlarge.  Thanks to Norman for the ads!

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Did John Jackson and Co. use cases and/or actions made by Shoninger?  Yes.  Here is a Shoninger organ from the ROS database (ROS #5046) on the left, which is very similar to this John Jackson organs on the right.