a website collaboration between Science Service and the Smithsonian Institution

1937 - Lee Broyds - organist at the HAMMOND ELECTRIC ORGAN


E&MP 88.018

Music Recording - Electronic

June 3, 1937

Hammond electric organ Lee Broyds - organist

Original Caption by Science Service


Additional Information:

1937 Hammond Organ - An organ of concert range at the price of a fine piano. The Hammond has no pipes or reeds. Original MSRP started at $1,250 and up.


"Fifty years of musical excellence" 50th Anniversary Hammond Co.
a pamphlet transcription at http://www.bentonelectronics.com/hammondstory.html


In two plays running on Broadway, offstage organ music is simulated by that versatile instrument, put on the market two years ago by Inventor Laurens Hammond, which produces organ-like sounds— and many others—by electrical vibrations (TIME, April 29, 1935). Last week the American Federation of Musicians, ever vigilant where mechanical music encroaches upon musicians' jobs, stepped in with an order that an orchestra of at least four men must be employed wherever a Hammond is played.

The Star Wagon, by Maxwell Anderson (who improvises on his own Hammond, and whose sons discovered that its electrical impulses can produce a sound like a blow-out), was not affected, since the Empire Theatre already has a small orchestra. But Many Mansions, which opened last fortnight, felt the full weight of the union's hand. Besides paying a Hammondist $200 a week, its management had to hire three musicians at union scale ($100 a week for the leader. $75 for others). Since no one wanted them to play, the three last week watched the show every night, prepared to idle backstage during the rest of the play's run, doing their part to improve the U. S. standard of living.

This week the Hammond comes into its musical majority when Italian Organist Fernando Germani, a onetime child prodigy, gives a Hammond recital in Boston's Symphony Hall. First organist to take a Hammond on tour, he will play Bach and Handel organ music, as well as arrangements of piano and orchestral compositions, in 52 U. S. cities. An organ debutant with the Chicago Symphony nine years ago, when he was 20, Germani is now official organist of Rome's Augusteo Orchestra. As Benito Mussolini's favorite musician, he played at the wedding of Daughter Edda and Count Galeazzo Ciano.

Courtesy - TIME http://www.time.com

National Museum of American History


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