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St. Mary’s Organ as an Engineering Marvel

Pipe organs are huge machines. Until industrialization in the 19th century they were the most complicated thing built by mankind.

Today’s organ contains among much other stuff:

  • 5700 pipes from 0,2 to 8,4 meters length (from less then one up to 25 feet), among them about 800 reed pipes
  • 246 keys on five keyboards (4 manuals and pedal) within the widely preserved console from 1938
  • 433 more control elements on the console
  • 119 slider motors
  • more than 430 tone-pallets with electro-pneumatic action (among them around 70 off-note valves in the facade etc.)
  • 2 electric blowers, the older one from 1905
  • 2 low current generators from 1938
  • more than 2,600 meters (about 2,700 yards) single wire for the tone action,
    more than 4,000 meters (about 4,100 yards) single wire for stop action control

After the redesign, the instrument will boast fascinating numbers, but will also rely more on traditional technologies.

If you are interested in the technical aspects of this organ, please visit these articles:

Gallery: Wind Supply

In the Blower Chamber: Blowers, Generators, Reservoirs

Gallery: Console and Action

The console and the electric action to the slider chests date from 1938

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