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Kim D.
Kim D., Antique Expert
Category: Musical Instrument Appraisal
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Experience:  25 Yr Curator of Historical Collections, CAGA, AOA Certified Appraiser
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I am trying to find anything about the Harrand Organ Company,

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I am trying to find anything about the Harrand Organ Company, Detriot Mich. USA. Style 63-A, No#103681. Thanks, Kurt
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Musical Instrument Appraisal
Expert:  Kim D. replied 6 years ago.

I believe what you are looking for is the Farrand Organ Company as they were in Detroit and were a major contributor of that regions economy. The company was in Detroit from 1897 until at least 1908.

Here are three entries that give you some more information. I did not want to summerize them as I dont know what you are looking for and I didnt want to change the information.


"William Reynolds Farrand, who has well upheld the prestige of the family name, and is one of the representative business men and progressive citizens of Detroit, was born in that city September 9, 1853. Educated in the public schools, in 1870, at the age of seventeen years, he found employment in the wholesale drug house of Farrand, Williams & Company, with which he continued for a number of years and had charge of one of the departments. In 1884 Mr. Farrand became actively interested in the Whitney Organ Company, and was elected treasurer. In 1887 when the business was reorganized, under the title of the Farrand Organ Company, he continued as treasurer of the new corporation, and when the Farrand Company succeeded the Farrand Organ Company he became president. In this office he has been successful in upbuilding one of the substantial and important manufacturing industries of his native city."


"Farrand and Votey was at 12th St. & Grand Trunk Railway, Detroit, MI; started as the Detroit Organ Co. in 1881, a worker owned enterprise which proved unsuccessful and was bought out by Detroit music dealer C.J. Whitney and organ builder Edwin S. Votey, a former Estey employee, in 1883 and incorporated as the Whitney Organ Co. W.R. Farrand joined the same year as financial manager. Whitney retired in 1887 and the name changed to Farrand & Votey. Started building pipe organs in 1888 and in 1889 acquired the patents of Frank Roosevelt, successor to Hilborne Roosevelt. Acquired the Granville Wood Pipe Organ Co. in 1890. Votey did pioneering work on piano players, developing the famous Pianola. In 1897 the company split up, Farrand remaining with the reed organs as the Farrand Organ Co., and Votey taking the pipe organ and player piano business into the Aeolian Company where he became a Vice president. The Farrand Organ Co. later brought out its own piano player, the Cecilian, and went bankrupt in 1915"


"The Farrand-Cecilian Piano & Organ Company was originally founded in 1883 as The Detroit Organ Company in Detroit, Michigan. In 1887 the firm was purchased by C. J. Whitney and E. S. Votey and the name of the firm was changed to "Farrand & Votey". In 1897 the name of the firm was changed to "Farrand Piano Company", and their concentration went from building primarily organs to building pianos and player pianos. Instruments by the firm were known to be of very good quality, and were generally of a higher grade overall. By the 'teens and 'twenties era, player pianos built under the names "Farrand - Cecilian", "Farrand" and "Cecilian" were manufactured by the prominent Bush & Lane Piano Company."


There are quite a few Michigan histories that deal with business history of the area and organ and piano factory histories are available. Now that you have a bit more information, you maybe able to find quite a bit more. (or maybe this will give you what you need! I hope so. )


Best wishes, Dori


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