The OHS Pipe Organ Database

BuilderID 1307

Builder Identification

B. 1854 England; in U.S. before 1885; Massachusetts ca. 1885-1932.

Additional Notes

  • From the OHS PC Database, derived from A Guide to North American Organbuilders by David H. Fox (Organ Historical Society, 1991). —

    James Cole was born 4 May 1854 in England; he was an organist. He trained as a voicer with Carlton Michell while still in England. After coming to the U.S. circa 1880, he started his American career with Hook & Hastings of Boston, Massachusetts. Leaving Hook & Hastings in 1886, he partnered with brothers Jesse and James Woodberry in Cole & Woodberry until 1899. He briefly was a partner with Ernest M. Skinner in Skinner & Cole of Boston, Massachusetts, in 1903, lasting six months. He established Cole Church Organ Co. by 1906; was briefly a partner with James E. Treat in Cole & Treat, in 1907. He then established James Cole & Co. of Melrose, Massachusetts; moving to Malden, MA by 1917, and then to Medford, Massachusetts, in 1925. He was a representative of Welte Organ Co. of NY, in 1928. The Cole firm was last listed c. 1932; he died 8 April 1934 in Melrose, Massachusetts.

    NOTE: He used several different forms of his name or his corporate name on nameplates. They cannot reliably be used to date instruments.

    Staff: Arthur W. Birkmaier; Joseph G. Cooper; Frederick J. Flaherty; John E. Linhares; Frederick I. White.

    Sources:

    • Diapason, February 1914, 9.
    • Diapason, January 1917, 17.
    • Diapason, August 1928, 42.
    • Diapason, June 1934, 16.
    • H: 27.
    • Orpha Ochse, The History of the Organ in the United States (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1975), 247.
    • Barbara Owen, The Organ in New England (Raleigh: Sunbury Press, 1979), 400.
    • Barbara Owen.

  • For further information, see: Cole & Woodberry, and E. & G.G. Hook & Hastings,

Database Entries

There are 15 entries in the database that describe organs by James Cole.


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