The OHS Pipe Organ Database

BuilderID 1811

Builder Identification

Reading, Massachusetts 1958–1959; Oakland, Florida 1959-c.1975; East Kingston, New Hampshire, 1982-1987.

Additional Notes

  • From the OHS PC Database, derived from A Guide to North American Organbuilders by David H. Fox (Organ Historical Society, revised ed. 1997). —

    Successor of the Ernest M. Skinner firm; it was operated by Carl Bassett, 1949–c.1975 until the firm was acquired by John J. Bolten; firm acquired by Larry Smith; active in East Kingston, New Hampshire, 1982; firm closed 1987.

    Staff: Roy Carlson; Lawrence C. Davis; Magdalene Doughty; Mark Kolligian.

    Sources:

    • American Institute of Organbuilders(AIO) Membership Role: 1982.
    • Peter T. Cameron.
    • Charles Wahlgren.

     

  • From the OHS Database Builders Listing editor, September 23, 2016. —

    When Ernest Skinner retired, his long time-foreman, Carl Bassett offered to purchase the firm (Ernest M. Skinner) and rights to the name. Bassett may have used two different forms on the nameplates; E. M. Skinner Co. and Ernest M. Skinner Co. Both appear in the OHS notes.

    During this time, Skinner and Bassett maintained their long time friendship, Skinner was a frequent guest at the Basset home, and the two continued to discuss organ design and voicing after Skinner was no longer able to actively participate in the business. Basset operated the firm as Ernest M. Skinner Inc. of Reading, Massachusetts from 1949 until 1959 when he relocated the company to Oakland, Florida.

    Bassett relocated to Oakland, in part due to the more favorable tax structure in Florida at the time, and also because more of the firm's contracts were coming from the southeastern United States. While in Florida, Bassett built approximately two dozen new organs, and rebuilt or enlarged several others. He continued business in Florida until 1968 when he sold the company to John Bolton as his own health was failing. Bolten moved the company back to Massachusetts.1

    The firm later changed hands again, and was acquired by Larry Smith. The firm was active in East Kingston, New Hampshire by 1982, it closed in 1987. 2

    Sources:

    1. Email from Rev. Carl Bassett, son or organbuilder Carl Basset, to Builders Listing editor, received 2015.
    2. David H. Fox, A Guide to North American Organbuilders (Organ Historical Society, 1991), 268.

     

Database Entries

There are 27 entries in the database that describe organs by E.M. Skinner Co., Inc.


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Builder's Nameplate and Manuals. Photograph by Stephen Hall

Console Nameplate. Photograph by Stephen Hall