The OHS Pipe Organ Database

BuilderID 1900

Builder Identification

New York City, New York, 1827–c.1875; branch in Baltimore, Maryland, 1847–1864.

Additional Notes

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

    Born 10 Mar. 1800; son of Peter Erben, father of Charles Erben; apprentice with Thomas Hall of New York City, New York, who married Maria Erben, Henry's sister, 18 Mar. 1818; partner with Hall in New York City, 1824-1827; established firm by 1827; alderman of New York City; partner with Henry Stiles in New York City, 1845-1848; branch shop in Baltimore, Maryland, 1847-1864; partner with William M. Wilson in Henry Erben & Co. of New York City, 1874-1879; briefly retired; partner with son in Henry Erben & Son, 1879-1884; died 7 May 1884; William M. Wilson continued Henry Erben & Co. while Lewis C. Harrison continued Erben's last business.

    Staff: John E. Ayers; John Baker; William F. Berry; James Blake; Claus S. Brandrup; Elisha Brotherton; Thomas P. Browne; James Cottier; Joseph Cottier; John H. Einstein; (Alexander Elder?); John Fawcett; Richard M. Ferris; Julius Firmbach; George Gerard; (F. W. Goeller?); Samuel S. Hamill; Lewis C. Harrison; Jabez Horner; James Jackson; William King; Henry A. Leaman; Frederick Miller; Williams Mills; George Osler; (Henry Pilcher, Sr.?); (Arnolph Polster?); Thomas Redstone; Bernard Reilly; William J. Stuart, Jr.; James E. Treat; Louis H. Van Dinter, Sr.; (John Wale, Jr.?).

    Sources:

    • Diapason Dec. 1952, 16.
    • Musical and Sewing Machine Gazette 7 Feb. 1880, 5.
    • Orpha Ochse, The History of the Organ in the United States (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1975), 147, 151.
    • John Ogasapian, Organ Building in New York City 1700-1900 (Braintree, MA: The Organ Literature Foundation 1977), 57.
    • Organ Handbook (Organ Historical Society, 1986), 11.
    • Tracker 21:4 (O 1. 22:1, 3. 34:3, 13.
    •  

  • From the OHS PC Database Builders Listing editor, Mar 26, 2016. —

    "From 1827 until the beginning of the Civil War, the firm of “Henry Erben—Organ Manufacture” continued to expand, enlarge its work force and increase production. During the later 1820s, the firm produced an average of eight instruments annually. [material omitted] The census also indicated that Erben engaged 45 employees,..."
     
    "The country's most prestigious churches, as well as most cathedrals built in the United States during the 1840s and 1850s, boasted large Erben organs. Yet Erben also had a significant market among rural congregations, providing small, one manual (i.e., keyboard) instruments built to same, exacting standards as his large organs."

    Source:

    • Delvin, Robert C., "A Tale of Two Organs: Henry Erben and Apalachicola, Florida" (2000). Scholarly Publications. Paper 3. http://digitalcommons.iwu.edu/ames_scholarship/3, Accessed Oct 13, 2015.
    •  

    See the entire text at: "A Tale of Two Organs: Henry Erben and Apalachicola, Florida" by Robert Delvin.

Database Entries

There are 334 entries in the database that describe organs by Henry Erben.


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Builder's nameplate. Photograph by Tim Drewes

Nameplate. Photograph by Matthew M. Bellocchio