The OHS Pipe Organ Database

BuilderID 223

Builder Identification

Hartford, Connecticut, 1937–1967.

Additional Notes

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

    Born 19 April, 1908; son of Basil G. Austin; co-founder Austin Organs Inc. of Hartford, Connecticut, in 1937; corporate secretary; died 4 December, 1967.

    Source:

    • Organ Handbook: 1984, p13. (Published yearly by the Organ Historical Society of Richmond, Virginia, in connection with its annual convention.)

  • From the OHS PC Database Builders Listing editor, updated Mar 8, 2016 —

    Basil Frank Austin was born 19 April, 1908; he was the son of Basil G. Austin, and therefore nephew of John T. Austin.

    He was co-founder, with his cousin Frederic B. Austin, of Austin Organs Inc. of Hartford, Connecticut, in 1937, and served as corporate secretary. Austin organs was the successor firm to Austin Organ Co. which had been established by Basil F. Austin's father and uncle. The stock market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression which followed caused sales to dwindle for the original company. By 1935, the company ceased organ production and began liquidating company assets, most of which were purchased by the newly established Austin Organs, Inc. The new company relocated to a smaller facility behind the huge complex that had served as the Austin Organ Company factory and managed to survive the remaining lean years. The company was under contract by the federal government during the war years, and resumed organ building in 1945. Business was brisk due to pent up demand, and the growth of suburban churches for the next two decades. Basil F. Austin died 4 December, 1967, still functioning as a corporate officer (Secretary/Treasurer), his cousin Frederic B. Austin continued as president for another six years before turning the business over to his son, Donald Austin in 1973.

    Sources:

    1. David H. Fox, A Guide to North American Organbuilders, (Organ Historical Society, 1997), 58.
    2. Austin Organs, Inc. website (http://www.austinorgans.com/aoihistory.html), Accessed March 8, 2016.

  • For further information on Austin Company, see:
    Austin Organ Company 1899-1937 and Austin Organs, Inc. from 1937 onward.

    For an overview of the Austin family and their business history, see: Austin Family Overview.

Database Entries

There are no entries in the database that describe organs by Basil Frank Austin.


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