The OHS Pipe Organ Database

BuilderID 286

Builder Identification

English before 1850; Boston, Massachusetts by 1850, Charleston, South Carolina 1859-1876.

Additional Notes

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

    John Baker was born in London, England in the early 1800s. He apprenticed with Robert Gray while still in England prior to emigrating to the U.S. in the 1840s. He first worked with Henry Erben of New York City, New York; but was in Boston, Massachusetts by 1850. He settled in Charleston, South Carolina, although the dates are uncertain, being given as 1859-1876 (Fox) and as 1867-1878? (Ochse 1). The later date seems more likely as there would be little organ building activity in Charleston during the war, however he may have traveled there prior to the war and been trapped there during the hostilities. He was the father of James S. Baker, who was active as an organ builder in the Charleston area from 1895 to approximately 1900.

    1 Orpha Ochse. The History of the Organ in the United States (Indiana University Press, 1975)

Database Entries

There are 6 entries in the database that describe organs by John Baker.

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Nameplate. Photograph by Nickie Murphy

Casework-missing nameplate. Photograph by Brad Cunningham