Below Is more information about an individual item within the TidesNet online collections. Click on the image to enlarge it. Use the “Go Back” button to return to the Folder page.
Leighton Parlor Organ, c.1885 | Pembroke, Maine
A late 19th century parlor (also known as a cabinet) organ made by William Leighton of Pembroke, Maine. Essentially a reed organ, this parlor organ has pedal-operated bellows and is mounted in a case. This parlor organ stands 76 inches tall, 46 inches wide and 23 inches deep. It is one of three different parlor organs made by Leighton and his brother, Raymond, in the collections of the Tides Institute. Two were made by William, one by Raymond. All three date to the early 1880s. Together the two brothers produced about 600 parlor organs in a five year span between 1800 to 1885. The Institute has a small sales catalogue titled “Wm. E. Leighton & Co. Cabinet Organs” in its collections that dates to 1881. The catalogue was designed and printed by J.A. Sears, printer, of Calais, Maine. The catalogue notes this particular parlor organ as Case No. 3 which came in several styles that are outlined in the catalogue. The institute acquired this organ through Ebay from a seller in California. It cost far more to have the organ shipped east to the institute’s headquarters than it cost to purchase the organ. The other two Leighton parlor organs in the institute’s collections were donated to the institute by private individuals. Before starting the organ business, William Leighton served in the American Civil War, first with the 28th Maine Infantry Company E and later with the 1st Battalion Maine Infantry Company A. He was extremely active in the founding and leadership of the Pembroke, Maine Civil War GAR. (Grand Army of the Republic) veterans organization (Isaac Campbell Post, No.1). The institute was given a large number of artifacts related to this GAR post in early 2020 and William Leighton’s name is found on many of the artifacts. In addition to parlor organs, William Leighton also made violins and the institute has four of his violins in its collections. Classification: Musical instruments Circa: 1885 Old Accession Number: 2211 Description: Purchased on Ebay from Lyle Wheeler of California in 2004.