Wind Chest

   The 1889 Koenig catalogue shows various wind chests, with and without bellows, but not the simple wind chest, designed to hold two organ pipes, that I have seen repeatedly in the United States. I have also seen an example at
St. Patrick's College in Maynooth, Ireland that was made by Koenig and sold by Yeates of Dublin.

   Below are front and rear views of the wind chest at the University of Toronto that were part of the apparatus collection brought by Koenig to the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia and subsequently split up and sold.
   The wind chest at the left is in the Garland Collection of Classical Physics apparatus at Vanderbilt University, although when I spotted it is was tucked away in a shelf in the lecture preparation room. 

   Koenig made a set of three organ pipes with cylindrical resonators made or wood, metal and cardboard to study the effect of material on the sound of the pipe. This picture shows the brass and wood pipes, while the pair of pictures above show the wood and cardboard pipes. The set of pipes cost 30 francs in 1889 and are listed as catalogue number 96. 

   This wind chest is in the collection of apparatus at Amherst College in Massachusetts. 

   The device on the wind chest is an organ pipe mouthpiece listed at 9 francs in the 1889 Koenig catalogue. 


  Here are three organ pipe wind chests by Koenig. The upper one is at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, and Koenig's mark can be clearly seen on top between the two openings for the pipes.


   The one at the middle is in the collection at the University of Cincinnati. Most of the historical Cincinnati apparatus is on display, but this device was on a dusty storage shelf when I came upon it in May 2001 when I went to Cincinnati to give a lecture on the nineteenth century physics course. 

   The bottom one is at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

   This large wind-chest in the Millington-Barnard Collection of the University of Mississippi in Oxford is designed to hold eight pipes. These may be played by depressing one of the keys; note that there are more keys than holes for the pipes. 

   Only the base of the bellows remains in place on the bottom shelf. The bellows were pumped by depressing the foot pedal on the right-hand side.

   In the 1889 Koenig catalogue this was listed at 300 francs, about $50

      The wind chest below was designed to give a reasonably-constant wind pressure when sounding an individual pipe. It was designed by the French organ builder Cavaillé-Coll, who worked in the latter part of the nineteenth century, and is listed in the 1889 Koenig catalogue at 35 francs, or about $9.00.

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