York, Pa.-made Weaver Organs &; Pianos: ‘You have a wife, do not deceive her, but grace your parlor with a Weaver’

To promote York, Pa.’s, Weaver Organ and Piano Co., marketers turned to poetry, of a sort. The company went out of business in the late 1950s, but its organs and pianos have become collector’s items. The company’s big brick building stands empty on North Broad Street in York. Additional fliers can be seen here. Also of interest: Junior Curators exhibit: The name of Lefty York of York, Pa., lives on and The organ: ‘It is a whole orchestra in itself’ and All Made in York posts from the start.

A Towson, Md., church, Babcock Presbyterian, has a 1908 Weaver pump organ, style Favorite Oak 30, #57513, that we would like to sell.
A commenter on a recent York Town Square post about the venerable York musicmaker asked that anyone interested in purchasing the instrument should contact him via the following email: rwwaters@comcast.net.
I commented back urging him to be patient and avoid large trash pickup. Someone will want it… .

The York County Heritage Trust’s Agricultural and Industrial Museum has a large display of such instruments and would be a repository for information on Weaver.
All this gives me an opportunity to pass on a few more comments on Weaver products, courtesy of York’s Dan Meckley, whose father worked there for years.
The Weaver pump organs were popular with overseas missionaries because they could be used in places that lacked electricity. The same was true in U.S. churches where the instruments could be carted outside the church building for picnics, vacation Bible school, and other outings. Indeed, Meckley pointed out some of the pump organs had handles so they could be easily carried.
Another commenter on the post asked about a fixture missing from the top of his Weaver instrument, probably a mirror.
A mirror on an organ?
That no doubt was used for the organist to keep track of the order of worship, the choir director’s cues etc.
Dan also provided an interesting tidbit that would strike anyone entering Weaver’s Broad Street factory – the smell of glue.
The sticky paste came from the glue factory, final repository for rendered horses and other animals. The glue for instruments was vital for proper sealing of organ parts and joints.
Finally, for those seeking a bit more information on Weaver instruments, visit The Antique Piano Shop’s Web site.
There, viewers can see the various instruments made by York craftsmen with the appraisal: “The extant Weaver instruments we have seen come through our restoration shop have been very well made pianos, indicating that Weaver built a higher grade of instrument.”
Perhaps the Towson church check out that restoration company’s site.

About Jim McClure

Editor of the York Daily Record/Sunday News, ydr.com and its many digital products. Journalism/history blogger: yorktownsquare.com. Author or co-author of seven York County, Pa., history books.
This entry was posted in Archives, all posts, Genealogy/research, God & York County, Local journalism & Web, Local landmarks, Made in York, Mail bag, Nostalgia & memories. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to York, Pa.-made Weaver Organs &; Pianos: ‘You have a wife, do not deceive her, but grace your parlor with a Weaver’

  1. DianneB says:

    My great grandfather, Henry Nelson Zumbrun (1845-1909) bought a Weaver organ for his three daughters amusement. As a stone cutter for the railroad, his salary was paltry but sufficient to purchase the organ circa 1902. He paid the equivalent of one month’s salary.
    My grandmother, Mabel Z. Rishel (1900-1989) remembers the day the organ arrived at the Emigsville house. It was delivered by a flat bed wagon pulled by several horses.
    Today, it works well, and reminds me of my grandmother playing from an old shaped note hymnal.
    Are there many other Weaver organs in York?
    Photo posted in online gallery.

  2. Sheri Eshelman says:

    I have a 1937 Weaver upright piano that I want to sell…..how can I find a buyer? Can you tell me the value of this piano.

  3. Jim McClure says:

    Dan Meckley III might be able to give you guidance. His father was general manager of the Weaver plant. Google his name and York, Pa., and phone number and you’ll get his number.

  4. Patricia Hedrick says:

    I have an 1889 Weaver organ that was left to me by my grandmother. I am interested in selling it, and would like to know what the value is. It has a very ornate hutch top, and is very good condition. Bellows are weak, but no changes have been made to it.

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