Hope-Jones Organ Co. (of Elmira)

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Hope-Jones Organ Co. (of Elmira)


The inventor of the Mighty Wurlitzer organ which catapulted the company to worldwide recognition was a brilliant (if troubled) Englishman named Robert Hope-Jones.

Hope-Jones came to the U.S. in 1903. In 1907 he formed the Hope-Jones Organ Co. in Elmira, N.Y. (Mark Twain is a large shareholder) at the corner of East 5th and Madison. After three years of struggles (and under a "cloud" of suspicion in Elmira for his "actions with small boys"), the company and patents were purchased by Wurlitzer in 1910, whereupon Robert Hope-Jones moved to Wurlitzer's North Tonawanda plant to oversee production of a new line of organ. The relationship is said to have been a strained one, with the old inventor constantly tweaking and refining his instruments, and never willing to relinquish control so that they could go into production. He would be barred from the factory he led. At least six months before his death he had cut ties with Wurlitzer. The Mighty Wurlitzer Theater Organ and pipe organs are based on his breakthroughs, and sustained Wurlitzer between the mechanical music era and the jukebox era (and beyond). Hope-Jones committed suicide on September 12 or 13, 1914, while traveling in Rochester. A report says August de Kleist brought his body back to North Tonawanda.


Fine cathedral organ, article (Auburn Telegraph and others, 1906-03-15).txt

Instrument Fa r Kevr Episcopa l Cathedra
l Wil l Be One of th e Most
POTT erf ul In th e World—Hope-Jone s
System of Tone Producing; Will…

Robert Hope-Jones articles and photos (Puget Sound Pipeline, 2012-08 and 2012-10).pdf


Includes the following essay, photos of Hope-Jones, and two lengthy addresses by the inventor. Who was Robert Hope-Jones? Hope-Jones, 1859–1914, was…