Deagan Organ Chimes

The Deagan company was at the height of production in the early 20th century; a period remarkable for American creativity and imagination in an industrial age. As J. C. Deagan created many instrument designs and patents, there were some that did not achieve immense popularity but that are examples of this American ingenuity. Considered "novelty" instruments, some of them are the nabimba, aluminum harp, tuned sleighbells, musical rattles, tapaphone, tubaphone, metal bamboos, unaphone, octaphone, musical coins, and organ chimes.

Perhaps it was that the instrument is so large and exotic, but the organ chimes were one such musical novelty that were not manufactured in great numbers and not beyond the early 1920's. A similar fate met the nabimba; Deagan's large scale version of the African or Guatemalan marimba with a distinctive tone caused by membranes capping the top of each resonator tube. Only about fifty of these were made and are consequently now an extremely rare find.

The chimes were made in both nickel plated (organ chimes) and aluminum (aluminum chimes) sets with ranges varying from 1 1/2 octaves (15 chimes) to 4 octaves (49 chimes). The sets are suspended on a floor rack with the larger sets requiring two. Aside from the metal used, the only other difference between the organ and aluminum chimes is that each note of the organ chimes contain 4 notes each tuned an octave apart and the aluminum chimes each contain 3 notes. In the 4 octave set (5410, 5510), the lowest note is the G sounding 1 1/2 octaves below middle C and is massive in size.

Instrument Model Number Octaves & Range No. of Chimes Tuning
Organ Chimes 5400 1.5 F-C20 High Pitch
Organ Chimes 55001.5 F-C20 Low Pitch
Organ Chimes 5402 2 C-C25 High Pitch
Organ Chimes 5502 2 C-C25 Low Pitch
Organ Chimes 5404 2 C-C (PLUS LOW F, G / HIGH D)28 High Pitch
Organ Chimes 5504 2 C-C (PLUS LOW F, G / HIGH D) 28 Low Pitch
Organ Chimes 5406 2.5 F-C32 High Pitch
Organ Chimes 5506 2.5 F-C32 Low Pitch
Organ Chimes ??? 2.5 C-F (PLUS LOW F, G) 32
Organ Chimes 5407 3 1/8 E-F 38 High Pitch
Organ Chimes 5507 3 1/8 E-F38 Low Pitch
Organ Chimes 5408 3.5 C-G44 High Pitch
Organ Chimes 5508 3.5 C-G 44 Low Pitch
Organ Chimes 5410 4 G-G49 High Pitch
Organ Chimes 5510 4 G-G49 Low Pitch
Aluminum Chimes 5416 1.5 F-C (diatonic) 15 High Pitch
Aluminum Chimes 5516 1.5 F-C (diatonic)15 Low Pitch
Aluminum Chimes 5418 1.5 F-C20 High Pitch
Aluminum Chimes 5518 1.5 F-C 20 Low Pitch
Aluminum Chimes 5420 2 C-C 25 High Pitch
Aluminum Chimes 55202 C-C25 Low Pitch
Aluminum Chimes 5422 2 C-C (PLUS LOW G / HIGH D) 27 High Pitch
Aluminum Chimes 5522 2 C-C (PLUS LOW G / HIGH D)27 Low Pitch
Aluminum Chimes 5424 2.5 F-C32 High Pitch
Aluminum Chimes 55242.5 F-C32 Low Pitch
Aluminum Chimes 5426 3 F-F 37 High Pitch
Aluminum Chimes 55263 F-F37 Low Pitch
Aluminum Chimes 54303.5 C-G44 High Pitch
Aluminum Chimes 5530 3.5 C-G44 Low Pitch

Aluminum Chimes Model 5522 - High Note "D"

Aluminum Chimes Model 5522 - Low Note "G"