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Q: I have a pump organ that belonged to my grandmother in the 1940s or earlier. The family story is that she used it in her one-room schoolhouse in Jackson County, Ohio. It still works. It’s labeled “Crown Organ.” On the back it says, “Geo. Bent, Chicago, U.S.A.” I would appreciate any information you can provide.

A: Crown organs and pianos were made by the George P. Bent Piano Co. The company was founded in about 1870 in Louisville, Ky. In 1881 it advertised itself as a jobber of organs and sewing machines. In 1889 the company moved to Chicago and was awarded several medals at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. Sears Roebuck & Co. sold some Crown organs. Bent was bought by Winter Piano Co. in 1927. Plain pump organs sell for about $50 to $100 and up.


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