First United Methodist Church

Urbana, Illinois

Organ Description

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The following text appeared in the program when our building was dedicated in September 1927:

Ours is a three manual Kilgen Organ and represents the highest development in organ construction, built and installed by one of the oldest firms of organ builders in the country, George Kilgen and Son, Inc., Saint Louis, Missouri.
       This company had its beginning in Durlach, Germany in 1640, when Sebastian Kilgen built the first organ that bears this illustrious name. Through four generations, his descendants have carried on and developed the organ industry until today the Kilgen Company stands out pre-eminently among the organ builders of the world, not only as the oldest and most experienced firm, but as the one which has led the way in the conception and application of modern scientific developments in the art of organ construction.
       Kilgen was the first to adjust wind pressure in the application of electricity to the organ. The magnet recognized by leading physicists as the most reliable in modern organs bears the name of Kilgen. The silver contacts, which experience has proved to be the most reliable, as well as the simplest action, are the product of the Kilgen Research Department.
       The organ in our church represents the ultimate thus far attained in organ building. Every piece of material that has been used in this instrument has been carefully selected. The wood pipes are made of specially kiln-dried lumber prepared with the utmost care so that, through the years, they shall be able to stand all kinds of atmospheric changes. The metals used in the metal pipes were cast from basic metal mixed in different proportions so as to afford the best timbre for the particular family—String, Flute or Diapason—which they are to represent. The organ has been voiced according to the acoustic demands of the auditorium by men of international reputation, who have been with the Kilgen Company for years. While every set of pipes has its own peculiar chataracteristic tonal quality, the grouping has been so carefully blended that there is a regular graduation from stop to stop until the ensemble of the full organ impresses one with its grandeur, richness and dignity.
       We congratulate the Truth Seekers Class upon the presentation of this fine instrument to First Church, and we are positive that it will make a wonderful contribution to the worshipful atmosphere of our church.