St. John
Lutheran Church

Daykin, NE

In the early 20th century, the application of electricity to pipe organ actions was in its infancy, but the tubular-pneumatic actions were widely recognized for their light touch at the keyboards as well as the ability to easily offer sub- and super-octave couplers. The Estey Organ Company of Brattleboro, VT was one of the most prolific builders of tubular-pneumatic action pipe organs. Many of their instruments can be found in churches throughout the Midwest and along the east coast. However, many of these instruments were electrified with the advent of solid-state relays. The small Estey Organ in Daykin, NE was an exception and the original action remains intact.

When a key is depressed, a tiny wedge pneumatic opens and allows the note to play. The wedge pneumatics are covered with a special, very thin type of leather called zephyr skin. The zephyr skin was deteriorating after 100 years of service. In this project, we disconnected the keydesk and brought it back to our shop. All of the zephyr skin was replaced with new ultra-thin pneumatic leather (modern zephyr skin is available, but today’s tanning practices do not create an appropriate product). All the leather gaskets were renewed and the keyboards were refurbished with new bushing felt. The original chest and reservoir leather remains in place and is still serviceable. The organ was re-dedicated in a special worship service before a full congregation. We love working with churches to preserve their musical heritage and enabling their organs to lead worship well into the future.

Estey Organ Company,
Opus 1458, 1916


Dulciana 8
Melodia 8
Open Diapason 8


Salicional 8
Stopped Diapason 8
Flute Harmonic 4


Bourdon 16


Swell/Great 16
Swell/Great 8
Swell/Great 4
Swell 16
Swell 4