Collection documents Victor Zuck's work on developing and selling electronic organs, first with the Everett Piano Company of South Haven, Michigan, and then with the Wurlitzer Organ Company of North Tonawanda, New York.
Collection is arranged into one series.
Victor I. Zuck was born in Hagerstown, Maryland on January 24, 1908 to Jacob and Ora Turner Zuck. David Zuck, an uncle was an employee with M.P. Moller Company, builders of pipe organs and in the 1920s, introduced Victor to an apprenticeship with organs at Moeller. At Moller, Victor worked under Ted Clark, Raleigh Williams, and Richard Whitelegg. Zuck spent two years, 1930-1931 at the United States Military Academy where he collaborated with Frederick C. Mayers, the organist and choirmaster of the Harmonic Division. Zuck returned to the Moller Company and assumed leadership of the Automatic Player Department, supervising the rebuilding of pipe organs and hand cutting for automatic rolls.
At Moller, Zuck worked with Frederick A. Hoschke, the musical director. Hoeschke developed the Orgatron, an electrostratic reed organ in 1934. It was manufactured by Everett Piano Company from 1935 to 1941. The Rudolph Wurlitzer Company secured the patents from Everett in 1945. Wurlitzer produced these instruments and retained the Everett names on some models from 1945 to 1947. Orgatrons continued to be produced into the early 1960s. After the ORgatron was purchased by Wurlitzer, Zuck joined the Wulritzer Company and became superintendent of the organ division and a consultant in research. Zuck held 14 organ-related patents, all assigned to the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company of North Tonawanda, New York. In 1952, Zuck resigned from Wurlitzer and returned to the Moller Company as a sales representative. In 1975, Zuck was ordained a priest in the Episcopal Church.
Zuck married Nathalie Peterson, grandniece of Frederick A. Hoeschke in 1937. Zuck died on January 6, 2004.
Automatic Musical Instruments Collectors Association, Honor Rool (https://www.amica.org/files/VICTOR_I_ZUCK.pdf (last accessed on November 15, 2021)
Materials in the Division of Culture and the Arts
An Everett/Wurlitzer Orgatron Model 4600, Serial #18421 made in 1952. See accession 1994.0035.01.
Collection donated by Victor I. Zuck and Nathalie A. Zuck, January 1994.
Advertisements, catalogs, repair manuals, union materials, and technical drawings related to pianos and piano tuning (companies and organizations listed below). While providing a window into a profession that spans both science and music, this collection contains information concerning economic changes, advertising, trade associations, and technical advances.
Scope and Contents:
The William Lenx Piano Tuning Collection contains advertisements, catalogs, repair manuals, union materials, and technical drawings related to pianos and piano tuning. The collection is divided into five series. These series are William Lenx, Piano Tuners Societies and Associations, Piano Tuning and Playing, Manufacturers and Distributors of Parts, Supplies and Tools, and Manufacturers of Pianos.
Included in the collection are a number of manuscript technical drawings by Lenz of the mechanics of trackers organ from 1925. The piano supple catalogs date from c. 1903 to 1952 and document changing prices fro parts and the development of piano technology. The Piano Tuners Society and association publications and correspondence include materials form the
American Guild of Piano Tuners, the National Association of Piano tuners, and the American Society of Piano Technicians (also known as the American Society of Piano Tuner-Technicians).
While providing a window into a profession that spanned the fields of both science and music, the William Lenx Collection contains information concerning economic changed,
advertising, trade associations, and technical advancement.
Divided into 5 series.
Series 1: William Lenz, 1925-1955
Series 2: Piano Tuners' Societies and Associations, ca. 1914-1954
Series 3: Piano Tuning and Playing, 1927-1953
Series 4: Manufacturers and Distributors of Parts and Tools, circa 1903-1952
Series 5: Manufacturers of Pianos, 1946-1955
Biographical / Historical:
Born sometime before 1890, Lenz spent most if not all of his life in Philadelphia, Pa., where he worked as a piano tuner and technician. Judging from materials in the collection, it is likely that he was a member of the National Association of Piano Tuners, and later the American Society of Piano Technicians. He probably died in the mid-1950s.
Materials in the Archives Center
Pratt-Read Company Records, 1893-1990 (NMAH.AC.320)
Steinway Piano Company Collection, 1850-1906, 1953 (NMAH.AC.0178)
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Series: Pianos (NMAH.AC.0060)
Wood & Brooks Company Records, c. 1890-c. 1958 (NMAH.AC.0457)
Wurlitzer Company Records, 1864-1984(NMAH.AC.0468).
Collection donated by University of Pennsylvania,through The Curtis Organ Restoration Society, May 24, 1994.
Unrestricted research use on site.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.