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The Wanamaker Organ - The World's Largest Instrument?
The World's Largest...
Wanamaker Organ Has Competition
Is the Wanamaker Organ, a massive pipe organ in Philadelphia, the world's largest musical instrument?
If we're talking about fully functional man-made instruments, then this enormous instrument located in a 7-story court at Macy's Center City in Philadelphia may, indeed, be the winner. But it does have competitors for the title.
Who Deserves the Title of the World's Largest Instrument?
The Wanamaker Organ was built by the Los Angeles Art Organ Company
for the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. When built, it had more than 10,000 pipes. It was later purchased by
Philadelphia merchant John Wanamaker, who installed it in his new
Philadelphia emporium and increased its size even more. The organ was first played in the store's seven-story
atrium on June 22, 1911, at the exact moment when England's King George V
was crowned. Today the organ is played twice a day
throughout the year, and more often during the Christmas season, as well
as for special concerts.
The Wanamaker Organ has 28,500
pipes, which is quite impressive, but that's actually fewer pipes than
the Boardwalk Hall organ located in Atlantic City, NJ. That behemoth
boats 33,114 pipes. Built by the Midmer-Losh Organ Company, the
Boardwalk Hall organ has been named the "Largest pipe organ ever
constructed" by the Guinness Book of World Records. But it's not fully
functional. Only a small percentage of the pipes actually work.
there's another competitor for the title of the world's largest
instrument, too. The Great Stalacpipe Organ is an instrument that uses
specially chosen stalactites in the Luray Caverns in Virginia to produce
tones. When keys are pressed on the console, electronic mallets wired
the caverns strike the stalactites to produce notes. The
stalactites cover 3.5 acres
of the caverns, arguably making this unusual creation the
world's largest instrument.
So which one deserves the title of the World's Largest Instrument? You decide.
The Wanamaker Organ
The Great Stalacpipe Organ
Atlantic City Convention Hall Organ
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