Skinner, Ernest M(artin)

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Skinner, Ernest M(artin)

Skinner, Ernest M(artin) , American organ builder; b. Clarion, Pa., Jan. 15, 1866; d. Duxbury, Mass., Nov. 27, 1960. He was the founder of the Ernest M. Skinner Co., organ builders, originally of Dorchester, later of Methuen, Mass. Until 1905 the business was carried on by Skinner himself; it was then incorporated, with Skinner as president. From 1917 to 1932 he was technical director of the Skinner Organ Co., which in 1932 was merged with the Aeolian Co. of Garwood, N.J., and became the Aeolian-Skinner Organ Co. He was especially successful in the construction of organ pipes reproducing the exact tone color of the various woodwind instruments and the French horn; among several important inventions is the “duplex windchest,” by means of which the stops of 2 manuals are made interchangeable, and the arrangement of placing the stops on swinging sides. The Skinner Co. built the organ in the National Cathedral at Washington, D.C. He publ. The Modern Organ (1915; 6th ed., 1945) and The Composition of the Organ (1947).


D. Holden, The Life and Work of EM. S. (Richmond, Va., 1985).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire