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Hammond As In Organ: The Laurens Hammond Story

by Stuyvesant Barry

Copyright 1974, Stuyvesant Barry All Rights Reserved May not be copied, published, used on anyone else's web pages or in any way without express written permission.

Preface: This story was recently uncovered and brought to the Webmaster's attention. The manuscript was written in the early 1970's by Stuyvesant Barry. The book was never published, and thanks to his children who gave permission to use the manuscript - Frank, Kathy, David, Roxana and Bethany we have been granted permission to reprint the entire book here for our readers to enjoy. The book was written while Laurens Hammond was still alive. Since its writing, Laurens Hammond died (July 3, 1973), at age 78.

If any of our readers have interesting pictures or anectdotes to add, please Email them to us so we can include them in an interesting appendum to this page. If you have photographs or other memerobilia that you would like to contribute, drop us an email using that link and we will get back to you ASAP and then you can forward the material for inclusion. We would love to post pictures of the wives, children, former employee and more information about them. If anyone has these or any members of the Hammond family read this the general public would seriously enjoy any information you could share with us. Let this page be a living legacy to the man who made it all possible.

Another Interesting Hammond organ story put out by the factory is here: The Hammond Organ Company 25th Anniversary History of Hammond


"Hammond as in Organ"

I. Geyser in the Teacher's Inkwell
II. Larry's Mother and Three Older Sisters
III. Larry's Father and the Evanston Home
IV. In Europe from Four to Fourteen
V. Evanston High School Days
VI. Cornell Episodes
VII. First Job: McCord
VIII. With the A.E.F in World War I
IX. With the Gray Motor Company, Detroit
X. The Tickless Clock, Teleview and Classified Patent
XI. Ziegfeld Days
XII. Back to Chicago: Ups and Downs
XIII. The Electric Clock
XIV. The Hammond Organ is Born
XV. And How it Grew
XVI. World War II
XVII. After World War II
XVIII. Hammond and the Organ

"Hammond as in Organ"

Forward by Stuyvesant Barry

The Hammond organ is so well known that when Roxana Hammond gives her last name to a telephone operator, the operator often asks, "Hammond as in organ?" It's not known just in this country, but all over the world - probably just as well in Poland, for example, as in the United States. And when I tell friends I'm writing the biography of Larry Hammond of the Hammond Organ Company, they often ask, "Is he the son or the grandson of the man who invented it?" It's hard to believe that the inventor is still living , that the first Hammond organ was sold in 1935.

Laurens Hammond seated at his New Invention in 1935
The reason I wrote this book is that as I got to know Larry, I got more and more entranced with the stories he can tell about his life. These out to be written down, I felt, and, finally - if no one else is going to write them down, I am.

Larry was anything but enthusiastic about this: he didn't think his life was of enough general interest, and as I would be most unlikely to find a publisher, I'd be wasting my time. And he certainly wanted to have no part in subsidizing publication, as he shuns the thought of publicly "tooting his own horn". But I couldn't help feeling that there must be many others who would find these stories fascinating, and I preserved.

More than half of the book is quoted directly in his own words. This part is indented to avoid the awkwardness of endless quotation marks. Most of the rest is slightly abbreviated and adapted from what he told me over a long series of reminiscences from May, 1972, through February, 1973. Some parts come from magazine and newspaper articles, former business associates, and former employees, family and friends, and books, to fill out the picture. I hasten to add that the complimentary characterizations did not come from him, but from those who have known him. I only hope the reader will enjoy as much as I have the life stories of a remarkable human being.

Many thanks to the many people who helped type this into the web pages, illustrate the pages and make this lost manuscript available online to all. Special Thanks to Desmond & Lisa Nicholson (Lisa is Roxana Hammond's daughter) for many of the personal photographs used on these pages.  
Chapter I - Geyser in the Teacher's Inkwell    

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Hammond A-100 Organ (Leslie not included),   $5,000.00  $2,500.00 ON SALE! Located in Houston

Hammond A-100 Organ (Leslie not included),   $5,000.00  $2,500.00 ON SALE! Located in Houston

Hammond B3 Scratch and Dent Plus Leslie 45,   $12,999.00  $6,500.00 ON SALE! Located in Houston

Hammond B3 Scratch and Dent Special, 21H Leslie,   $13,000.00  $8,500.00 ON SALE! Located in Houston

Hammond A100, Wired for 147 or 251,   $5,500.00  $2,750.00 ON SALE! Located in Houston

Gorgeous Lime Oak RT3 with Leslie 122,   $9,500.00  $5,500.00 ON SALE! Located in Houston

Super Nice C3 w/ Leslie 122,   $9,500.00  $7,500.00 ON SALE! Located in Houston

Hammond A102 w/ Leslie 145,   $5,750.00  $4,995.00 ON SALE! Located in Houston

Hammond RT3, Leslie 122,   $7,500.00  $4,950.00 ON SALE! Located in Houston

Genuine Hammond B3 w/ Leslie 145,   $12,500.00  $9,500.00 ON SALE! Located in Houston


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