Fair organs were originally built to attract punters at fairgrounds, usually
on rides, and were robust enough to play non-stop throughout the day. They
are now mostly seen on gallopers, but in the past - and indeed in antique
fairs now - on chairoplanes, steam yachts and others, and also in
preservation. Irvin's 89-key Marenghi, pictured here, was still in
fairground use until recently. This photo was taken at Abingdon Street Fair
c1984, and is the subject of a restoration
article on this site.
As these organs were designed to play AT the public - sounding
above the general noise of the fair, their pipework usually included
multiple ranks of the "violin" and "trumpet" type. The four kinds of fair
organ I built from scratch are detailed here - see the buttons above.
© 2017, John Page