The “Vocalian” Organ brand was manufactured by the prominent Mason & Risch Piano Company. Thomas G. Mason, Vincent Risch and Octavius Newcombe entered into partnership in 1871 to form the firm of “Mason, Risch & Newcombe” in Toronto. The firm started out as retailers of pianos, organs and musical merchandise, initially importing their instruments from the United States.
Mason, Risch & Newcombe begin building their own instruments, including the Vocalian Organ, in Toronto in about 1877. These instruments were met with great success. In 1878 the firm was reorganized as “Mason & Risch” when Newcombe left the partnership to open his own firm. Mason & Risch quickly became one of the largest music store chains in Canada. Mason & Risch built high quality pianos for decades, and enjoyed a very good reputation.
In 1900 Mason & Risch entered into a contact with Eaton’s Department Stores, Canada’s largest department store chain, to build pianos under the brand name of “T. Eaton”. Instruments labeled as “T. Eaton” were sold in Eaton’s Department Stores for decades, giving Mason & Risch the revenue needed to survive the economic downturns of the 20th Century. The firm also produced a successful line of organs under the “Vocalian” brand name.
In the 1950’s, the firm was purchased by the Winter Piano Company of New York, and it became part of the large Aeolian-American Corporation. The Mason & Risch brand name was discontinued in 1972.
INSTRUMENT CATALOGS & EPHEMERA
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Turn-Of-The-Century Advertisement for The “Vocalian” Organ, Manufactured by Mason & Risch