Franklin Legge Organ Co.

Franklin Legge Organ Co. Prominent organ builder in the first half of the 20th century.

Franklin Legge Organ Co.

Franklin Legge Organ Co. Prominent organ builder in the first half of the 20th century. Founded in 1915 in Toronto by Charles Franklin Legge (organist, b St Catharines, Ont, 21 Dec 1891, d Toronto 18 Feb 1948), the firm installed its first instruments in Chapleau in northern Ontario and in Williamsburg near Ottawa.

In 1919 William F. Legge joined the firm, and a factory was built on Dufferin Street in Toronto. There, more than 250 instruments of two to four manuals were designed and built for buyers in North and South America. Almost entirely enclosed, the Legge organs used all-electric action and English-style diapasons and reeds. A self-player employing hand-recorded rolls was offered for use in homes and funeral parlours.

One of the best known Legge instruments, originally built for Casa Loma, was a 15-rank three-manual organ with 100 stops and effects. It was purchased by CKNC (taken over in 1933 by the CBC) and was installed first in the CKNC Davenport Road studios and then in CBC studio 'G' where, until 1966, it was used for various radio programs including 'Nocturne'. The instrument was associated mainly with the organist Quentin Maclean.

The C. Franklin Legge Organ Co ceased operation in 1947, and its service contracts were assumed by the T. Eaton Co in 1948. At about that time, however, William Legge, briefly in Eaton's employ, formed in Woodstock, Ont, the William F. Legge Organ Co, which was purchased (1963) by C.F. David Legge, son of C. Franklin, and continued as the Legge Organ Co. In 1991 the Legge Organ Co continued to operate in Toronto, doing renovations and repairs but not building any new instruments.