update: 21-11-2011



List of catalogs


Scanning catalogs


Estey catalogs


Mason & Hamlin catalogs


Mustel catalogs








Scanning catalogs

Due to the discussion on collecting & scanning sales catalogs of reed organs in order to create a library of historic documentation, Ned Phoenix mentioned in his e-mail (quoted in full below) a "standard procedure" how to scan in a uniform way.

The e-mails on this discussion: (e-mail addresses removed for obvious reasons)

-----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
Van: Grijn, Frans van der
Verzonden: dinsdag 17 maart 2009 17:25
Aan: 'Robert.F. Gellermanf; 'Brian Styles'; 'James Tyler'; 'Ned Phoenix'; 'Louis Huivenaar'
Onderwerp: Estey catalogs

Dear all,

Catalog project – Estey catalogs

Based on records by
Robert F. Gellerman (
and records by
Peter H. Adams

Obviously double records have been removed. The locations where to find are moved to the same records with the most clear description.

Estey is quite a number of records.

At the moment I am under the impression that some reed organ trade cards are mentioned as ‘catalog’.

My question:

Wouldn’t it be nice for ROS and/or Estey Museum to start a project to collect Xeroxes of all known catalogs? Because it seems that some catalogs in the list are mere Xeroxes of library originals.

Yes, you need quite a number of people to work on it, and quite a number of people need to donate a moderate sum of money.

Furthermore I see records where the number of pages don’t seem logical when compared to another one of the same year.

Also I noticed some strange differences in measurements. Differences of a quarter of an inch seem to be measuring without your reading glasses.

The Estey listing is now on my own website on this page:
The listing is also attached as an Acrobat file of 600 kB for printing purposes.

By the way: In the listing of Robert Gellerman there is still mentioned CF as a location. This collection was sold to the Fluke family about two years ago.

This message is sent to only a few, just to think about it. So it does not go to mailing lists.




-----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
Van: Ned Phoenix
Verzonden: woensdag 18 maart 2009 5:15
Aan: Grijn, Frans van der
CC: Robert F. Gellerman; 'Brian Styles'; 'James Tyler'; Louis Huivenaar; Michael Hendron; N.B. Pease; Valerie Abrahamsen; Ed Boadway; John Carnahan; Anita Crosson; Alan & Deirdre; David Garrecht; Barbara George; Christopher Grotke; Ned Phoenix; David Ryan; Cynthia G. Wilcox
Onderwerp: Estey Master Catalog

Hello All,
I have expanded the circle of recipients for this email.
A big thank you to Frans for his list of Estey catalogs (the link is in his email below).
Yes, a concerted Estey catalog project is a good idea.
EOM has many catalogs up to about 1912. It is good to see some early dates, and that 20th-century catalogs are well-represented in Frans' List. (Franz Liszt?) Actually, Fritz Gellerman's list.

I have thought for years and recently proposed to EOM that, in addition to collecting individual catalogs, an Estey "Master Catalog" is necessary. This would be an important historic and reference document for the public, and would greatly assist EOM collections and exhibit goals and decisions.

Michael Hendron has recently done excellent work collating photocopies of EOM's and other Estey catalogs in one possible configuration. With EOM's blessing, Michael offers this collation to interested parties -- contact him at his email address above.

Perhaps someone(s) would like to make professional-grade digital scans of these far-flung catalogs.  Scanning standards should be agreed on before any work is done. Notices of such a project would go out to various organizations whose members may have Estey catalogs. Continue to look for other catalogs and collectors.

Publication might be by subscription: a number of paper copies to go to interested parties. Also as a free online reference on the EOM website, Frans' List, and others.

One obvious observation I have made is that for too many years, Estey's catalogs and organs were old-fashioned. Jacob Estey died September 30, 1890. The 1891 catalog initiated a sudden difference from its predecessors in organ designs and names.

Re: Frans' question about page sizes:
Dennis Waring and I are just now publishing the facsimile edition of the Estey Organ Method, Revised Edition. To inform my Introduction, I spoke with a Brattleboro printer (Bill Soucy) who knows Brattleboro history. Since the early 19th century, Brattleboro has been a printing town. Originally, prior to 1850, primarily religious books were published in Brattleboro. The modern era of Brattleboro printing began in the late 1880s thru the tenure of The Book Press.

Estey Organ Methods exist in many different dimensions and colors. Jacob Estey always shopped for price. The difference in page sizes is due to the different sizes of the various presses around Brattleboro: for example, a one-inch difference in press size translates to 1/8" < 1/4" difference in page sizes. Estey Methods' dimensions vary by about 1/8".

I have deduced that Estey owned permanent "standing plates" for the Estey Organ Method which they brought to each printer in turn. The catalogs were probably set up as standing plates and shopped around in the same manner, which resulted in the exact same catalog on different sizes of paper, even in the same year, because they were printed on different presses by different printers.

Thank you for your interest and work in this project.
I am happy to help where I can.


What I do when scanning

During a giant project last year when I decided to scan appr. 3500 sheets of Xeroxed patents from Germany, England, USA, I encountered some difficulties in keeping the pagesize consistent. It did not work. Just because the originals don't have the same size.

In catalogs, however, all pages are of the exact same size. This is what I do to avoid (small) differences in page sizes during scanning:



First of all, this is a screendump of the Hewlett-Packard scan software I happen to use, it will be about the same in any software. I used a book to explain.

  1. I place the original on a sheet of blue colored cardboard and outline the size of the original.
  2. I cut out the size of the original.
  3. The 'mask' is placed on the scanner's glassplate.
  4. The original is placed in the cutout space in the mask
  5. I start the scanner and make a preview in full colour (to see exactly what is blue)
  6. I adjust the size of the scan by moving the dotted lines to fit exactly the non-blue area.
  7. I change the output to black & white
  8. Accept the result and the scanner starts to make a scan

I use Adobe Acrobat to start the scanning procedure. I scan 4 to 5 pages, than I save the results in Acrobat to make Acrobat files. When finished with the catalog I have multiple files each containing a few pages. In Acrobat these files can be joined to make one file.

Choice of output

I use black & white for output because a catalog is in black & white. When scanning the scanner looks for black on the page. White is dismissed. The result is a reasonably "impeccable" scan. Even spots etc. are minor.

When scanning in full colour, the shaded coloration of the page is scanned (and printed!) to. Since in scanning catalogs we are interested in impeccable images, the scan's of images are as bright as the "original". Below are two scans taken from the Story & Clarck book published by the ROS. Hence, a scan from a printed book based on scanned originals. Below a scan full colour (left) and a scan in black & white (right)

So, it shows that depending on the source one has to decide how to scan and what output format to choose.

full colour   black & white
scanned full colour
scanned as black & white