Appearing in the photograph are the owners of J. Estey & Co. from left to right: Julius J. Estey, Levi Fuller, and Jacob Estey.

NORTHFIELD, Vt. – Norwich University’s Sullivan Museum and History Center presents “The Estey Organ Company: An Ethnomusicologist’s View” with presenter Dennis Waring on Wednesday, March 27 at noon. This free event, sponsored by the Sullivan Museum and History Center Associates, includes a light lunch and is open to the public.

Dennis Waring, an ethnomusicologist, instrument maker, music educator, performer, six-time author, and two-time Connecticut Troubadour, will present a historical examination of the reed organ that reveals fascinating information about the beginnings of American popular culture, Victorianism, and the Industrial Revolution.

Founder of The Estey Organ Company (1846–1961), Jacob Estey (1814–1890), stands among the great music business entrepreneurs of the 19th century. His son, Julius Jacob Estey (1845–1902), attended Norwich University from 1861–1863 and became president of the company in 1890 after his father’s death. A classic American “rags to riches” story, the Esteys manufactured and distributed over a half-million reed organs around the world. 

This program is held in conjunction with the museum’s current exhibition, “200 Years—200 Objects: Highlights from the Collection,” open through December 21, 2019. This thoughtfully curated exhibition features objects from the collection, including an Estey Organ, that reflect and retell Norwich University’s 200-year history. As Norwich celebrates the history and legacy that began with Captain Partridge and his original school, we invite you to explore how you are connected to the story of Norwich University.

Vermont’s only Smithsonian Affiliate, the Sullivan Museum and History Center features permanent exhibitions and changing exhibitions. The museum is free and open to the public Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.–4 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m.–4 p.m. during the academic year. For more information about the programs or exhibit, please visit the website or call 1 (802) 485-2183.


Sullivan Museum and History Center


About Norwich University

Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation's six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). 

Norwich will celebrate its bicentennial in 2019. In fulfillment of Norwich’s mission to train and educate today’s students to be tomorrow’s global leaders, Norwich launched the Forging the Future campaign in 2014. The five-year campaign, which is timed to culminate in 2019, is committed to creating the best possible learning environment through state-of-the-art academics and world-class facilities and is designed to enhance the university’s strong position as it steps into its third century of service to the nation.

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