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About Wicks
Original Wick Jewelry Store

The Wicks Organ Company started in the early 1900's on the second floor of a jewelry and watch-making store in Highland, Illinois. The local Catholic priest had asked John Wick to study organ and become the church organist. Soon the parish wanted a new pipe organ to replace their aging reed organ, so John Wick, with the help of his brothers, Louis and Adolph, started to work. Using their talents as a watchmaker, a cabinet maker, and a jeweler, the three Wicks created a small mechanical action instrument that successfully met the needs of their church.

It wasn't long before nearby churches heard of their work, and wanted the same for their growing parishes. The Wicks created more of their instruments, and interest in organs built right here in Illinois grew. By 1908, the three Wicks incorporated the Wicks Organ Company, and began producing pipe organs for homes and churches in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and eventually almost every state in the country.

Wicks Organ Company

The Wicks initially used all mechanical action, but with the advent of electricity and electric blowers, began to experiment with electro-pneumatic actions. There are surviving examples of their work today, but John Wick thought that surely an organ could be operated purely electrically, avoiding the difficulties of pneumatic actions. Such pneumatic actions require frequent total releathering, and are susceptible to dirt, air pollution, changes in weather, moisture, and the winding and layout of the organ must be designed with the action in mind, not the pipework, or the amount of space available to the organ. When difficulties do occur in these actions, repair and service can be incredibly difficult.

Keep Going
Recent News:
Jul 21
St. Michaels Receives New Organ
Jul 13
Shrine Receives New Organ
May 11
Opus 6466 installation complete
May 11
Grand Court Organist plays St. James Wicks
Oct 31
St. James Cathedral
Recent Installations & Rebuilds:
FBC Simpsonville, South Carolina
6442 Cathedral of St. Helena, Helena, Montana
4400 Bethel Lutheran Church, Rochester, Minnesota
6435 First Presbyterian Church, Pitman, New Jersey
6434 First United Methodist Church, Hampton, Virginia
6430 St. Cecilia's Convent, Nashville, Tennesee

All text and images Copyright 2014, Wicks Organ Company Highland, Illinois

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