Schober Organ Notes No. 87

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Issue # 87
Fred Henn Founder & Headmaster Emeritus October 2004

Alex Kruedener,

Jack D. Gildar,

Schober Organ Orphans' Page:


I hope you are all well and prepared for winter. I am also hoping that the frame for the addition to my house in Vermont will be completed before it snows! All my furniture and everything are crowded into two rooms, stacked from wall to wall and to the ceiling. The roof is still missing from half the house and the tarp is not stopping a lot of the rain from leaking in. I can barely reach my computer amidst the clutter. Again, I am in a frenzy, so if I forgot anything you may have wanted published in this issue or have forgotten a request to send you something, please let me know. I found a note about pedal switches that I was to send to someone but forgot who. I am also unable to get to my books, etc., so for those who are waiting for an answer to a question about a problem, please be patient, and I will get back to you when my mess is straightened out.

IMPORTANT: Please type some sort of a message stating a purpose for your e-mail, if you send one, so I know your e-mail is legitimate. Don't just send an attachment. I have been getting attachments from addresses that I know, without any text, and they have been viruses sent by one of those nasty hackers that have nothing better to do than make others miserable.


LESLIE-Donald James Leslie, Born Danville, Illinois, April 13, 1911, passed away September 2 at home at the age of 93. Parents were Benjamin Franklin Leslie, and Lucy Keller Leslie. Preceded in death by his sisters Dorothy, Helen, Eva, Mary and brother Robert Joseph. He is survived by Carolyn, his wife of 48 years, daughter Jeanine, sons Scott and James, six grandchildren, and sister Mary Elizabeth Grime. The Leslie family moved to southern California in 1913, settling in Glendale.

Donald went to Glendale schools and graduated from Glendale Union High School in 1929. Acquired knowledge in mechanics, radio, electronics, metals while working at various jobs, including employment at Naval Research Laboratories in Washington D.C. during WWII. Had considerable interest in music, mostly piano and pipe organ. At the introduction of the Hammond Organ, in the early thirties, he invented a unique speaker system which was called the "Leslie Speaker," used on Hammond and other electronic organs by which he became rather famous worldwide. He established Electro Music in Pasadena and manufactured the Leslie Speaker there for over forty years. CBS acquired his company in 1965 and it became one of the first units of CBS Musical Instruments. The popularity of his speaker invention earned him several awards, including one from Hammond in 1978 that stated "Donald J. Leslie - In recognition of his outstanding contribution and dedication in making the Hammond-Leslie sound responsible for creating the organ industry". This speaker invention led to about fifty patents in the musical field, some of which changed the way in which some music was presented. Other patents awarded to him included radio control of model trains, control and chlorination systems for swimming pools. He was a long time resident of Pasadena and Altadena, and a member of Annandale Golf Club for many years. His hobbies included tennis, music, model railroads, and flying private aircraft around the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Family and friends are welcome for a celebration of life for Don at the Leslie residence in Altadena Saturday, September 11th beginning at 4:30. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Don's memory can be made to the American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 1132, Fairfax, VA 22038-1132.


Published in the Pasadena Star-News on 9/5/2004


Our member Harold Whipps writes:

It's been awhile. I've been busy with another very large project so organs have taken a back seat. I'm the chairman of our church's building committee. This turned out to be a two plus years project. Happy to say we now have our permits.

The reason I'm writing is about a web site I think you might like to pass along in ON. I dug out my old PC; I've switched to Mac's, to run this program. The sounds are great. Have a look.


My name is John S. Dorf and I am the younger brother of Richard H. Dorf, who died in 1989.

I am working on a proposed family tree and just yesterday went on the Internet and typed in Dick's full name. To my surprise I came across the link entitled "History of the Schober Organ Corp". When I e mailed the link to my younger son, Jim, of Laguna Beach, California, who has his own computer consulting company, he responded by telling me that he, in turn, had found the Schober Organ Orphans' Web page.

My brother, who would be about 83 today, was an excellent pianist and also played the cello and, of course, the organ. I'm sure he would be thrilled to know about your organization and the continuing interest in the Schober organ. He also would have had a wonderful time with computer technology and the Internet.

Apropos of nothing, my wife and I live in the winter in Pelican Bay, Naples, Florida, and spend the warm weather months at our home on the Hudson River in Piermont, New York (which is just 2 miles below Nyack, NY and the Tappan Zee Bridge connecting Rockland County NY with Westchester County NY). I practiced commercial transactional real estate law in New York City for 48 years. I also play piano, but not nearly as well as my brother, and for years had fun playing a small, already assembled, Schober organ which he had given to me in the 1980s.

Incidentally, while as you may well know "Dorf" is a German name, my brother felt that "Schober" would be a much better sounding name for an organ company. I reluctantly agreed with him.

Good luck to you and your organization!

John S. Dorf


Dear Mr. Kruedener:

Thank you for your message. While I don't know that I could write a story about my brother, I can give you a few facts about him which probably won't be of much interest to you and your group.

Dick's full name was Richard Henry Goldfogle Dorf. Henry Goldfogle was his godfather, our father's law partner in New York City, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for over 15 years, a lower court judge in New York City and before his death in 1929 served for about eight years as President of the New York City Board of Taxes and Assessments. Dick attended McBurney High School and the Horace Mann School for Boys in Riverdale, New York, both private schools. During World War II he was in the Army Air Force and attained the rank of 1st Lieutenant. He spent almost all of his time in the service as a Communications Officer at an army airbase in Waycross, Georgia.

Dick studied piano for many years and also took organ lessons from Gottfried H. Federlein who was the principal organist at Temple Emanu-El at 65th Street and Fifth Avenue in New York City. Before entering the service in WWII Dick worked as a staff announcer at WNYC, New York City's public radio station. He also worked at the Italian American station, WOV, where he met his first wife. Both his first wife of over thirty years and his widow still are alive. He never had children.

Dick always loved dogs and had a series of German shepherds and, lastly, a standard poodle named "Radio".

My wife and I now are at our home in Naples, Florida. When we get back up north to Piermont, New York, for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays I will look to see if I may have any material which might be of interest to you and, if so, will get it to you.

All best wishes to you and the Schober Organ Group Orphans.

John S. Dorf

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Editor/Publisher: Alexander Kruedener, 161 East 89 Street, Apt. 4E, New York, NY 10128, (212) 831-0662.
Kruedener@juno. com

Fred Henn Founder & Headmaster Emeritus
October 2004
EDITOR Alex Kruedener kruedener@juno. com
EMAIL Jack D. Gildar JDgildar@juno. com
Schober Organ Orphans' Web Page: http://www. users. cloud9. net/~pastark/schober.html