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Early Synthesizers, Keyboard and Performance Instruments

The Robb Wave Organ

The Robb Wave Organ (910484) was reputed to be musically superior to the Hammond Organ. It was designed by Morse Robb in Belleville, Ontario, who attempted to reproduce the sound of a cathedral pipe organ by amplifying sounds generated by a series of rotating metal cylinders.

Morse Robb ca 1923/1924 with his first experimental model
behind his left sholder. CSTM)

A later experimental version (ca 1927-28) had ten tone wheels, each with magnetic pickup sensor.

The Robb Wave Organ came on the market in 1936 and remained available until 1941. A newspaper article on the organ-printed almost ten years before it became available-was headlined: "Young Canadian Invents Pipeless Ethereal Organ" (Toronto Star, 1927). The Robb Wave Organ was more expensive than other electronic organs, and sales suffered because of the Depression and World War II. With only thirteen units sold, the company ceased operation in 1941. The Museum has preserved prototype and final tone wheels and drums from Mr Robb's workshop.

A commercial version, as illustrated in company promotional literature ca 1936.

The third generation of tone wheels ca 1930 (above) and the highly refined tone wheel mechanism of the commercial wave organ ca 1936.(CSTM)