Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Entries : Hammond Organ Co.
Hammond Organ Co.

Hammond Organ Co.

In 1928, Evanston resident Laurens Hammond founded the Hammond Clock Co. His enterprise had little success until 1934, when Hammond patented an electric organ and began to manufacture the instruments. In 1936 he sold more than 1,750 of the 275-pound organs, mainly to churches and households. During the 1950s, when the company employed over 1,000 people in the Chicago area, it changed its name from Hammond Musical Instrument Co. to Hammond Organ Co. By the early 1970s, with annual sales approaching $100 million, Hammond had four plants in the Chicago area and employed a total of 4,500 people nationwide. During the late 1970s, when organ sales declined, the company was purchased by the Marmon Group, a conglomerate owned by the Pritzker family of Chicago. By the 1990s, Hammond was owned by the Suzuki Group of Japan.