[Orrville, OH];: 1954-1990. 4to. Hardcover binder with 99 clear plastic leaves holding hundreds of clipppings, ephemera, and 203 photographs (53 black and white snapshot; 122 color snapshot; 26 Polaroid instant color prints; 2 black and white enlargements). Contents laid into pages loose. Majority of photographs captioned to versos. Overall well preserved; about near fine. Item #15968
A large scrapbook compiled by Dorothy Agnes Welsh (b.1921-d.2001), documenting her 40-year career with the Schantz Organ Company of Orrville, Ohio. Founded in 1870, Schantz was primarily a local operation until a national expansion in the years immediately following WWII. A turn-key firm, responsible for all aspects of the design, building, installation, service, and renovation of many of the country's finest pipe organs, its growth and many of its most ambitious projects are documented here, including the firm's magnum opus: a massive, 1950's installation in the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Newark, NJ conatining nearly 9000 individual pipes.
Through article clippings, images, detailed captions, and notes, Dorothy documents the day-to-day at Schantz through her clear, well composed views and uncomplicated text. Approximately 1/4 of the images are of employee gatherings (primarily retirement parties), though the majority of prints are occupational and provide clear views of the company's process and employees: woodworking, intricate electronic designs, antique organ restorations, installations, etc... from the early 1950's to 1990, and from the perspective of a female employee.
Welsh began work in the console department in January of 1951. During her four-decade long career, she served in nearly all of the company's departments, thus these images seem to document every aspect of the firm's work. Many employees were women. A telling bit of ephemere suggests what the workplace may have been like for Dorothy: an illustrated napkin, disparaging women drivers, along with a brief note on and 1965 photograph of the co-worker who left it for her, Ray Eyster, is among the ephemera. The incident seems to have stuck with Dorothy, given its presence among the contents. "[Eyster] Put this on my work bench. I had been driving a car, a short time when this show up. He work at Schantz a few yr. He was not happy [...]".
Clippings are often notated by Welsh and focus on local and national coverage of Schanz's projects and notable life events of her co-workers (primarily obituaries). Additional are several photographic company brochures with detailed specs on organ installations at Lawrence University in Appleton, WI: Trinity United Church of Christ in Canton, OH; First Methodist Church in Glendale, CA; Sharp Chapel at Tulsa University; and more.
A considerable primary record of women in an artisan workplace, richly documenting, in visual and written detail, the myriad elements involved in the work of the Schantz Organ Company.