FRIDAY SURPRISE: Pipe dreams.
Friday, November 13, 2009 Filed in: Friday Surprise!, Completely irrelevant
My sister is an organist, and one of her ambitions is to someday build a custom house - around a pipe organ. If you aren't familiar with what that entails, let's just say it would need to be a big house.
Pipe organs, even modest examples, are large instruments. As they increase in complexity, though, they grow seemingly exponentially. A large organ can have thousands - even tens of thousands - of precisely tuned pipes that produce notes when fed with pressurized air. Just the valving to make one of these behemoths work is mind-boggling in complexity.
Even the part you can see - known as the console - can make a 747 look positively simple:
Main console, Atlantic City Convention Hall organ, from http://www.acchos.org
For more great pictures of pipe organs, check out this Dark Roasted Blend story.
(Oh, for those who are interested - the Atlantic City organ is perhaps the largest ever constructed, but has never been completely operational. The largest working pipe organ in the world is the Wanamaker organ shown in the article. The building in which it is housed is now a Macy's store. No kidding.)
-=[ Grant ]=-