In a feature article in the online edition of Michigan Today, James Tobin contributed an article titled “The Great Pipe Organ.” Tobin chronicles the history of the organ in the University of Michigan’s Hill Auditorium. In his observations about the importance of such large instruments in 19th-century American communities, Tobin notes the culturally organological viewpoint. Summarizing the importance of the organ to a community, he writes:
Americans of the late 19th and early 20th centuries listened to great pipe organs with a mixture of technological awe, local pride, and aesthetic rapture. Cities competed to buy the biggest and best.
Read more, and see the illustrations, at http://michigantoday.umich.edu/2010/05/story.php?id=7735
See also James Kibbie’s site with specs of the Hill organ.