Today we mark the 165th birth anniversary of Theophile Mortier, producer of dance organs and orchestrions
Theophile Mortier seems to have been the right man in the right place at the right time. One can imagine him talking with a potential customer, and due to his long experience as a café owner, being able to come away with an order for new organ. He understood people and what they wanted. This gave him an important advantage over his competitors.
The total number of organs built by Mortier can only be estimated. Between 1906 nd 1948 the firm built at least 500 large organs and rebuilt an unknown number of other makers, especially in the years before 1914. In addition, from 1918 to 1930, Mortier built about 300 orchestrions.
During its fifty years of existence, the Mortier factory would have employed several hundred people.
That a Mortier organ is still able to fascinate and give pleasure, even to young people, remains beyond doubt.
Dance organ that Th. Mortier built circa 1926 is stored in the museum Collection exposition.
Aspects of Theophile Mortier’s life and his business are covered in the section “Authors”.