A Reexamination of the Aging of Organ Leather

Main Article Content

K. Carr
G. Ratcliff
B. Grad
J. Wance


Based on two papers that appeared almost 30 years ago,1,2chrome tanning became more commonly used to tan leathersused for pipe organs because accelerated aging tests indicatedthat chrome tanning was more effective at retaining tensilestrength. Anecdotal evidence over the last 30 years has indicatedthat the chrome tanned leathers have not lasted as long as hoped.Further, the atmosphere used in the accelerated testing usedsulfur dioxide; and with the improvements in air quality inmany parts of the world and the removal of many coal-burningovens in American churches and their buildings, the reason forusing sulfur dioxide enriched air is less justified. The workdescribed in this paper reproduced the results of the tests done~30 years ago, but we have also shown that using an atmospherethat is not enriched with sulfur dioxide yields very differentresults, namely that vegetable tanning performs superior tochrome tanning in terms of tensile strength retention.

Article Details