Sunday, July 25, 2010
We decided that it had been too long since paying a visit to Hammond Castle in Gloucester. John Hays Hammond was a wealthy inventor with over 400 patents to his name. Most of the patents involved instruments relevant to wartime maneuvers, but some were of a different line of instruments. Of particular interest to JHH was the massive pipe organ that was installed in the Great Hall of his home, Hammond Castle. He spent ten years working on the 8200 pipe Skinner organ. Unfortunately, after many decades of superior operation, being performed on by the tops in the world, and subsequent to JHH's death still being a sought after venue for well attended concerts, the organ no longer works. While we visited the Great Hall had been turned into a trade show, of sorts, for area psychics. I would rather have seen the Hall, thank you. The psychic fair tackied-up an already dismal presentation of the museum home. (you can see the organ console in the far right corner of the Hall.) A shame that discount store gargoyles and furniture-in-a-box are intermixed with the true heirlooms that were JHH's. Even the gift shop could not offer up anything Hammond. Not a decent postcard (there were a few not so interesting views), nor even a book or pamphlet on JHH. Just a couple mugs interspersed with Egyptian dog statues (huh?) and fairy wands and plastic crowns, a couple plastic kiddie swords, and not much more. We did tour the entire place, inside and out, and I took a variety of pictures.This one seemed appropriate for the psychic fair day with 'A' resting her head against JHH as he tempts two of his cats with a morsel.JHH's inventions included this development for the television industry.Even though much of the museum has seen far better days, there are still many unique treasures to be found and much to be learned about an extraordinary man, his home, and his life.Just look past the trash and there is a fortune in treasures.