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Popularization in the seventies.

Otto Nilsen from the NRK (norsk rikskringkasting, Norwegian Broadcasting) came to Steinkjer in the 1970s to record a radio report about the Steinkjer organs. Unfortunately, there was actually nobody left who could help him shed light on the history of these instruments. Inspired by this, Charles Karlsen decided to research the history of the Steinkjer organ from the ground up. His research results, together with Otto Nilsen's radio broadcasts on the same topic, should lead to a great general interest in these rare and forgotten instruments, but also to unexpected increases in the value of these organs, which had the side effect that Charles could never afford to buy one of the organs for himself to acquire yourself.

Otto Nilsen from the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation.

Otto Nilsen showed great interest in the Steinkjer organs. During a radio show, he interviewed an organ owner and asked about a selling price. The owner asked for 15,000 Norwegian kroner (around 1350 euros today) for his instrument because he wanted to buy a new car. Otto Nilsen replied that nowadays (that was in the 1970s!) He could easily receive this award several times.

After this time, interest in the Steinkjer organs literally exploded. Practically every owner who still had an instrument has had it repaired or restored. As I said, this happened in the early 1970s and perhaps says something about the relationship between people and money and less about their relationship to culture. After all, this led to the fact that the instruments, after they were actually worth something, were also valued again and are now perceived as valuable possessions.

The documentation
the history of the instruments

Charles Karlsen decided to tackle a large project to research the history of the Steinkjer organs and to document the whereabouts of the instruments that were still in existence. After Jann-Magnar Fiskvik had restored many of the old organs, he was able to provide Charles with valuable information on this work. Bjørn Aleksander Bratberg and Åse Mørk have also contributed to researching the instruments with scientific work and published research results in the context of master's theses. In the end, Harald Sakshaug has to fathom the history and the people who were behind the production and also tried to explain how such a large quantity of organs produced could even come about in a relatively small town. His digital museum has put all of this information together in an online presentation that is well worth seeing.