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"Serial number one" is now part of the Smithsonian Institution's collection of important American " firsts" and there is little likelihood it will be destroyed by fire or other catastrophe.

Laurens Hammond and his engineers built the proto-type organ in 1933.

The prototype was used for research and as a patent model.

Hammond's organ patent was granted on April 24, 1934, and production of the Model A officially began in June of 1935.

Interestingly, like Hammond Clocks, the prototype was not self-starting.

Hammond always claimed he couldn't play an instrument nor "even carry a tune."In the early days of the Hammond Organ, Laurens Hammond sought employees with musical backgrounds to help refine his invention.

In 1933, Hammond hired typist Louise Benke primarily because she could also play the organ."Don Leslie built the first speaker in 1940 with the help of his brother Bob.He offered his invention to Hammond hoping they would hire him, but they rejected him from the start.William Lahey, the company treasurer, was the organist at St.Christopher's Episcopal Church in Oak Park, Illinois."The one interesting fact was that I actually received Hammond pay checks which led to many later rumors that I had worked for Hammond full-time.

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