A Tribute to Fred Tinker 1927-2020
We regret to announce that one of Rodgers Instruments’ founders, Fred Tinker, passed away November 26th, 2020, after a long battle with pneumonia. We express our sympathy to his family and our gratitude for his visionary leadership.
The Rodgers Organ Company was incorporated in 1958 to manufacture electronic organs that replicate the authentic pipe organ sound. The research, design, and engineering to build these instruments started years earlier at Tektronix, Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of precision oscilloscopes. Fred Tinker and Rodgers Jenkins, research engineers at Tektronix, engaged in experimental work that impressed the owners of Tektronix sufficiently to provide the initial financing to begin the Rodgers Organ Company.
Through his years as founder, Vice-President, and Chief Engineer, Fred Tinker, along with a brilliant staff, led the Rodgers Organ Company to gain tremendous industrial growth and to pioneer many technological advances, including:
- The world’s first solid-state (all-transistor) church organ
- The first single-contact diode keying system for organs
- Magnetic reed switch (sealed in glass) pedal keying, now a widely used standard in pipe organs and digital organs throughout the world
- The first organ company with a totally solid-state organ and amplification system
- A patented combination action memory system, which is the forerunner of all modern piston memory systems in pipe and digital organs
- Innovative technology for organs to play real pipes and digital pipe stop samples
- The world’s first five-manual electronic organ, installed in New York City’s Carnegie Hall
- The only digital organ manufacturer to build many all-pipe organs, including the Rodgers Pipe Organ at Second Baptist Church, Houston, Texas, with 194 ranks and over 10,000 pipes.
Since Fred Tinker’s retirement, in his footsteps, Rodgers Instruments builds the highest-quality home and church organs, based on decades of expertise and proven artisanship, an endless focus on detail, and an unwavering dedication to bringing the authentic American pipe organ sound to life. Rodgers is dedicated to moving hearts and souls.