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The Encyclopedia

Abbey’s organs were highly reputed for their overall excellence of craftsmanship, responsive action, and fine voicing. They featured composition pedals, string stops, adjustable action, and backfalls. His work effected a transition from French classical to Romantic, and his only competitor was Aristide Cavaillé-Coll (who won a contract for St. Denis’s new organ over Abbey in 1833). Abbey exported instruments as far away as South America; he trained Joseph Casavant as well as his own sons John Albert Abbey (1843-1930) and Edwin Abbey (1840-1895), who continued their father’s firm after his death in Versailles on 19 February 1859. Edwin’s son John-Marie Abbey (1886-1931) was the last builder in the family, and the firm closed in 1935.