Created By: The History Center in Tompkins County
Located at 47 and 49 East Main Street is the former site of the R.A. Moog Company, producer of musical instruments and the first electronic synthesizer. Numbers 47 and 49, which currently serve as a single unit, are two of five Italianate-style brick structures that occupy the block. This section of Main Street was constructed following a fire that tore through Trumansburg in 1864. During the first half of the nineteenth century, most of Trumansburg’s central business district was comprised of densely packed wood buildings. After a series of fires repeatedly leveled the village, business owners who chose to rebuild increasingly chose brick as their primary building material. This is echoed by the design of the Trembley House, which was built seven years later. Architecturally, the block is notable for its complete cast-iron storefront. The storefront was manufactured by “Cheney, Rochester,” whose work can be found throughout Central and Western New York. During their early history, 47 and 49 were occupied by various retail ventures, including a photography studio, a dry goods store, and a gift shop. R.A. Moog purchased unit 49 in 1963 and began manufacturing theremins, musical instruments that were precursors to electronic synthesizers. In collaboration with Herb Deutsch, the R.A. Moog Company produced the first synthesizer in 1964. In an effort to bring awareness to R.A. Moog’s musical legacy, the Village of Trumansburg installed a historical marker in his honor outside the building in 2016.
This point of interest is part of the tour: The Village of Trumansburg