Charles Spackman Barker (1804-1879) was born in Bath (UK) and studied medicine at first. But soon he turned to the art of organ building, which he learned in London. He invented the famous Barker-machine, which he brought to Paris in 1837 on invitation of Cavaillé-Coll. He became co-director of the Daublaine-Callinet firm in 1841 and hold that position until Jospeh Merklin bought the firm in 1855. He directed the rebuilding of the organ of St Eustache in 1844 and the renovation of the organ of Saint Sulpice in 1846. Unfortunately, a few months later, he accidently put this organ on fire during works. The Daublaine-Callinet firm was bought by Pierre-Alexandre Ducroquet with whom he became associated and thus he directed, together with Charles Verschneider, again the rebuilding of this organ, inaugurated in 1854. He left the Merklin firm in 1857 and started his own company with his former foreman Charles Verschneider (1825-1865). He built two organs in Paris, in Saint-Pierre-de-Montrouge and Saint Augustin (1868). He also renovated the organ of François-Henri Lesclop in Notre-Dame-des-Victoires in 1870.
Barker was a major pioneer in experimenting with electric keyboard action.
He left France during the war of 1870 and moved to Dublin, where he built the organs of the cathedral. He died in 1879.
Saint Augustin (1868)
Saint Pierre de Montrouge (1886)