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H. J. L. Struycken was a Dutch otolaryngologist, phonetician, and acoustician. After studying medicine in Groningen, in 1893 he started working at the Voorburg psychiatric hospital near Vught, where he attempted to distinguish psychiatric conditions from neurological speech disorders. His interest in phonetics and acoustics took Struycken to France and Germany, to visit clinics and approach instrument makers who could produce tuning forks for him to use in his clinical research.

1896
1950
Object, Instrument, Technology

A windchest is a wooden box that holds air to be delivered to organ pipes, which are inserted in valved holes. These two examples were used in lectures to demonstrate the different characteristics of organ pipes of varying sizes and shapes.

Object, Instrument, Technology

The Case Collection of Physics Instruments (CCPI) has several dozen forks mounted on resonance boxes (see Fig. 1).

Object, Instrument, Technology

The fork-clock was first described by N. Niaudet in 1866. It is used to determine the frequency of a fork to high accuracy. The vibrating fork drives the clock in the same way as a pendulum in a pendulum clock–by way of an escapement mechanism. This Max Kohl clock uses a 100 Hz fork to drive a tiny escapement. Energy is provided by an enclosed wind-up spring. The three dials record the total number of vibrations. The absolute frequency of the fork can then be determined by comparison with an astronomical time standard.

Image
“Helmholtz Resonators By Rudolph Koenig”. n.d. Cleveland, OH: Case Western Reserve University.
Image
Koenig, Rudolph. 1889. Catalogue Des Appareils D'acoustique. Paris: Impr. de P. Mouillot.
Object, Instrument, Technology

(The following description is from a “Description of Appunn’s Tonnemeters,” by Alexander J. Ellis, F.R.S., &c.; MS in the Western Galleries of the South Kensington Museum, 1880. With the tonometers. Science Museum technical file T/1876-466. The note was written by Alexander J.

Object, Instrument, Technology

This set of 3 tuning forks, each mounted on its’ own resonator box, was made in Paris between about 1870 and 1900. The tuning forks were each milled from a single blank of fine steel and were then precisely tuned to produce a single, specific, tone. The resonator boxes that they are bolted to are wood, made from the same spruce often used in stringed musical instruments. Spruce wood is naturally responsive to sound vibrations and is the ideal material for this application.

Audio
Kolkowski, Aleksander. 2013. “11_1876-466_Tonometer_01”.
Audio
Kolkowski, Aleksander. 2013. “12_1876-466_Tonometer_01”.