André Prosper Crova was a faculty member at the University of Montpelier. He invented this acoustic wave model in the 1860s and commissioned the prominent Parisian acoustic instrument maker Rudolph Koenig to manufacture it for him. It was first shown at the 1867 Paris World Fair.
„This instrument was used in an Ohio high school and probably dates from the late 19th or early 20th centuries. The replication of classic experiments was a common way to teach science at this time, and Chladni’s figures were considered to be both instructive and beautiful.
These instruments demonstrate the “communication of vibrations” between connected plates. This was a topic first investigated by the French scientist Felix Savart, in the 1820s. Savart experimented with a pair of identical glass disks that were connected by only a single glass rod. When the two disks were sprinkled with sand and the first one vibrated, both disks formed identical patterns.
Source: Steven Turner; Curator, Physical Sciences, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
This rack has 3 square and 3 circular brass plates of varying dimensions. It was used to demonstrate the effect of changes in the size and thickness of plates on both their tone and the Chladni figures that they produce. A plate that is the same size as the one next to it, but double the thickness, will produce a note twice as high, while a plate that is half the area of the one next to it, but double the thickness, will sound a note that is four times higher.
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.
„The acoustic siren was one of the fundamental tools of 19th century science. Invented by the French scientist Cagniard de la Tour, in 1819, the siren used a bellows apparatus to force air through two brass disks. As the air passed through holes in the discs, one of which was rotating, it produced a series of regular pressure waves that we perceive as a musical tone. The construction of the siren allowed that tone to be raised or lowered by simply increasing or decreasing the speed of the rotating disc.
„In 1862, the German scientist Herman Helmholtz invented another important acoustic instrument, the double siren. The new instrument combined two Dove Sirens, which were positioned to face each other and coupled on the same shaft. Both sirens were also connected to the same air supply, which made it possible to produce a variety of frequencies, all of which would slide up or down the scale as the air pressure was increased or decreased.
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