Object, Instrument, Technology

Fourier analyzer

Rudolph, Koenig, Rudolph Koenig, Inventor

The Fourier analyzer, which was called by Rudolph Koenig an “Analyzer of the timbre of sounds”, is a large device (about 36 inches tall) for simultaneously observing several components of a sound.

Fourier analyzer by Rudolph Koenig
Fig. 1: Fourier analyzer by Rudolph Koenig

Each of fourteen adjustable Helmholtz resonators of varying sizes can be connected via rubber tubing to one of eight manometric flames, the light from which is viewed through a hand-driven rotating mirror (see fig. 2). The resonators can be individually adjusted to select desired frequencies.

Hand-cranked rotating mirror
Fig. 2: Hand-cranked rotating mirror

The device was used mainly for demonstration purposes. It could be considered a primitive form of a “multi-channel analyzer”.

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