Series of Tuning forks
This specific array of precision tuning forks are highly-specialized experimental forks that relate directly to Koenig’s long-standing disagreement with Helmholtz on the nature of combination tones. Some of them date back to Koenig's display at the 1876 Philadelphia exposition.
Name: Set of 8 Large Demonstration Tuning Forks
Accession number: 2015.ph.712.1-10
Location: University of Toronto, Collections Storage
Description: Two sets of large tuning forks on separate black-coloured stands. Each stand has four slots in which the forks can be secured using a large nut at the base of the fork. The appropriate fork is painted in white beside each slot. This indicates the pitch of the fork meant for that slot. A separate sturdy metal mount with a tripod base (2015.ph.712.3) is provided for demonstrating a given fork. Each for includes a brass stop on each tine for adjusting the pitch. Possible pitches are indicated on an engraved scale along each tine. This collection is divided into the following accession numbers: 2015.ph.712.1 includes tuning forks from 192 through 512. 2015.ph.712.2 includes tuning forks from 512-1024. 2015.ph.712.3 includes largest fork and single stand mount.
Materials: Wood, Steel, Brass
Markings: Markings on one wooden stand (ph.712.1): SOL1-UT2., 192-256.V.S.; UT2-MI2., 256-320.; MI2-SOL2., 320-384.; SOL2-UT3., 384-512. Markings on other wooden stand (ph.712.2): SOL2-UT5., 584-512.V.S.; UT3-MI3., 512-640.; MI3-SOL3., 640-768.; SOL3-UT4., 768-1024.
Dimensions: 2015.ph.712.1 (Forks mounted): Height = 62, Width = 10, Length = 72; 2015.ph.712.2 (Forks mounted): Height = 56, Width = 10, Length = 72; 2015.ph.712.3 (Largest fork mounted): Height = 75, Width = 35, Length = 35.
Function: These large tuning forks were made to demonstrate acoustical phenomena. They would have been used with large resonators, which no exist in this collection.
Condition: Very Good: Minor wear and tear. Wooden bases are slightly chipped around the edges. The forks are slightly oxidized in a various areas.
Maker: Rudolph Koenig, Paris, France.
Date: Late 19th century.
Provenance: In 1881, these forks were used in a series of local public lectures on scientific acoustics. These were given by the Paris-based instrument maker and acoustical research Rudolph Koenig (1832–1901), and James Loudon (1841–1916), professor of physics and future president of the University of Toronto.
Additional Information and References: Listed in David Pantalony's "Altered Sensations" on p.126 as a set of eight large tuning forks that were for used for demonstrations in Toronto in 1882.