Research Papers in Physics and Astronomy


Date of this Version



Published in J. Acoust. Soc. Am. Volume 115, Issue 5 (May 2004), p. 2491. Copyright © 2004, Acoustical Society of America. Used by permission.


The University of Nebraska–Lincoln's “Historical Scientific Instrument Gallery,'' compiled by the second author in 1998, contains approximately 700 inventoried items and may be visited on-line at Amidst the collection are several acoustical instruments that were used in the early 1900s. These include equipment that demonstrate wave motion (traveling wave machine, mercury ripple dish, vibration microscope), wave interference (interference machine), resonance conditions (Helmholtz resonators, vibrating rods, singing flames, sonometer), and sound generation (Galton's whistles, high-frequency tuning forks, large tuning forks, organ pipes, siren saw). A review of the equipment and the history of their use at the University of Nebraska are discussed. Much of the equipment was superbly manufactured by the Max Kohl/Chemnitz Company in Germany and Rudolph Koenig in France. Pages from the Max Kohl/Chemnitz equipment catalogs of 1910 and 1925 helped to characterize several of the pieces and are shown in this presentation.

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