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Nine rectangular pipes of different pitches (Koenig)

Koenig Acoustical · Physics

This set consists of nine wooden rectangular organ pipes divided into two groups. One group is set of five (725.1-5) giving the notes Ut3, Re3, Mi3, Fa3 and Sol3 of the same depth, but different lengths. The other group (725.6-9) is a set of four giving the notes Re3, Mi3, Fa3 and Sol3 of the same length, but different depths.

Each pipe has a round foot at the base.

Accession Number:

Alternative Name:

Primary Materials: Wood: Pine, Mahogany


Each pipe is stamped with: “RUDOLPH KOENIG À PARIS”

On the base of each pipe is written “96”. This number corresponds to this set’s entry in Koenig’s 1873 catalogue.

Some of the pipes have stickers attached with handwritten numbers, possibly from the 1970s catalogue. 725.1 reads “PHY 1 VVV”; 725.2 reads “PHY 1 w”; 725.5 reads “PHY 1 – c”; 725.7 reads “PHY 1 zz”.

Dimensions (cm): = 62cm x 5.6 x 5.6; = 55cm x 5.6 x 5.6; = 50cm x 5.6 x 5.6; = 46cm x 5.6 x 5.6; = 40.6cm x 5.6 x 5.5; = 44cm x 11.5 x 6.8; = 44cm x 8 x 5.6; = 44cm x 6.5 x 5.5; = 44cm x 4.0 x 5.5


According to “Altered Sensations” by David Pantalony (2009): “These pipes… demonstrate an “empirical law” established by the organ maker Cavaillé-Coll, that the length of the pipe is equal to the theoretical length of the wave of the fundamental, minus two times the depth.” (pg 245-6)


Good. The pipes have some scratches and worn edges from use.

Associated Instruments:

Manufacturer: Rudolph Koenig, Paris

Date of Manufacture: ca. 1878


These pipes are part of a collection of acoustic teaching apparatus purchased from Rudolph Koenig by University of Toronto professor of physics James Loudon. These pipes were part of Loudon’s initial 1878 purchase, and form part of a comprehensive selection of organ pipes “representing a… demonstration of every possible organ pipe effect.” (Pantalony, Altered Sensations. New York: Springer, 2009. Pg 119-122). These were likely used by students for investigations of acoustical properties at the university’s physics department teaching laboratory.

These pipes were collected from the Department of Physics, after a number had been used for some years as part of an interactive display.

Additional Information and References:

These pipes were originally given separate accession numbers. When re-catalogued together, a document was created that provides information on original accession numbers and other transition information. Document in file.

See also: “Altered Sensations: Rudolph Koenig’s Acoustical Workshop in Nineteenth Century Paris” by David Pantalony (New York: Springer, 2009) in the text’s Catalogue Raisonné under entry #97 (pg. 245-6).

Historical Notes: