Set of 8 Large Demonstration Tuning Forks

Koenig Acoustical · Physics

Accession Number: 2015.ph.712.1-10

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.

Primary Materials: Wood, Iron Alloy, Copper Alloy.

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 (cm):

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.

Manufacturer: Rudolph Koenig, Paris, France.

Date of Manufacture: Late 19th c.

Provenance:

In 1881, it 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.