Identified! [Vivian Leroy Crisler (1885-1953), an acoustics researcher at the National Bureau of Standards, Washington, D.C., looking over a loud speaker horn used in sound penetration tests] (LOC)

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Where: Unknown

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When: 01 January 1923

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Photos displaying on either side of this one in the Prints & Photographs Online Catalog may yield clues—view the neighboring photos:

Harris & Ewing,, photographer.

[Vivian Leroy Crisler (1885-1953), an acoustics researcher at the National Bureau of Standards, Washington, D.C., looking over a loud speaker horn used in sound penetration tests]

[between 1923 and 1929]

1 negative : glass ; 5 x 7 in. or smaller

Title information from press notes/caption for a similar photograph and Flickr Commons Project, 2015.
Date based on date of negatives in same range.
Gift; Harris & Ewing, Inc. 1955.

United States.

Format: Glass negatives.

Rights Info: No known restrictions on publication.

Repository: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA,

Part Of: Harris & Ewing Collection (Library of Congress)

General information about the Harris & Ewing Collection is available at

Higher resolution image is available (Persistent URL):

Call Number: LC-H27- A-9443


Owner: The Library of Congress
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 18662
libraryofcongress dc:identifier=httphdllocgovlocpnphec32696 xmlns:dc=httppurlorgdcelements11 nationalbureauofstandards usbureauofstandards acousticalresearch acoustics physicists vivianleroychrisler vlchrisler rotatingloudspeaker mysterysolved

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  • profile

    Mark Dries

    • 02/Oct/2015 19:01:46

    No idea, but let's compose a piece of music for it!

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    Ashtabula Archive

    • 02/Oct/2015 19:59:27

    Air raid/emergency siren

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    Melinda Stuart

    • 02/Oct/2015 21:58:42

    Early audio recorder/player ?

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    • 02/Oct/2015 22:44:40

    Funny that 1923–1929 is well before the invention of the Leslie speaker, which this definitely resembles.

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    • 03/Oct/2015 15:27:01

    The nameplate on the speaker horn says Western Electric and maybe model 518-W? If so, that was a domestic radio speaker and probably wouldn't deliver siren-level volume. The question remains what it is doing on the spinning rig—it looks like there are slip rings to make the electrical connection while spinning. Radio special effects?

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    Ashtabula Archive

    • 03/Oct/2015 18:35:06

    [] My thought was that speaker (electric horn?) revolves around the hanging microphone, then is amplified to broadcast volume.

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    Ashtabula Archive

    • 04/Oct/2015 02:24:33

    [] I like the Leslie concept.

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    • 04/Oct/2015 13:47:10

    I don't think it serves any purpose other than to test the strength of duct tape

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    Ashtabula Archive

    • 04/Oct/2015 15:38:56

    Is that a toy zeppelin over the microphone?

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    • 04/Oct/2015 19:20:47

    Is this a Lead Zeppelin concert?

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    Pixel Wrangler

    • 05/Oct/2015 00:26:05

    This is V. L. Chrisler (Vivian Leroy Chrisler, 1885-1953), an acoustics researcher at the National Bureau of Standards, Washington, DC, looking over a loud-speaker horn used in sound penetration tests. Above the horn is an opening in the ceiling in which is fitted a slab of the building material to be tested. Over the horn is hanging a telephone receiver used in testing the amount of noise. A similar receiver is hung in the room above, over the slab. – Information excerpted from press notes/caption that accompanied a companion photo to this one, (that cannot be posted) showing Dr. E. A. Eckhardt (Engelhardt August Eckhardt, b1885) and his assistant V. L. Chrisler. I will post a link to an authoritative source for that companion photo when/if I locate one. An additional photograph of V.L. Chrisler at work studying the "echo effect" of a room is in the Harris & Ewing collection of The Library of Congress. [V.L. Chrysler] V. L. Chrisler • "The Man in the Box"

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    • 05/Oct/2015 11:31:03

    Well done, [] The American Institute of Physics had asked for identification of another photo of Chrisler and the sound experiments in a 2008 newsletter. In 2009 they published the solution [] with a link to

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    Pixel Wrangler

    • 05/Oct/2015 18:54:48

    Thanks [[email protected]], I saw that "mystery photo" article in tracking this down, which is why I added "The Man in the Box" to my caption for the additional photo – but your post and links give the context to what otherwise might be a "mystery reference" in my caption ;)

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    • 06/Oct/2015 00:17:11

    Companion photo of the same experiment on ebay: , dated August, 1924

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    • 14/Oct/2015 15:31:36

    The zepplin is probably a lead fishing weight. Looks like the horn is meant to spin.

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    • 26/Oct/2015 11:05:27

    Well done, Pixel Wrangler.

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    Anne (LOC P&P)

    • 27/Oct/2015 14:52:36

    Thanks Pixel Wrangler! We'll add your information to the description next time we update.