The Great Equalizer

For decades, starting in 1933, Guyatone was a moderately successful Japanese manufacturer of electric guitars and various guitar paraphernalia. Their biggest seller was the Volume Box: an effects pedal that allowed electric-guitar players to change the volume of their instrument on stage -since the sound man never got it right. The Volume Box was an oblong metal box with a …

The Sound of Intoxication

The microfauna was an instrument to collect microorganisms from the air, invented by Nikola Tesla in 1879. It worked much like a mass spectrometer. When connected to a microfauna data recorder, it enabled scientists to determine the exact composition of the air. Unlike the mass spectrometer, it did so in terms of microorganisms, rather than molecules. The microfauna was, and …

Breaking the Sound Barrier

Nowadays, whenever you feel like annoying the world around you, you just pump up the volume of your smart phone and start playing some music. It doesn’t have to be obnoxious death metal or gangster rap; any music will be annoying to your surroundings, as long as they’re not producing it themselves. Back in the Fifties, people had no such …