Communication Pioneers Biographical Dictionary
This listing, while by no means complete, provides a starting point for future development. The focus of this initial effort is individuals contributing to the art of audio engineering. This page was provided by Ted Uzzle, editor of Sound & Video Contractor, an Intertec magazine. As a matter of policy, living persons are not listed in this biographical dictionary.
Ampére, André M. (1775-1836) French scientist, studied the duality of electricity and magnetism, Earth’s magnetic field.
Armstrong, Edwin H. (1890-1954) American inventor, developed FM broadcasting.
Backus, John (1911-1988) American educator and scientist, associated with Univ. Southern Calif. 1945-1980, studied nuclear physics, and acoustics of musical instruments.
Bartlett, George W. (1920-1991) American broadcast engineer, contributed to broadcast frequency allocation standardization.
Bauer, Benjamin (1913-1979) Russian/American inventor, worked at Shure Bros. 1937-1957, thereafter at CBS Labs, worked on stereo LP development and quadraphonic sound.
Bell, Alexander G. (1847-1922) Eminent Scottish-American scientist and inventor, developed the telephone (1876), photophone (1880), and graphophone (1883).
Benade, Arthur H. (1925-1987) American educator and scientist, associated with Case Western Reserve University 1952-1987, studied acoustics of musical instruments.
Berliner, Emile (1851-1929) German/American inventor, developed flat gramophone disk (1888), founded Victor Co., 1901.
Biot, Jean B. (1774-1862) French scientist, measured speed of sound in solids, first scientist-astronaut (ascended in hot air balloon, 1804).
Blumlein, Alan D. (1903-1942) British industrial scientist and inventor, worked for Western Electric, Columbia, and EMI, made crucial contributions to the earliest work on stereophony, television, and radar.
Boltzmann, Ludwig (1844-1906) Austrian scientist, measured threshold of audibility with Toepler (q.v.), 1870.
Boner, C. Paul (1900-1979) American educator and scientist, associated with University of Texas at Austin 1919-1970, contributed to architectural and musical acoustics and theory of feedback.
Burris-Meyer, Harold (1902-1985) American engineer, applied audio and acoustic technology to the live theater.
Burroughs, Lou (1903-1986) American inventor, worked at Electro-Voice 1927-1976, developed microphones with new technology.
Capehart, Homer E. (1897-1979) American industrialist and statesman, began making deluxe phonograph players in 1927, served in U.S. Senate from Indiana 1945-1963.
Theodore W. Case ( ) American inventor, holder of 633 U.S. patents, developed optical sound.
Chladni, Ernst F. F. (1756-1827) German scientist, studied vibration of plates, velocity of sound in various media, author of Die Akustik.
Corti, Alfonso (1822-1876) Italian physician and anatomist, described interior of cochlea, 1851.
Cotugno, Domenico (1736-1822) Italian physiologist, discovered the inner ear is filled with fluid.
Coulomb, Charles A. (1736-1806) French scientist, measured magnetic and friction forces.
Craft, Edward L. (1881-1929) American industrial scientist, at Western Electric and Bell Labs 1902-1929, demonstrated talking picture apparatus in 1922.
Crowhurst, Norman (1913-1991) British/American engineer and author, worked at Tannoy, wrote 2000 articles and 50 books.
Davis, Arthur C. (1908-1970) American inventor of mixing consoles and equalization devices.
Davis, Charles C. (1893-1966) American industrial scientist, worked for Bell System and Westrex, developing film drives and stereo disk cutters.
de Forest, Lee (1873-1961) American inventor, contributed to vacuum tube technology, optical sound, radio broadcasting.
Doppler, Christian J. (1803-1853) Austrian educator and scientist, described frequency-shifting effect of relative motion between sound or light source and observer.
Edison, Thomas A. (1847-1931) Eminent American inventor and industrialist, developed the phonograph (1877), incandescent light (1879), moving pictures (1889).
Eustachio, Bartolommeo (1520-1574) Italian physician and anatomist, discovered Eustacian tube.
Faraday, Michael (1791-1867) Eminent British scientist, contributed to electromagnetism and induction.
Fechner, Gustav T. (1801-1887) German scientist and philosopher, studied mind/body problem, invented experimental psychophysics.
Fleming, John A. (1849-1934) British educator and scientist, developed first diode and triode vacuum tubes (1904).
Fletcher, Harvey (1884-1981) American acoustical scientist, eminent also in speech and hearing research. Worked for Western Electric, later Bell Labs, from 1916, participated in stereophonic transmission and recording experiments, built hearing aid for Edison.
Frayne, John G. (1894-1990) Irish/American engineer and inventor, developed stereophonic 45° cutters, stereophonic sound-on-film for motion pictures, won three Academy awards, and engineering society awards.
Foley, Jack ( ) American sound editor and sound effects artist, developed technique of synchronized sound effects at Universal Pictures, 1950.
Fourier, Jean B. J., Baron (1768-1830) French mathematician, developed analytic technique for complex periodic phenomena.
Gassendi, Pierre (1592-1655) French cleric and philosopher, measured speed of sound in air (1635).
Gauss, Karl F. (1777-1855) Eminent German scientist and mathematician, developed prototype telegraph.
Goldmark, Peter (1906-1977) Hungarian/American industrial scientist, worked at CBS 1936-1971, contributed to LP recording and color television.
Gray, Elisha (1835-1901) American inventor, filed telephone patent same day as Bell (q.v.).
Helmholtz, Hermann L. von (1821-1894), eminent German scientist, contributed to engineering and musical acoustics, psychoacoustics.
Henry, Joseph (1797-1878) Eminent American scientist, contributed to telegraph, engineering acoustics, electric induction.
Heyser, Richard C. (1931-1987) American scientist, worked at Jet Propulsion Laboratory 1956-1987, contributed to communication and instrumentation, including time-delay spectrometry.
Hilliard, John K. (1901-1989) American industrial scientist, worked at MGM, Altec Lansing, and LTV Research, contributed to film sound and electroacoustics.
Hunt, Franklin L. (1883-?) American industrial scientist, Bureau of Standards 1917-1927, Victor Talking Machine Co. 1927-1929, Bell Labs 1929-1948.
Hunt, Frederick V. (1905-1972) American educator and scientist, associated with Harvard Univ. 1927-1972, advanced the study of engineering acoustics.
Huszty, Dénes (1927-1979) Hungarian industrialist, reconstructed Hungarian electroacoustics industry in 1950s.
Jordan, Vilhelm L. (1909-1982) Danish acoustical scientist, consulted on Sydney Opera House, many others.
Keller, Arthur C. (1901-1983) American industrial scientist, worked for Western Electric and Bell Labs 1917-1966, made single-groove stereo recordings in 1931.
Kellogg, Edward W. (1882-1960) American industrial scientist, worked at GE 1917-1930, then RCA 1930-1947, developed cone and voice-coil loudspeakers with Rice (q.v.), photographic processes needed for optical sound tracks.
Khokhlov, Rem V. (1926-1977) Eminent Soviet educator and scientist, studied physical acoustics.
Kircher, Athanasius (1601-1680) Italian cleric and scholar, author of Phonurgia, renaissance musical and acoustical lore.
Kirchhoff, Gustav R. (1824-1887) German scientist, contributed to electrical circuit analysis, propagation of sound through fluids.
Klein, Elias (1888-1977) Polish-American scientist, studied underwater sound, shock and vibration.
Knowles, Hugh S. (1904-1988) American engineer and industrialist, founder of Industrial Research Products (1946) and Knowles Electronics (1954), contributed to communication and hearing prostheses.
Knudsen, Vern O. (1893-1974) American educator and scientist, associated with Univ. Calif. Los Angeles 1922-1974, contributed to architectural acoustics.
Lansing, James B. (1902-1949) American inventor and industrialist, founded Lansing Mfg. Co., 1927, joined Altec Lansing, 1941, founded JBL, 1946.
LeBel, C. J. (1906-1960) American inventor, produced basic patent on fluorescent lamp, contributed to magnetic recording, founder and first president of Audio Engineering Society.
Licklider, J. C. R. (1915-1990) American psychologist, studied speech perception by humans and by computers.
Lindsay, Harold (1909-1982) American inventor, developed earliest Ampex tape recorders.
Livadary, John P. (1897-1987) French/American engineer associated with sound department of Columbia Pictures 1928-1959, won seven awards from Academy of M.P.A.S.
M’lzel, Johann N. (1772-1838) German inventor, produced musical automata, invented the metronome, made an ear trumpet for Beethoven.
Marconi, Guglielmo (1874-1937) Italian inventor, developer of wireless telegraphy.
Mason, Warren P. (1900-1986) American industrial scientist, associated with Western Electric and Bell Labs 1921-1965, developed telephone communication systems and contributed to materials science.
Maxfield, Joseph P. (1887-1977) American industrial scientist, worked for Western Electric, later Bell Labs 1914-1947, contributed to sound recording, playback, and reinforcement.
Maxwell, James C. (1831-1879) Eminent Scottish scientist, contributed to concepts of electromagnetic waves and fields.
McProud, C. G. (1904-1986) American audio journalist, edited Audio Engineering (later Audio) 1947-1971.
Miller, Dayton C. (1866-1941) American educator and scientist, studied musical acoustics, measured speed of light.
Moir, James (1909-1988) British industrial scientist, worked at British Thompson-Houston 1934-1958, contributed to architectural design, loudspeakers.
Moore, Clarence (1905-1979) American industrialist, founded Crown International in 1949.
Morse, Philip M. (1903-1985) American educator and scientist, developed operations research, early computing, vibration research.
Morse, Samuel F. B. (1791-1872) American artist and inventor, developed telegraph in 1836.
Munson, Wilden A. (1902-1982) American industrial scientist, worked at Bell Labs 1927-1962, studied aspects of subjective loudness.
Neumann, Georg (1898-1978) German inventor and industrialist, manufactured microphones, disk cutters.
Newman, Edwin B. (1908-1989) American psychologist, studied psychoacoustics.
Newman, Robert B. (1917-1983) American engineer, architect, and educator, associated with MIT 1946-1983, Bolt Beranek and Newman, Inc., 1949-1983, and Harvard Univ. 1955-1983.
Nimura, Tadamoto (1916-1982) Japanese educator and scientist, studied loudspeakers, room acoustics, noise control.
Oersted, Hans C. (1777-1851) Danish educator and scientist, discovered accidentally that a current generates a magnetic field.
Ohm, Georg S. (1787-1854) Eminent German educator and scientist, discovered relationship between current, electromotive force, and resistance, theorized ear works analogously to Fourier analysis.
Olson, Harry F. (1901-1982) Eminent American scientist, worked at RCA from 1928, developed microphones and loudspeakers, published numerous books.
Parkin, Peter H. (1917-1984) British engineer, studied auditorium acoustics, elecroacoustic reverberation, architectural models.
Poniatoff, Alexander M. (1892-1980) Russian/American industrialist, founded Ampex in 1944, championed magnetic recorders for audio and video.
Poulsen, Valdemar (1869-1942) Danish inventor, patented magnetic recording (1898), contributed to radio technology.
Pythagoras (582-500 BC) Greek philosopher, studied relationship of pitch and length of plucked string.
Rayleigh, John William Strutt, Baron (1842-1919) Eminent British educator and scientist, contributed to general physical acoustics, won Nobel Prize in 1905.
Reichart, Walter (1903-1985) German scientist, studied electroacoustics and building acoustics, advocate of international standards.
Reissner, Ernst (1824-1873) German physiologist, discovered the cochlea is divided longitudinally into multiple chambers.
Rettinger, Michael (1905-1985) German/American engineer, worked at RCA 1936-1965, wrote numerous reference books.
Ricker, Norman H. (1896-1980) American industrial scientist, introduced paper cones to Western Electric loudspeakers in 1921.
Sabine, Wallace C. (1868-1919) Eminent American educator and scientist, associated with Harvard University 1886-1919, contributed to architectural acoustics, consulted on Symphony Hall, Boston (1900), many others.
Saveur, Joseph (1653-1716) French scientist, coined word “acoustics” (l’acoustique) (1701).
Schott, Gaspar (1608-1666) German cleric and scholar, collected renaissance acoustical and musical lore.
Schultz, Theodore J. (1922-1989) American scientist, worked for Bolt Beranek and Newman, Inc. 1960-1982, contributed to architectural and musical acoustics.
Sette, William J. (1906-1990) American engineer, studied architectural acoustics at ERPI during the earliest days of motion picture sound, developed reverberation equation.
Shearer, Douglas (1899-1971) Canadian-American engineer, associated with MGM studios 1925-1968, becoming sound supervisor and director of technical research, winning 13 Academy Awards.
Shore, John (1662-1752) English musician, trumpeter at court of George I, inventor of tuning fork.
Siemens, Ernst W. von (1816-1892) German industrial scientist and industrialist, founded Siemens & Halske, developed electrical motors, telegraph, telephone.
Snow, William B. (1903-1968) American industrial scientist, worked at Bell Labs 1923-1946, and as consultant.
Stanley, William (1858-1916) American inventor, developed AC transformer (1885).
Steinway, Heinrich E. (1797-1871) German-American inventor and industrialist, founded piano mfg. firm, 1853.
Stephens, Raymond W. B. (1902-1990) British scientist and educator, contributed to physical acoustics.
Stevens, Stanley Smith (1906-1973) American psychologist, founder of Harvard’s Psycho-Acoustical Laboratory.
Stokowski, Leopold A. (1882-1977) British-American orchestra conductor, active in experiments in stereophony, concert hall acoustics.
Suri, R. L. (1910-1985) Indian engineer, designed audio systems and acoustics for hundreds of studios, founded Suri and Suri in New Delhi, 1968.
Tainter, Charles S. (1854-1940) American inventor, associate of Bell (q.v.).
Terman, Frederick E. (1900-1982) American educator and scientist, associated with MIT, Stanford Univ. and Harvard Univ., advanced the study of electronic technology.
Tesla, Nikola (1857-1943) Yugoslav/American inventor, developed AC power systems, motors, patented wireless telegraphy.
Tinkham, Russell (1911-1976) American inventor and industrialist, contributed to architectural acoustics, founded Magnecord and Vega.
Toepler, August (1836-1912) German scientist, measured threshold of audibility with Boltzmann (q.v.), 1870.
Tonndorf, Juergen (1914-1989) German-American auditory scientist and otologist, contributed to understanding of cochlear mechanics and electro-physiology.
Tremaine, Howard M. (1901-1969) American engineer and technical writer, worked in motion picture sound and television, author of two editions of Audio Cyclopedia, other books.
Tyndall, John (1820-1893) Irish scientist, studied behavior of sound waves in air.
Vitruvius Pollio, Marcus (ca. 1st century BC) ancient Roman architect, described amphitheatre acoustics, made analogy between sound in air and surface waves on water.
Volkman, John E. (1905-1980) American industrial scientist, spent his career at RCA designing studios and auditoria, and sound reinforcement components.
Volta, Alessandro, Count (1745-1827) Italian educator and scientist, studied electrostatics and electro-chemistry, invented Voltaic cell (1800).
Warner, Samuel L. (1888-1927) American industrialist, opened cinemas (1906), Warner Bros. (1919), championed talking pictures.
Watson, Waldron O. (1907-1986) American engineer, worked in film studio sound departments 1928-1971.
Weber, Ernst H. (1795-1878) German medical scientist, published formula relating sensation to degree of stimulus (1834).
Weber, J. Gottfried (1779-1839) German scientist and musical theorist, studied acoustics of wind instruments.
Webster, Arthur G. (1863-1923) American scientist, developed concept of acoustic impedance and early theory of horns.
Wente, Edward C. (1889-1972) American industrial scientist, worked at Western Electric and Bell Labs 1914-1954, developed microphones (1917), compression driver loudspeakers (1924), won Academy of A.M.P.A.S. award (1933).
Wheatstone, Charles (1802-1875) British scientist and inventor, developed concertina (1829), stereoscopy (1838), popularized Ohm’s law and accurate measurements of DC resistance.
Yerges, Lyle F. (1918-1985) American engineer, technical author and editor, specialized in acoustical performance of architectural elements.
Zwicker, Eberhard (1924-1990) German scientist, contributed to electroacoustics, psychoacoustical masking and perception of loudness.