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Picture of the Month (July 2009)
Dedicated User Captions:
1. Tuning the blue note (by Robert)
2. Stimmung!
3. Rhapsody in Blue (by Boris Antonsson)

Read more captions (not voted, latest on top)

Weighted, adjustable tuning fork on resonator base
This cyanotype from Edward Bradford Titcheners Photographic Album on Psychological Instruments from the 1890ies shows the most basic of all acoustic instruments: the tuning fork, invented in 1711. In the nineteenth century, it was used not only for the tuning of instruments, but also for a wide range of experimental purposes from physics to psychology, as a registering device as well as an interruptor for electric currents (see examples in the technology section).

Titchener collected trade catalogues and photographs of instruments for experimental psychology, that were sent to him by the instrument makers themselves. Many of the tuning forks were probably in use in his Psychological Institute at Cornell. The tuning fork shown on the image is attached to a resonator that amplifies its sound. By adjusting the weights the frequency of the fork can be modified.

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Picture Source:
Titchener, Edward B. 1895. Photographic Album on Psychological Instruments. 59 Photographs. (Collection Rand B. Evans - all rights reserved)

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