Case Western Reserve University

Collection of Antique Physics Instruments

Descriptions, photos, and short video clips of  apparatus used for research in musical acoustics by Dayton C. Miller

(chairman of the Case School of Applied Science Physics Department)  in the 1890-1920 period. 

This website was created by Brian Tinker, BS 2006, as part of his physics major senior project; faculty advisor William Fickinger)

 rev. 10 July 2007  wjf

Helmholtz resonator



Organ pipe

Tone bars

Tuning fork




Wind chest

Tone variator


Double siren


Vibration microscope

Fork clock

Régnault chronograph

Flame manometer

Fourier analyzer



Harmonic analyzer


Harmonic synthesizer

More information on these and related instruments can be found at the following sources:

·         Senior Project Final Report by Brian Tinker, Summer 2006

·         Historical Physics Teaching Apparatus, maintained by Prof. Thomas Greenslade, Kenyon College

·         Dayton C. Miller Flute Collection, in the Library of Congress

·         William Fickinger history of physics research at CWRU – Chapter 4 - Miller

·         David Pantalony article on Koenig’s study of vowel sounds

·         Rudolph Koenig's Acoustic Catalogue (French), 1889 Paris, Smithsonian Institution

·         Max Kohl's Catalogue of Physical Apparatus, Chemnitz  Smithsonian Institution