Konig's Apparatus for the Analysis of Sound
As the name suggests, Konig’s apparatus is used in the analysis of sound. The apparatus consists of a series of Helmholtz resonators tuned to the upper harmonics of C. Each resonator is isolated by a diaphragm from a manometric flame. If a sound source contains a component equal to one of these frequencies the gas flame will vibrate in response. Viewing the gas flames via the rotating mirror will display which resonators have responded to the sound source.
Due to the existence in the Physics Museum’s archive of a catalogue from 1924, it is plausible that the apparatus was purchased by the School of Physics around this time. The item, which would have cost approximately £150 in its day, is thought to have been used for teaching purposes.
Although little is known of Konig himself, information about the manufacturer of the apparatus, E.Leybold’s Nachfolger, has survived. The German company began as a small business established by Ernst Leybold (1827-1907). The focus of this venture was foreign wines and items for pharmacists such as medicine glasses and scales. This narrow focus was expanded in 1854 when Leybold branched out to include ‘physical, pharmaceutical and chemical apparatuses’i . A few years before he sold his company, Leybold also incorporated glass blowing and a mechanical workshop into the business. It was Leybolds ‘manufacture of physical devices for use in teaching science and in the laboratory’ from which the company gained such a widespread reputationii .
Eli Schmidt and Otto Ladendorff renamed the company ‘E. Leybold's Nachfolger’ once they purchased it from Leybold in 1870. In 2005 the company, which was renamed again in 1987 to ‘Leybold Corporation’, concentrates on vacuum technology and educational equipment.
Student Projects Placement, Cultural Collections 2005
iLeybold Vacuum, 'Company Profile', http://www.leybold.com.cn/en/culture_1.htm, accessed 08.10.05.