Other Aluminum Instruments
As soon as aluminum was available in the late nineteenth century, people began experimenting with making new or improved musical instruments, but it was not until the 1930s that companies began to consider mass producing them. At that time Joseph E. Maddy, founder of the Interlochen School of Music, (now the Interlochen Center for the Arts), requested that Alcoa experiment with manufacturing an aluminum violin and string bass. As a band director, Maddy was looking for durability in musical instruments. He wanted an instrument that could handle the abuse it received from his students as well as from atmospheric changes, since many of his rehearsals were conducted outside. These instruments, however, were not popular, and Maddy’s business venture did not flourish. Other products using aluminum were manufactured in the 1930s including Laurens Hammond’s electric organ created in 1935. Some instruments were more successful than others, such as the vibraphone or vibraharp. The vibraphone, a percussion instrument consisting of a series of bars with tubes below to help resonate the sound, was created in 1921 by the Leedy Manufacturing Company. It got its name from the vibrating fans below the bars that could be turned on an off electronically, giving the instrument a vibrato effect. The Vibraharp, created in 1928 by J. C. Deagan, is the same instrument, but created out of aluminum instead of wood or steel. Due to its success, Leedy began manufacturing their vibraphones with aluminum in 1929, and they are still made of aluminum today.
In the mid-1930s, the Blüthner piano company built a lightweight aluminum alloy piano for the airship Hindenburg.
Read more about this topic: Aluminum Piano Plate
Famous quotes containing the words instruments and/or aluminum:
“Water, earth, air, fire, and the other parts of this structure of mine are no more instruments of your life than instruments of your death. Why do you fear your last day? It contributes no more to your death than each of the others. The last step does not cause the fatigue, but reveals it. All days travel toward death, the last one reaches it.”
—Michel de Montaigne (15331592)
“With two sons born eighteen months apart, I operated mainly on automatic pilot through the ceaseless activity of their early childhood. I remember opening the refrigerator late one night and finding a roll of aluminum foil next to a pair of small red tennies. Certain that I was responsible for the refrigerated shoes, I quickly closed the door and ran upstairs to make sure I had put the babies in their cribs instead of the linen closet.”
—Mary Kay Blakely (20th century)