Industry Pioneers

In an effort to highlight the scientific contributions that formed the foundations of the commercial AV industry, Sound & Communications is re-launching its “Industry Pioneers” series of articles.

The original series of 21 articles was written between 2000 and 2011 by R. David Read, a longtime contributor to Sound & Communications who died in 2015. Much like Read sought to honor the work of the historical figures who paved the way for today’s AV technology through his writing, we also hope to honor Read’s contributions to our publication by sharing his work with a wider audience. Click here for more about Read’s involvement in the commercial AV industry.

Industry Pioneers #1: Lord Rayleigh: John William Strutt And The Theory Of Sound

A historical look at the contributions to the field of acoustical science of John William Strutt, Lord Rayleigh.

Industry Pioneers #2: Bell, Edison And The Dawn Of The Telephone

Many concepts and procedures in the audio industry had their beginnings in telephony, which was an outgrowth of telegraphy.

Industry Pioneers #3: Dr. Harvey Fletcher And The Rise Of Applied Physics In Audio

How Dr. Fletcher and his contemporaries used their knowledge of physics and acoustics to advance the early commercial audio industry.

Industry Pioneers #4: Wallace C. Sabine, Founder of Modern Acoustics

W. C. Sabine’s contributions to architectural acoustics and the measurement and correction of acoustic conditions in enclosed spaces.

Industry Pioneers #5: Nikola Tesla: Visionary Or Madman?

Stories abound about the accomplishments and eccentricities of Nikola Tesla, who almost single-handedly transformed electrical distribution.

Industry Pioneers #6: Edwin Howard Armstrong, Developer Of Practical Radio Broadcasting

The triumphs and tragedies of Edwin Howard Armstrong, FM radio pioneer and developer of the superheterodyne receiver system.

Industry Pioneers #7: Vern Knudsen, Academic Acoustician & ASA Founding Member

Knudsen’s contributions to the study of acoustics, the advancement of otology and the founding of the Acoustical Society of America.

Industry Pioneers #8: Georg Neumann, Microphone Pioneer

Neumann’s innovations in early microphone manufacturing, as well as the development of audio consoles, recording lathes and NiCad batteries.

Industry Pioneers #9: Philo T. Farnsworth, The Father Of TV

How Farnsworth turned his boyhood idea into an invention that changed communication, and his legal battles with RCA over the intellectual property rights.

Industry Pioneers #10: Albert R. Kahn, Founder Of Electro-Voice

How Kahn grew a two-man operation into an audio industry powerhouse, plus a look at his innovations in microphone, PA and radio technology.

Industry Pioneers #11: C.P. Boner, Father Of Audio Equalization

How Boner’s early investigations into acoustics and feedback set the stage for the future of audio equalization.

Industry Pioneers #12: Leo L. Beranek, Dean Of American Acousticians

How Leo Beranek, co-founder of BBN, became one of the most respected figures in the history of acoustics and audio engineering.

Industry Pioneers #13: Emile Berliner, An ‘Inventive Genius’

How Berliner’s inventions revolutionized the recording industry, set the stage for microphones and made the telephone a viable technology.

Industry Pioneers #14: Paul W. Klipsch, A Legend In Sound

A reflection on the Klipsch Audio Technologies founder’s career, his eccentric genius and his innovations in loudspeaker manufacturing.

Industry Pioneers #15: E. Norman Rauland, American Industrialist

Rauland’s journey from immigrant to icon of American industry, plus his innovations in radio and television manufacturing.

Industry Pioneers #16: Sidney N. Shure: Integrity And Innovation

The founder of Shure Inc. built an audio and microphone manufacturing empire while remaining committed to his deeply held principles.

Industry Pioneers #17: James B. Lansing: A Legacy In Sound

The life of James B. Lansing, his contributions to motion-picture audio, and the history of his namesake companies, Altec Lansing and JBL.

Industry Pioneers #18: Dr. John K. Hilliard, The Standard Of Motion-Picture Sound

Hilliard set Hollywood’s audio standards, designed some of the earliest cinema speakers, and made innovations in microphone technology.

Industry Pioneers #19: John Logie Baird, Television And Imaging Innovator

Baird’s achievements in mechanical television and radio imaging set the stage for later advancements in TV and radar technology.

Industry Pioneers #20: David Bogen, Founder Of Bogen Communications

How David Bogen, a Russian immigrant turned American entrepreneur, built his legacy in audio distribution and manufacturing.

Industry Pioneers #21: Dr. Eugene T. Patronis, Jr., Mentor To The Audio Industry

Dr. Patronis, one of the AV industry’s most well-known academics, served as a mentor and educator for a generation of audio professionals.

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