Jan. 11, 2020
The Hammond Organ, Part III
(con't from Part II)
Laurens Hammond (1895-1973), the never-to-be-forgotten genius of the Hammond electric organ, was one of the most inspired scientists, mechanical engineers, and inventors in history (photo).
The Hammond electric organ (1934) was only one of his many inventions but is the one for which he is mainly remembered today.
Besides the Hammond electric organ with its tone-wheel generator and system of sliding drawbars he also worked on the synchronous motor which led to the creation of a mechanism for a silent spring-driven clock; he also invented the world's first polyphonic musical synthesizer (Novachord), the Teleview system for shutter glasses in association with 3-D films, and, during World War II, helped design guided missile control systems, light-sensing devices for bomb guidance, a new type of gyroscope, and controls for the glide-bomb, the forerunner of today's guided missile.
Following the War his company also worked to develop the Solovox and Chord Organ which used vacuum tube circuitry instead of an electric tone wheel to generate musical tones.
No other type of organ operates like the Hammond electric organ, and the many types of Hammonds still in use in the 21st century and still being manufactured after 80+ years in production is a testament to its popularity and success.