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The Experiment: 1930

The Experiment: 1930

There's no label for this circa 1930 Harris & Ewing plate, but maybe it's best that we don't know what's going on. CLICK AT YOUR OWN RISK.


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His best thinking

Years later his co-workers would remember him fondly and recall that he was quite fond of thinking outside the box!

All Bob had to do now is decide how to spend the money

Being what the ladies called a "sharp dressed man" and he could hardly argue, Bob knew his ingenious Wash And Dry While You Wait Business Suit invention was just what pressed-for-time businessmen were waiting for. Why, before you know it, he thought, there'll be one of these in office lobbies, airports and train stations across America.

Vivian Leroy Chrisler

More information on the apparatus in this photo and Chrisler's acoustics work at the American Institute of Physics.

An acoustics researcher, he specialized in building acoustics and underwater sound. He acted as the acoustical consultant for the U.S. Capitol. In the 1920s he used the box in the picture to investigate several topics in building acoustics, including both the acoustics of “talking” motion pictures and those of the courtroom. In addition, Chrisler studied sound abatement in apartment buildings and in airplanes, and published texts and research monographs. He was a Fellow of the American Physical Society and a Fellow and Vice President of the Acoustical Society of America. He died in 1953, aged 68.


And here I thought the Gallows, the Gas Chamber and the Electric Chair was all there was.

Now that you've all had your fun

This is actually Version 1 of the "21" isolation booth. Can't imagine why anybody thought it was rigged.


It's an early type of framoflannis. You can tell from the left handed throtlever which is used to creech the blintzes.

Newspaper headline

Wacky inventor disintegrates self in immeasurable electrical explosion .


Contributed to a number of soundproofing publications, experiments.

This Week on "Mythbusters"

Adam and Jamie will test the myth of the lateral guillotine, with special guest--Harold Lloyd!

Not all there

It looks like something is missing from the device with the motor. The long steel U-channel on top appears to be designed to have something electrical on it; the four shiny discs on the shaft look like slip rings, and the four posts around the discs are the brushes that contact the slip rings. This assembly is used to conduct electricity from the fixed base to the rotating bar. There are wires from the slip ring discs up to the rotating bar, but they aren't connected to anything - and the piece of armored cable that's taped to the bar would flail the motor if somebody turned the motor on.

I don't think you can tell from this photo whether the slip rings were being used for line voltage (120 V AC or more) or something else. If the Library of Congress caption that SocialPrimate found is accurate, then there were probably loudspeaker(s) on this bar at one time, and the slip rings were being used for audio. As fixj mentioned, the Leslie speaker was a commercial development of this idea. The pictures I can find of Leslies show that the speakers themselves didn't rotate (no slip rings); only the woofer baffle and tweeter horns rotated.

There could also be other loudspeaker(s) or something else in the room that is out of shot.

Routine Procedure

Looks like me at the hospital undergoing another of those darn "tests."

Perhaps early Leslie horn speaker

If it is sound related.

And 83 years later we have

- sound bars for our wall mounted 72" high-def flat screen TV's. What took so long?


Even allowing for the difference in time and procedure, this whole experiment looks extremely amateurish.

Clean the room

I hope this machine will kill the black mold on the walls.

Anxiously Awaiting

what the demented minds at fark will do with/to this experimental apparatus.

The Sound Section

Found this at Library of Congress description of the image:

Uncle Sam seeking way to improve theaters for talkies. How to improve theaters for talking motion pictures is a problem now being tackled by the Bureau of Standards. V.L. Chrisler of the Sound Section, who looks like he is imprisoned in stocks, is really studying the "echo effect" in this room and his body and the observing instruments are enclosed so as not to interfere with the tests. It has been found that cushioned seats in talking picture theaters aid in the absorption of the "echo effect."

Dry Cleaning

My wife says it's an early attempt at do-it-yourself dry cleaning without removing your clothes!

The stain on the wall

The stain on the back wall does not give any confidence as to the experiment's possible outcome.

Experiments of a young Dr. Emilio Lizardo

Laugh while you can, monkey boy!!

Clean rooms

Have come a long was since then.

Engineer hi-jinks

This has to be what engineers do in government labs after 5pm.Alcohol was involved.

Best Talking Heads album cover never used

If only David Byrne had seen this pic before the band broke up.

Improved pie-throwing apparatus

Sort of an early version of a baseball dunk. Only you throw the pies at yourself, by manipulating the joystick on the console. The glass is there to save the dry-cleaning bill, as a suit and tie were still de rigeur.

Since this photo evidently precedes the invention of safety glass, let's hope the anticipated shrapnel is nothing more lethal than custard pie.

It's something from "The Outer Limits"

...the 1930 version. Whatever it is, the guy REALLY looks serious about what he's doing.

Please, not me!

I DO NOT want to be the person whose job it is to watch through the glass.

I probably don't want to know, but I'll ask anyway

What's the stuff running down the wall behind The Man In The Box? Previous occupants of The Box who didn't make it?

Dr. Frankenstein would be proud.

Pioneering frozen foods processing experiments-

Before successfully developing his method of quickly fresh-freezing vegetables, Clarence Birdseye spent some crucial time getting to fully understand the process from the inside out, so to speak.

Experiment Gone Bad

Witness the creation of Al Franken.

I hope

this has nothing to do with animal husbandry.

Thank You...

For bringing a 'smile' to us during such a serious time.

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