Dr Olson determined in the late 1930's and 1940's, then published, that loudspeakers require a back cover on their cabinet so the out-of-phase sound waves from the rear of the speaker will not interfere with the sound waves from the front of the loudspeaker.
Many Loudspeakers in that era did not use a back-wall!
In the published papers from the same era, he determined that loudspeaker enclosures should be Curved in shape like a household lamp. The loudspeaker industry followed his advise regarding closing off a loudspeaker enclosure but for 60+ years ignored his concurrent advice to use curved loudspeaker enclosures.
Dr Olson originated the scientific development of loudspeaker enclosures while working at RCA. Review the links and imagine the history of his innovations which touches everyone's lives to this day...
He also is one of the inventors of the Synthesizer, the analog Videotape and Digital Video Disk. He earned a degree in atomic physics from the University of Iowa, where another visionary created the first programmable computer in the early 1930's.
Dr Olsen and Elvis: Olsen designed RCA LC-1A Loudspeaker information
Dr. Olson was Born on 12/18/1901 in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa; Died on 04/01/1982 at Princeton Medical Center in Princeton, New Jersey
|Harry F. Olson, a pioneer in the field of 20th century acoustical engineering, was born in Mount Pleasant, Iowa
to Swedish immigrant parents. Technically inclined from an early
age, he built and flew model airplanes, constructed a steam engine and
invented a wood-fired boiler that drove a 100-volt DC generator.
Olson designed and built an amateur radio transmitter, gaining enough
proficiency to be granted an operator's license. Olson went on to
earn a bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering
from the University of Iowa then continued to earn a Master's degree
with a thesis on acoustic wave filters in solids and a doctorate in
Physics, working with polarization of resonance radiation in mercury.
Immediately after completing his course of study in 1928, Olson moved to
New Jersey to work for RCA Laboratories. Olson would remain at
RCA for almost four decades.
Olson had a continuing interest in music, acoustics, and sound reproduction, and, by 1934, he was placed in charge of acoustical research at RCA. At RCA, Olson worked on a wide range of projects, which included developing microphones for the broadcasting and motion picture industries, improving loudspeakers, and making significant contributions to magnetic tape recording. Like many engineers of the World War II generation, Olson also made significant contributions to military technology as well, particularly to the fields of underwater sound and anti-submarine warfare. After the war Olson, along with Herbert Belar, developed the first modern electronic synthesizer. Equipped with electron tubes, the Mark II Sound Synthesizer was used to compose music, which was recorded and sold to the public.
A prolific inventor and engineer, Olson was awarded more than 100 patents for the various types of microphones (including the widely used 44- and 77-series), cardioid (directional) microphones, loudspeaker baffles, air-suspension loudspeakers, isobaric loudspeakers,
early video recording equipment, audio recording equipment, phonograph
pickups, underwater sound equipment, noise reduction, sound technology
in motion-pictures, and public-address systems he developed. He also authored 135 articles and ten books including an interdisciplinary text charting the dynamical analogies between electrical, acoustical and mechanical systems. In 1940, Olsen received The Modern Pioneer Award of the National Association of Manufacturers. In 1949, Olson was honored by being the first recipient of the Audio Engineering Society's John H. Potts Memorial Award, an award program which was later renamed the Gold Medal. In 1953-4 Olson served as president of the Acoustical Society of America, which awarded him the very first Silver Medal in Engineering Acoustics in 1974 and the Gold Medal in 1981. He won the IEEE Lamme Medal in 1970, was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1959, and was the recipient of many honorary degrees during his lifetime. These include, in 1955, The Samuel L. Warner Medal of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, The 1956 John Scott Medal of the City of Philadelphia and The Achievement Award of the IRE Professional Group on Audio. In 1963, Olsen received The John Ericsson Medal of the American Society of Swedish Engineers and in 1965 received The Emile Berliner Award of the Audio Engineering Society. To end the decade of the 1960's, Olsen received The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers' Mervin J. Kelly Medal in 1967 and The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers' Consumer Electronics Award in 1969.
Olson retired from RCA in 1967, continuing as a consultant for RCA Laboratories.
|RCA 44-series ribbon microphone
Developed in 1931
| RCA Type 77-A microphone
BIOGRAPHICAL ARTICLES :
RCA CORPORATION - RELATED ARTICLES
ARTICLES INCLUDING PICTURES OF DR. OLSON