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Margaret Watts-Hughes

The Century - Google Books

The Century 42

The Eidophone - by Margaret Watts Hughes

In 1885, while seeking means to indicate readily the intensities of vocal sounds, I first met with these figures, and, owing to their variety both in form and production, they have since absorbed much of my attention. The apparatus I have employed I call the eidophone. This is very simple. It consists merely of an elastic membrane, such as thoroughly flexible soft sheet-rubber, tightly stretch over the mouth of a receiver of any form, into which receiver the voice is introduced by a wide-mouthed tube of convenient shape.

I would add that my experiments have been made as a vocalist, using my own voice as the instrument of investigation, and I must leave it for others more acquainted with natural science to adjust the accordance of these appearances with facts and laws already known. Yet, passing from one stage to another of these inquiries, question after question has presented itself to me, until I have continually felt myself standing before mystery, in great part hidden, although some glimpses seem revealed. And I must say, besides, that as day by day I have gone on singing into shape these peculiar forms, and, stepping out of doors, have seen their parallel living in the flowers, ferns, and trees around me; and, again, as I have watched the little heaps in the formation of the floral figures gather themselves up and then shoot out their petals, just as flowers springs from the swollen bud – the hope has come to me that these humble experiments may afford some suggestions in regard to nature’s production of her own beautiful forms, and may thereby aid, in some slight degree, the revelation of yet another link in the great chain of the organized universe that, we are told in Holy Writ, took its shape as the voice of God.Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

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