Music and Physics on the Strand

The Music Shop at no. 436 Strand

Monday 22 October 2012, 6.00pm-7.30pm
Venue: King’s College London
Strand Building 2:39 (English Seminar Room)
Introduced by Clare Pettitt
“From the age of fourteen until his late teens, Charles Wheatstone worked in his uncle’s musical instrument shop on the Strand, modifying instruments and conducting experiments in acoustics at the back of the shop until he left to take up a scientific career, later moving down the road to become Professor of Experimental Philosophy at King’s College London and inventing the stereoscope, improving the concertina (Wheatstone’s musical instrument makers is still a going concern and makes concertinas) and inventing, with Cooke, the telegraph. When he was only 19 years old in September 1821, Wheatstone caused quite a sensation by inventing and exhibiting the ‘Enchanted Lyre or Aconcryptophone’ at his father’s music school/shop on Pall Mall and subsequently at the Adelaide Gallery of Practical Science on the Strand.
This session will concentrate on the crossover between musical, commercial and scientific culture and will ask whether it is possible to map the multiple utility of spaces on the Strand (shops which are schools which are galleries which are scientific workshops etc.) onto the radical rearrangement of the senses in this period which made new technologies of seeing, hearing and communication possible.”
[Text from here, where references and suggestions for further reading may also be found.]

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