First Audio Amplifier on Display at New York AES Show

First Audio Amplifier on Display at New York AES Show

The Audio History Library & Museum is paying tribute to the early days of audio in a special display it has put together for the 145th International AES Convention, which opens tomorrow (October 17) and runs through Saturday at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City.

The highlight of the display is the Western Electric mechanical amplifier shown above (left), the first known device for amplifying audio signals. Produced in the mid part of the first decade of 1900, the device was used to amplify sound in early telephones.

A second, equally compelling artifact is what is believed to be the world’s first tube amplifier, which was used for long-distance telephone transmission in the early part of the 19th century. The amplifier was patented by Austrian physicist Robert Von Lieben and manufactured in Berlin in 1912 by Telefunken for Gesellschaft Fur Drahlose Telegraphie.

The display will also include “innumerable historical artifacts documenting the birth and genesis of our sound and recording industries,” according to library/museum director Louis Manno.

The historic gear will be on display at booth 946 during the exhibition part of the show, which runs October 17-19.

For more information on the Audio History Library and Museum, visit

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