Friday October 28, 2016 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
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National Lighthouse Museum 
200 The Promenade at Lighthouse Point
Staten Island, NY 10301


National Lighthouse Museum 

Light Refreshments Provided by

Pier 76


Lecture - Changing the Lights...Changing the Sound The Evolution of Sound Signals 

Join us on Friday, October 28th when Mr. Arnold Konheim will present CHANGING THE LIGHTS CHANGED THE SOUND:The Evolution of Sound Signals

In 1960, the Coast Guard began a program to automate its lighthouses. This effort required the replacement of air-driven fog signals with electronic fog signals. Sound signals in the US started with canons, then progressed to other percussion devices, e.g. bells and gongs, and then air driven horns.  The culmination of air powered horns was the diaphone.

Automating lighthouses led to the automating of sound signals, because many sound signals were light stations. The focus of Mr. Konheim’s talk is that one of the consequences of automating lighthouses was the replacement of tone-rich signals with electronically generated pure-tone signals, which had all of the charm of a dial tone. The effects of the replacement on residents in lighthouse environs will also be examined.

Arnold Konheim is retired from the Federal Government where he started his career by addressing fog-signal issues at the Coast Guard.  

For the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Civil Aeronautics Board, he had an important place in analyzing and reducing environmental pollution.  He finished his government career as a senior advisor in the Office of the Secretary at the U.S. Department of Transportation where he had a key role in the resolving issues of national importance.

Mr. Konheim is now a docent at the Smithsonian Institution where he gives tours of the National Air and Space Museum.

He also continues his involvement in acoustics. In this regard, he just completed coordinating the U.S. position on a proposed international standard on shipboard noise.