The ‘Radio Organ of a Trillion Tones’ (1931), The ‘Polytone Organ’ (1934) . Arnold Lesti, Leo Tiedemann & Fredrick Minturn Sammis. USA, 1934

 

The Trillion Tone Organ

Lesti and Tiedemann’s  Trillion Tone Organ of 1931

Radio Organ of a Trillion Tones (1931)

The “Radio Organ of a Trillion Tones” was created and developed by Arnold Lesti and F. Sammis in the USA during 1931. The Radio Organ used a similar photo-electrical technique as the Celluphone, Superpiano and other variants. However the The Radio Organ generated a much more complex sound by projecting the light beam through two sets of glass disks – a ‘Pitch disk’ generating a pitched fundamental plus it’s ascending harmonics and a Timbre disk modifying the tone using a drawn representation of the sound wave of a real instrument (horn ,violin, clarinet, oboe and a human voice).  The principle was improved in the next version called the “Polytone”.
The Trillion Tone Organ's tone disk

The Trillion Tone Organ’s tone disk

The Trillion Tone Organ's pitch disk

The Trillion Tone Organ’s pitch disk

The "Radio Organ of a Trillion Tones" (1931)

The “Radio Organ of a Trillion Tones” (1931)

Diagram showing the tone and pitch disks

Diagram showing the tone and pitch disks

The Polytone Organ (1934)

A. Lesti and F. Sammis’s development of the Radio Organ of a Trillion Tones was christened the ‘The Polytone Organ’, this instrument was a three keyboard manual organ using the same sound production system as the ‘Radio Organ’ – rotating photo-electrical tone-wheel sound generation. The instrument was completed in 1934 and was one of the first multi-timbral instruments.

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