Savart's wheel

Made:
1870
maker:
William Ladd
Eight wheels with different numbers of teeth, for use in Savart's apparatus for producing sounds of known frequencies. Eight wheels with different numbers of teeth, for use in Savart's apparatus for producing sounds of known frequencies. Eight wheels with different numbers of teeth, for use in Savart's apparatus for producing sounds of known frequencies. Eight wheels with different numbers of teeth, for use in Savart's apparatus for producing sounds of known frequencies.

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License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

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License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

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Eight wheels with different numbers of teeth, for use in Savart's apparatus for producing sounds of known frequencies.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Eight wheels with different numbers of teeth, for use in Savart's apparatus for producing sounds of known frequencies.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Eight wheels with different numbers of teeth, for use in Savart's apparatus for producing sounds of known frequencies.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Eight wheels with different numbers of teeth, for use in Savart's apparatus for producing sounds of known frequencies.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Eight brass toothed wheels with different numbers of teeth, on a central brass spindle, by William Ladd, London, England, 1870. Used in Savart's apparatus for producing sounds of known frequencies (see note).

The relationship between the radii of these wheels also makes visible the ratio of frequencies in a major scale. Felix Savart was a surgeon in Napoleon’s army before becoming interested in physics. In 1830 he invented this simple device which links the frequency of vibration of sound to pitch. If the wheels are rotated along their central axis, and a card held against the teeth, a musical note is emitted – but unlike the tuning forks the largest wheel gives the highest note.

Details

Category:
Acoustics
Object Number:
1872-9
Measurements:
standing upright: 130 mm 85 mm, .905kg
type:
savart's wheel
credit:
Ladd, W.