Thursday, November 6, 2014

Inventor Adolphe Sax Turns 200

Adolphe Sax, the inventor of the saxophone, was born 200 years ago today. He filed 14 patents for his invention (in a family of eight sizes) in 1846.

For more, hear Happy Birthday, Mr. Sax, NPR, Nov. 6, 2014. And see June 28, 1846: Parisian Inventor Patents Saxophone, from Wired's This Day in Tech series. Want to dig into the details? See William McBride, The Early Saxophone in Patents 1838-1850 Compared, 35 Galpin Soc'y J. 112 (1982), JSTOR link.

You can see photos of saxophones created by Adolphe Sax, courtesy of the National Music Museum at the University of South Dakota.

Four views of alto sax made by Adolphe Sax,
National Music Museum, USD

The development of the saxophone did not end with Adolphe Sax. One of the recent sax-related inventions is U.S. Patent No. 8,314,318, "Unified octave/register key and vent for musical wind instrument," invented by Michael S. Brockman, who teaches in the UW School of Music (the patent is assigned to the university). More on Brockman's invention, nicknamed "the Broctave key," is here, on the UW's Center for Commericialization (C4C) site.

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