Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Collected Papers On Acoustics
Sabine, Wallace Clement
seconds. Evidently, the cushions were strong absorbents and 
rapidly improving the room, at least to the extent of diminishing the 
reverberation. The result was interesting and the process was con¬ 
tinued. Little by little the cushions were brought into the room, 
and each time the duration of audibility was measured. When all 
the seats (436 in number) were covered, the sound was audible for 
2.03 seconds. Then the aisles were covered, and then the platform. 
Still there were more cushions — almost half as many more. These 
were brought into the room, a few at a time, as before, and draped 
on a scaffolding that had been erected around the room, the dura¬ 
tion of the sound being recorded each time. Finally, when all the 
cushions from a theatre seating nearly fifteen hundred persons were 
placed in the room — covering the seats, the aisles, the platform, 
the rear wall to the ceiling — the duration of audibility of the resid¬ 
ual sound was 1.14 seconds. This experiment, requiring, of course, 
several nights’ work, having been completed, all the cushions were 
removed and the room was in readiness for the test of other absorb¬ 
ents. It was evident that a standard of comparison had been 
established. Curtains of chenille, 1.1 meters wide and 17 meters in 
total length, were draped in the room. The duration of audibility 
was then 4.51 seconds. Turning to the data that had just been 
collected it appeared that this amount of chenille was equivalent to 
30 meters of Sanders Theatre cushions. Oriental rugs, Herez, 
Demirjik, and Hindoostanee, were tested in a similar manner; as 
were also cretonne cloth, canvas, and hair felt. Similar experi¬ 
ments, but in a smaller room, determined the absorbing power of 
a man and of a woman, always by determining the number of run¬ 
ning meters of Sanders Theatre cushions that would produce the 
same effect. This process of comparing two absorbents by actually 
substituting one for the other is laborious, and it is given here only 
to show the first steps in the development of a method that will be 
expanded in the following papers. 
In this lecture-room felt was finally placed permanently on par¬ 
ticular walls, and the room was rendered not excellent, but entirely 
serviceable, and it has been used for the past three years without 
serious complaint. It is not intended to discuss this particular case 
in the introductory paper, because such discussion would be prema-


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