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KARL RUDOLPH KONIG (1832-1901)

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Originally appearing in Volume V15, Page 893 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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KARL RUDOLPH KONIG (1832-1901), German physicist, was born at Konigsberg (Prussia) on the 26th of November 1832, and studied at the university of his native town, taking the degree of Ph.D. About 1852 he went to Paris, and became apprentice to the famous violin-maker, J. B. Vuillaume, and some six years later he started business on his own account. He called himself a " maker of musical instruments," but the instruments for which his name is best known are tuning-forks, which speedily gained a high reputation among physicists for their accuracy and general excellence. From this business Konig derived his livelihood for the rest of his life. He was, however, very far from being a mere tradesman, and even as a manufacturer he regarded the quality of the articles that left his workshop as a matter of greater solicitude than the profits they yielded. Acoustical research was his real interest, and to that he devoted all the time and money he could spare from his business. An exhibit which he sent to the London Exhibition of 1862 gained a gold medal, and at the Philadelphia Exposition at 1876 great admiration was expressed for a tonometric apparatus of his manufacture. This consisted of about 67o tuning-forks, of as many different pitches, extending over four octaves, and it afforded a perfect means for testing, by enumeration of the beats, the number of vibrations producing any given note and for accurately tuning any musical instrument. An attempt was made to secure this apparatus for the university of Pennsylvania, and Konig was induced to leave it behind him in America on the assurance that it would be purchased; but, ultimately, the money not being forthcoming, the arrangement fell through, to his great disappointment and pecuniary loss. Some of the forks he disposed of to the university of Toronto and the remainder he used as a of the church and the town-house, the buildings are mostly of wood. The origin and whole industry of the town are connected with the government silver-mines in the neighbourhood. Their first discovery was made by a peasant in 1623, since which time they have been worked with varying success. During the 18th century Kongsberg was more important than now, and contained double its present population. Within the town are situated the smelting-works, the mint, and a Government weapon factory. Three miles below the Laagen forms a fine fall of 140 ft. (Labrofos). The neighbouring Jonksnut (2950 ft.) commands extensive views of the Telemark; A driving-road from Kongsberg follows a favourite route for travellers through this district, connecting with routes to Sand and Odde on the west coast.
End of Article: KARL RUDOLPH KONIG (1832-1901)
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