Happy Birthday Laurens Hammond (January 11, 1895 – July 3, 1973)

Laurens Hammond with his 3D glasses

Laurens Hammond (January 11, 1895 – July 3, 1973), was an American engineer and inventor. His inventions include, most famously, the Hammond organ, the Hammond Clock, and the world’s first polyphonic musical synthesizer, the Novachord.

 

Laurens Hammond was born in Evanston, Illinois, to William Andrew and Idea Louise Strong Hammond. Laurens showed his great technical prowess from an early age. His father, William, took his own life in 1898, ostensibly due to the pressures of running the First National Bank, which he himself had founded. Upon her husband’s death, Idea, who was an artist by trade, relocated to France with Laurens to further her studies. It was during their stay in France that Laurens began developing many of his early inventions.

 

He was awarded the Franklin Institute‘s John Price Wetherill Medal in 1940 for the invention of the Hammond electric organ.

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