Alan Blumlein; the Londoner who changed the sound

Alan Blumlein, a London-based engineer, and his wife went to the movies on a particular day in January 1931.

Blumlein was perplexed by the fact that the actor’s voice came from the left side of the screen despite the fact that his face appeared on the right. It wasn’t always like this for us; back then, things weren’t as routine as they are now.

After assuring his wife that he would find a solution to the issue, Blumlein went straight to his laboratory and came up with the concept of stereo sound, which he went on to patent later that same year. A native of London who has, with relatively little acclaim, made significant contributions to the fields of film and music.

Alan Blumlein was the product of a German father who was partially Jewish and a Scottish mother. He was born in Hampstead in 1903. In spite of the fact that he struggled with reading at a young age, he always had a strong interest in anything to do with electricity as well as new inventions. They didn’t diagnose him with dyslexia at the time, but it’s likely that he had the condition.

In any event, Blumlein had a career in the field of sound, having worked first for the Western Electric Company and then for the Columbia Grammophone Company. Blumlein was an engineer with training in the subject matter, but the idea of stereo sound was a passing thought at the time. Later on, he collaborated with a number of other people to develop television.

During the Second World War, he worked on developing the H2S radar, which was designed to help aircraft more accurately locate and bomb their intended targets. During one of the missions to break radar, the plane experienced a loss of altitude and ended up crashing to the ground. This tragic event took place in 1942, when Blumlein was only 38 years old.

You probably were not aware of the story of this London engineer who invented the “binaural sound” or what would later be known as stereophonic sound. Although stereo sound is now commonplace in music as well as film and television, you probably were not aware of this London engineer.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top