Time Capsule

Time Capsule

Time capsule update: The Hope Prescott News is a new publication that fills that void left by the defunct Hope Star, Hope’s long-time newspaper. We thank them for the local coverage. With education integral to our Mission and Vision, it is great to see The Klipsch Museum (and curator Jim Hunter) standing with representatives of the Hope Public Schools in this Bicentennial pay-it-forward effort.

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A Friend Indeed 181012

A Friend Indeed 181012

Paul Klipsch has been considered by many to be the epitome of the “self-made man”. However, he would be quick to tell you that he “stood on the shoulders of giants”. Having friends in strategic places also greased the skids for Paul. While we do not have his earliest contacts with Sherman Fairchild, it is clear from over 200 pages of correspondence that this industry titan took many opportunities to help out “the little guy”. Never heard of Fairchild? Take a look at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherman_Fairchild.

The earliest correspondence so far discovered is from May 1944. Paul wrote to Sherman about the lack of bass response from Sherman’s 1943 “Klipschorn” woofer. The woofer was built by Sherman’s carpenter from early drawings supplied by PWK, and it still utilized a 12” driver. The system was illustrated in The Architectural Forum of April 1943. This was before Paul’s own HF horn was designed, so a Western Electric multicell horn was utilized. Paul’s bass performance “diagnosis by letter” took quite a while, but eventually resulted in his visit to Sherman’s  New York City penthouse, and the application of “about 2 pounds of putty” to stop some serious air-leaks. Earlier correspondence to Sherman from Altec Lansing’s John Hilliard https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Kenneth_Hilliard  expressed Hilliard’s doubt in the performance of the yet-to-be named Klipschorn, as compared to larger cinema speakers. The putty removed those doubts!

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Hempstead County Bicentennial 181218

Hempstead County Bicentennial 181218

The Klipsch Museum is located in Hempstead County Arkansas.  December 15, 1818 saw its creation under the Missouri Territory, and actually pre-dates the creation of the state of Arkansas.  It was one of the three original counties, and now compromises eleven modern counties.  It even included parts of what is now Texas and Oklahoma. 

As part of the celebration, a time capsule is being buried for eventual opening in 2068.  KHMA was asked to supply as much as “1.5 inches” of 8½ X 11 paper documentation relative to one of the county’s most celebrated residents, Paul W. Klipsch.  Well, as PWK would have said, “That’s like waving a bull in front of a red flag!”  It didn’t take long (but several toner cartridges!) to amass KHMA’s input.  Rest assured, the capsule is welded-shut, ¼” stainless steel, with the contents vacuum-dried and subjected to Argon gas more than once. 

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The Prodigal Son Returns

In 2002 a Vitavox-licensed Klipschorn was purchased for the Klipsch Museum of Audio History. (In the late 1940’s Vitavox of England was the first company to license the Klipschorn design. This unit appears “at first glance” to be one of the very first.) When it arrived in Hope it was to be forwarded to Indianapolis. The crated speaker never arrived. After much debate it was given up for lost. On Monday, at the conclusion of a thorough cleaning of the Hope Lab, a massive crate with a label reading “KP-418 Subwoofer” surfaced. When brought to Chief Bonehead’s attention, the label was recognized as being wrong. Opening it revealed the long-lost Vitavox. Due to Mr. Paul Jacobs’ and Voxx International’s generosity, the artifact was donated to KHMA. While the speaker does not retain its S2 compression driver, it was discovered that the original Vitavox Type K15/40 woofer was still in place. A worthy addition to the museum and a fascinating piece of audio history!

Southwestern Proving Ground (SPG)

Southwestern Proving Ground (SPG)

In 1941 PWK was at the height of his 3rd career, oil prospecting. He worked in Houston, TX for Dr. E. E. Rosaire, initially at Independent Exploration, and then he followed Rosaire to Subterrex. It was his first job after receiving his graduate degree of Engineer at Stanford. Rosaire had a saying that PWK never forgot: “When any of you guys piss with your left hand, I want to get a patent on it!” In the seven years with Rosaire he received eight patents in electrical and acoustic methods of discovering oil.

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PWK Text Book Donation

PWK Text Book Donation

Early in his military service at the Southwestern Proving Grounds, Paul acquired this book, along with many others specific to his then hobby, loudspeaker design. As with many of his books and scientific journals, he left his mark with “notes in the margins”. Mr. Bruce Marlin donated this book, which was given to him by Paul during his own engineering service to Klipsch & Associates in the 1990’s.

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Honoring Our Founders

Honoring Our Founders

During the 2018 Pilgrimage, KHMA took the opportunity to reward our highest level members, the Founders and K-horn Corps. This year’s special event was a gourmet dinner at Dannie’s’ Café in the woods of Hempstead County. With KHMA staff, the total was about 30 people, which was the capacity of this quaint little venue (we had the place all to ourselves!). Richard Groves and Matthew Smith provided an outstanding selection of wines and champagne. Thanks guys! 

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Orderly Conduct

Orderly Conduct

About ten years after the Summer of Love, tolerance for such nonsense remained rare in Arkansas.  It was a sun shiny day when John Simmons entered the Post Office sporting his "disgusting afro" haircut.  He would soon regret his less-than-chivalrous act of not holding the door open for a city police officer since the back of John's t-shirt featured a "cartoon voice balloon" with a single word - Bullshit.  Such profanity was not tolerated back then, and because a Post Office is by definition on federal ground, the officer left the building and waited for John to re-enter his jurisdiction - the street.  As soon as John exited federal land, the officer promptly drove his car from across the street, and said "Hold it there buddy!"  John was arrested for disorderly conduct. 

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Texarkana Gazette features KHMA

Texarkana Gazette features KHMA

The renowned Klipschorn got its start in Hope roughly 71 years ago, and you can still savor the sound of that storied history. You'll discover it at a modest building that at one time housed Klipsch speaker manufacturing. In fact, it was the original Klipsch factory, where Paul Wilbur Klipsch moved his young operations after selling speakers out of a tin shack for a couple years.

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