ASA 127th Meeting M.I.T. 1994 June 6-10

3pNS3. Circumaural hearing protector development at the WPI Acoustics Laboratory.

R. H. Campbell

Dept. of Elec. and Comput. Eng., Worcester Polytech. Inst., Worcester, MA 01609

Professor William B. Wadsworth (1915--1993), affectionately known as Waddy, advanced the state of the art in circumaural hearing protectors when he devised the electrical equivalent circuit for these devices in 1953 and, subsequently, was awarded a patent. This paper briefly describes the life and times at the WPI Acoustics Laboratory surrounding this invention, the struggle to establish measurement standards to perform real-ear threshold shift attenuation tests, and the development of other devices and test methods. The author was a test subject in 1958 and a staff member from 1959 to 1961 at the WPI Acoustics Laboratory, and thereafter as a contributing member of several standards committees in this area. He continues working professionally in the field of hearing protectors and communications in high noise, as well as teaching acoustics and audio engineering at WPI.