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20 NOVEMBER 2009

Sound Mirrors: dead-end technology

"Pioneered by the obsessive Dr W.S. Tucker of the Royal Engineers, the concrete sound mirrors were intended to provide early warning of incoming enemy aeroplanes and airships about to attack coastal towns.

But with the development of faster aircraft and the increasing racket from the holiday resort down the road, the effectiveness of the mirrors twindled as an aircraft would be within sight by the time it had been located. The last nail was finally driven into the coffin of this uniquely English folly by the evolution of radar systems, so by 1934 they had tragically became obsolete."

(David Barrington, 04.07.2006)

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TAGS

19161930s1934 • acoustic mirrors • aeroplaneaircraft • airships • architectureconcretedead-end technology • early warning • engineeringEnglandenvironmentindustrial archaeologyindustrial designlistening earsmilitary complexmilitary hardwaremirrornational securityobsolescenceobsolete technologyradar • Royal Engineers • sound mirror • techno-scientifictechnologyUK • W.S. Tucker • World War IWW1

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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