War Tubas – Steampunk Sunday

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So how about a quick history lesson to end your week?

This photo instantly sparked my interest when I spotted it on my Facebook feed earlier this week. At a glance it could seem like a black and white photo of some steampunk style action film or maybe someone’s imagination gone wild in Photoshop. In reality this is a photo taken in the 1930’s of Emperor Shōwa inspecting large acoustic location devices with anti-aircraft guns in the background. Instead of producing noise, acoustic locators collected it. War Tubas were used by military services up to the early years of World War II to help detect incoming enemy aircraft. Much like a large stethoscope, all trained listeners needed to do was aim the bell towards the enemy and listen, then they could instruct the gun crews’ fire. This technology was rendered obsolete when the invention of radar proved to be far more effective.

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