Did you know that it was a Danish engineer who invented the first Loudspeaker?
Peter L. Jensen was that man. He was a prolific Danish inventor and entrepreneur.
Jensen was born in 1886 and began his engineering career at the laboratory of Valdemar Poulsen, the inventor of magnetic recording. He became an assistant to Poulsen and was later sent to the US to introduce the Poulsen Radio Arc System and then took a job with the Federal Telegraph Company in California in 1910.
A year after the move, he founded the Commercial Wireless and Development Company with Edwin S. Pridham and Richard O’Conner which later became the Magnavox Company, he stayed there until 1925.
Together with Edwin S. Pridham he built the first moving coil loudspeaker in 1915 and in 1916 he built and patented the first contained and complete electric reproducing phonograph. Next, Jensen made the first public address system which he unveiled on Christmas Eve, 1915 in San Francisco. 75,000 people were present and heard all the speeches and announcements through the system. The systems, called Magnavox, were later used all over the US, even President Woodrow Wilson used the system in 1919. In the same year Jensen designed the Magnavox dynamic loudspeaker for reception of radio broadcasting.
Additionally, Jensen invented and patented, with Edwin S. Pridham, the first anti-noise self-neutralizing microphone in 1917. The microphone allowed wireless communication between aircrafts and the ground. It later became known as the lip microphone and was widely used in both World Wars.
In 1927 Jensen founded the Jensen Radio Manufacturing Company, marketing speakers under the trade name Jensen. He headed up the firm until 1940 and in 1945, he founded Jensen Industries Inc. which manufactured phonograph needles and later, the stainless steel sink.
Jensen was hugely respected in his lifetime and was made an honorary Member of the Audio Engineering Society in 1955. He was elected an Extraordinary Member of the Danish Engineering Society, and Jensen was knighted by the King of Denmark.