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The Religious Affiliation of
Clair L. Farrand
inventor of the cone loudspeaker
and motion picture sound engineer


Clair L. Farrand was the inventor of the cone loudspeaker in 1921. Farrand worked at Warner Bros. in Hollywood during the transition from silent films to sound pictures. Farrand was a Catholic.

Clair L. Farrand was a SMPTE Fellow. (See: http://www.smpte.org/membership/fellow.cfm) This is a prestigious title within the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers. An explanation of what an SMPTE Fellow is, from a 2003 press release (http://www.snellwilcox.com/aboutus/press/46): "A Fellow of the Society is one who has, by proficiency and contributions, attained an outstanding rank among engineers or executives in the motion picture, television or related industries."

From: Mel Gussow, Edward Albee: A Singular Journey: A Biography, Simon & Schuster: New York, NY (1999), pages 30-31:

Larchmont, especially in the 1930s and early 1940s when Edward [Albee] was growing up, was an exclusively suburban community, primarily Protestant, but with a sprinkling of Roman Catholics. No outsiders need apply... The Farrands -- Mrs. and Mrs. Clair L. Farrand and their children -- lived next door to the Albees in a smaller house... Of all the neighbors, the Farrands were by far the closest to Edward. The father, Clair. L. Farrand, was an electronic engineer and inventor. He invented the cone loudspeaker in 1921 and later worked for Warner Bros. in Hollywood during the time that sound replaced silent movies. Noel Farrand, the youngest of Clair Farrand's four sons, was a year and a half younger than Albee; he became Albee's best friend and remained one of his closest friends for his entire life.

...[Noel] also had deep psychological problems and periods of manic depression, some of which could be traced back to his rigid Roman Catholic upbringing and the lack of encouragement he received for his creativity in his home. It was said that his father [i.e., Clair L. Farrand] treated his sons as if they were in boot camp. He wanted them to follow him into the family business and, disappointed with Noel, would refer to him as "the piano player." When Noel did not do well in school, his father would lock the piano... About the Farrands, Albee summarizes tersely: "Redneck Irish family with a lunatic mother."

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Webpage created 21 October 2005. Last modified 21 October 2005.
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