Eremeeff, Ivan (Ivanovich) [Jerome, Ivan ]
- Hugh Davies
[Jerome, Ivan ]
American inventor of electronic instruments, born in Russia. He probably emigrated to the USA about 1918, and began experimenting with the construction of electronic instruments about 1923 in Dayton, Ohio, where he also developed the helicopter (1922) and barograph (1928). About 1930 he moved to Philadelphia, where he took out eight patents for electronic instruments between 1932 and 1936. In the early 1930s he worked at the electronic music laboratory of the radio station WCAU in Philadelphia; he was also the founder (c1930) and chairman of the Society for Electronic Music. In 1938 he exhibited a model for a supersonic aircraft.
Eremeeff’s electronic instruments were based on two different sound-generating systems: electromagnetic tone-wheels, a principle he used in the Gnome, and photoelectric devices – Photona (or WCAU organ; 1935) and Syntronic organ (1934). The last instrument was enthusiastically endorsed by Leopold Stokowski, and inspired him to plan with Eremeeff an electronic orchestra, but this project was never realized. In spite of their names, Eremeeff did not attempt to recreate the tone qualities of a pipe organ in either of his two photoelectric instruments. An unusual feature of all his electronic instruments was the addition of a vibrato pedal to the normal volume pedal, and in two of them there was also a control for the decay of the notes....