One of the first pair of speakers that really got me thinking and thought were beyond anything I had heard before were the Elipson 4040, made out of plaster and of two separate elements, one sphere for the medium and treble and one column for the subwoofer. It ended up being used as a monitor for the French National Radio, ORTF.
The clip below encapsulates the technical prowesses of Joseph Leon, its founder and chief engineer, as well as his "form follows function" phylosophy.
I was to try to duplicate this concept in the 80s in a much smaller package, intended as an upgrade to the basic loudspeakers supplied with the MIDI systems, all the rage at the time, because of the smaller size of most modern appartments, but also because they incorporated the new CD technology in a compact system.
And it started, I guess, because there was always music playing in the house, mum played the piano, my parents used to dance in the living room to the sound of an old gramophone playing LPs but also a very large collection of jazz 78rpms .
And one day, when I was 15, Dad surprised us with one of the most up-to-date piece of technology of the time:
A Grundig Stereo console and black & white TV ( 819 lines SECAM, the now defunct French precursor of HDTV),
complete with a tube receiver and 2 elliptical bicone speakers, all housed in pure 1950s faux lacquered mahogany. It would have cost an absolute fortune, and knowing Dad, it would have been a decision carefully undertaken, with Mum financial blessing. This piece of equipment has been in continuous use from around 1965 until the 80s, including a 4-year stint in Mexico City and back, and then the cabinet was still home of a new transistorised hifi system bought by Dad's colleagues when he retired, and a new colour TV suitably replaced the SECAM unit, obsolete by then. In 1984, I presented him with a pair of speakers of my own design.
More on this later...
It was our first television, and we had had a telephone for just a couple of years, only because Dad was on the road for work most of the week. He was driving around a large territory centered on Tours to inspect large computer installations and ensure their proper performance and maintenance. He ended up being the General Manager of that Division for the whole company for the last five years or so of his employment before retiring at the tender age of 57...
Born in France, well travelled, relocated to Sydney in 1997.