The Catgut Acoustical Society Library

File #:K4970

Name:Kimball, Maxwell

Dates:d. 1966

See also:C7450 - Condax, Louis

General Information:

An architect, sculptor and musician who had stayed an architect during the 1929 depression by making a

violin and two violas from information in books and the help of a local violin maker, (as well as working

with his wife to raise chickens and a big garden). He was also a naturalist, amateur astronomer, and avid

bird watcher who made his own telescopes. Kimball and CMH met when they were both exhibitors at

a hobby show in Glen Ridge (the next town to Montclair) where he lived. This started a long association

of mutual interests from quartet playing to bird watching and violin making. Kimball became particularly

interested in making violin bows and exploring methods of measuring their physical properties, including

the dimensional changes along the stick, bending characteristics, centers of percussion and gravity which

he measured with great precision on many bows of different qualities. Some of his technical writings

and measurements are included here as well as in the Newsletter of the CAS. He worked with Louis

Condax at one point and made a drawing of the cello podium which Condax had developed for Howard

Hanson at the Eastman School of Music. The famous cellist, Maurice Eisenberg used this podium in

several concerts with the New Jersey Symphony and was delighted with it. See photo of Kimball and

Eisenberg, also a copy of the drawing which was published in the CASNL. Efforts to explain the

acoustical effectiveness of this podium have not as yet met with success. But it works! Kimball's

greatest contribution to the CAS was in helping CMH to develop the design of the new instruments of

the Violin Octet, once the basic acoustics had been worked out. He also designed and supervised the

building of the large garage-workshop at 112 Essex where over 100 of the Octet instruments have been


File Contents:


Correspondence: with CMH (1956-1966).

Key Words:


Miscellaneous: Newsp articles, permission, Summit Symphony concert programs, Xmas card, bill of

sale on bow., bow & instrument measurements.

Key Words:


Technical: paper - `On Making a Violin Bow'; data: bow design curves; write-up and diagram of

Condax-Kimball Cello Podium.

Key Words:Bow making | Cello podium | Violin Octet design.

Last modified: 27 June 1998