Document Scans

By Jesse Acorn

On this page, I will link all of the documents that I have scanned, including books, manuals, and schematics. All were unavailable online from any other source at the time of scanning, as far as I could find. I have especially focused on providing info about early (esp. tube-based) electronic musical instruments, which is quite scarce online as of this writing. If you find these documents useful, please consider thanking me, or even donating a small amount to my PayPal (both via the email listed on my contact page), but there is no obligation to do so.


  • Electronic Musical Instruments by S.K. Lewer (1948) — A British title featuring detailed descriptions of early electronic instruments, including the Hammond Novachord (vacuum-tube polyphonic synthesizer), Compton Electrone (electrostatic tonewheel organ), Everett Orgatron (electrostatic reed organ) and Pianotron (electrostatic piano), Maurice K. Bretzfelder's "Electone" (electrostatic piano), and more. Various design ideas are discussed that never saw commerical application. It also describes a multi-head tape echo using steel tape, like the Blatterphone and Marconi-Stille recorders!
  • Simple Electronic Musical Instruments for the Constructor by Alan Douglas (1955) — Another British book, which describes various musical circuits in enough detail to build them. These include an "infinitely variable" tone generator (using a thyratron relaxation oscillator), a 5-octave monophonic keyboard (using a resistance-tuned "pulse generator" oscillator), a thyratron-based frequency-divider chain operable over several octaves, an "electronic accordion" that is basically a copy of the Hammond Chord Organ's chord division, various volume-envelope & control circuits, and it even mentions the "well-known Eccles-Jordan circuit" (Lowrey fans will know the significance of this being said in 1955!) Also described are a standalone pedal bass instrument, and an early electric guitar.

Schematics & Service Manuals

For some of these documents, I have higher-quality scans available upon request. However, even without the higher-quality versions, you will find that all scans are absolutely clear and readable. Some processing could improve the contrast, and OCR processing could give easily searchable and copiable text. As well, for those documents that I did not make into a PDF (due to large variations in page size), a PDF could be made; I will probably figure this out at some point.

If you notice any errors or have additional information that you would like to add, please contact me!

First Published: 12/30/2019