Meeting Topic: The Genius of Ben Bauer: 75 Years of the Shure Unidyne Microphone
Moderator Name: Michael Pettersen & Julie Snyder
Speaker Name: Michael Pettersen, Director of Applications Engineering and the Corporate Historian at Shure Incorporated/ Julie Snyder, Senior Corporate Librarian and Archivist at Shure Incorporated
Meeting Location: Shure Incorporated, 5800 W. Touhy Ave, Niles, IL 60714
The presentation started with an image of an advertisement of the Model 55 Unidyne Microphone and then led to some photographs of famous people using the microphone and historical moments when the Model 55 and its distinctive shape was used as a public address microphone. This instruction depicting the ubiquity of the Model 55 in the past century was followed by a description of Ben Bauer's life, his childhood as a Jew in Europe, his family constantly moving around the world in the search for stability and peace, how he ended up interested and involved in the field of electronics, and eventually how he obtained a degree in Electrical Engineering.
An important milestone in his life was having been selected to be an intern at Shure, an internship that eventually turned into a full time job as a Development Engineer. One of his many contributions was the idea of a cardioid pattern microphone with a single active component (the Unidyne).
During the presentation, several images were shown of the different prototypes he developed, which led to the final prototype — the first commercial Unidyne Microphone. Some pictures of the consequent upgrades in the design were presented too, upgrades like the inclusion of a switch in the 55SW and a smaller version, the 55S, for the television industry.
After that, some audio samples were played, so the audience was able to hear the differences between several 55 models that were produced over the years. Finally, the original prototypes were exposed in addition to a collection from Shure's archives of some unique and historical Model 55 Unidyne Microphones.
Written By: Luis Colmenares