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A Night to Remember - Page Two

The American Academy of Motion Pictures pays homage to the greatest High Voltage Special Effects Man of all Time, Mr. Kenneth Strickfadden and his Life-Long Close Friend, Mr. John Foster.

 

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Ken speaking to the audience at the Academy.

 

 

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Ken strikes up a high current, low voltage A.C. arc between two carbon rods.

 

 

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Ken, talking with the Los Angeles Times Staff writer, on stage inside the screening theater at the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts, and Sciences.

 

 

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Ken demonstrates his air-powered acoustic disk organ for the audience. The aluminum disk is being spun by a small motor, held by the hand of the writer. The disk has approximately 400 holes, each 1/4 inch in diameter, drilled on precisely located points in consecutive radial circles. These holes are in a mathematical sequence, such that when air is blown through them, they produce not only fundamental tones but under and over harmonics as well. (Note: Ken also made a giant four foot diameter disk of the same design with more than 1,500 strategically placed holes that will cover some six octaves when spun at 1,000 r.p.m.

 

 

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The Times Staff writer, who wrote a feature article about Ken's life work, poses with "Oscar" next to the master of special effects.

 

 

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In 1981, Bill Wysock succeeded in luring Ken and company to the Monrovia "back yard high voltage proving grounds." This event was to honor Ken Strickfadden, and was staged about one month before Ken's showing at the Academy. It was the precursor of what was latter termed by others as a "Teslathon." In the back yard, the following equipment was set up: Model 10, Model 9, Model 8, and the original Model 5D prototype, as well as a 12 kW Jacob's ladder (seen just to the right of where Ken is seated). Note: there is another view of that famous day, in the "History Making Images"  section, and the Model 10 pages.

 

 

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The prototype Model 5D being prepared for operation. Note the flat aluminum top plate. This was a "stand-on" coil and is the source of high voltage used by Bill Wysock to create all the high voltage special effects for the motion picture "The Entity," starring Barbara Hershey. In the photo: John Foster (lower left,) Dick Aurandt (with his "signature" Vincent HRD Motor Cycle T-shirt and black jacket on). Ed Angle (upper right,) and Jim Shaffer, (lower right,) discuss details while the master (Ken in the background,) contemplates what is to follow.

 

 

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Ken assists a "willing" volunteer  place metal sewing thimbles on his fingers before standing on the prototype Model 5D coil. (Note: see " More History Making Images," for a view of Dick Aurandt standing on this coil.)

 

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2017