Frank C. Chalfant Language Laboratory Photographs, 1910s

Overview of the Collection

Chalfant, Frank C.
Frank C. Chalfant Language Laboratory Photographs
1910s (inclusive)
.25 Linear feet of shelf space, (1 box), (12 items)
Collection Number
PC 48 (collection)
Twelve glass plate negative images of F.C. Chalfant's language laboratory at Washington State College in the 1910s.
Washington State University Libraries' Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections (MASC)
Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections
Terrell Library Suite 12
Pullman, WA
Telephone: 509-335-6691
Access Restrictions

This collection is open and available for research use.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

Frank C. Chalfant studied at France's University of Grenoble in the summer of 1909 and was exposed there to the use of phonographs in a laboratory setting for the study of foreign languages. In 1911, he installed a “language laboratory” at Washington State College, apparently the first in the United States. Students used dictaphones (phonograph recording machines) to playback their own attempts to speak foreign languages, and also listened as a class to recordings of foreign languages via a networked audio system.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection consists of seven 6.5" x 8.5" glass plate negatives, and five 4"x5" glass plate negatives. Four photographic prints created by MASC from these are also included. The images depict Washington State College's language laboratory in the 1920s, and include use of dictaphones. Among the images are ones depicting faculty members Chalfant and Margarete Meinhardt.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

[Item description] Frank C. Chalfant Language Laboratory Photographs, 1910s (PC 48)

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries, Pullman, WA.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Materials are retained in their original order.

Processing Note

Items have been sleeved for protection.

Related Materials

A few additional images of the language laboratory can be found in the WSU Photographs Subject File (PC 4), in the Laboratories / Broadcasting and Recording folders, and in the WSU Lantern Slides collection (PC 6).

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Language laboratories -- Washington (State) -- Pullman.

Personal Names

  • Chalfant, Frank C. -- Archives

Corporate Names

  • State College of Washington.
  • Washington State University.