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Here is a typical drugstore label for Rochelle Salt. This was used as a laxative.
Work on the piezoelectric properties of Rochelle Salt started at Western Electric by Alexander McLean Nicolson in 1919. Nicolson is demonstrating using a crystal for a phonograph pickup to some reporters.
His techniques were rather crude and so were the crystals he produced. Here is a photo of Nicolson’s lab where the crystals were grown.
The Brush Development Company created methods to grow huge crystals through the 1930s and 40s. Here is a single crystal that weighed several pounds.
They were made in rocking tanks in heated rooms to accelerate the crystal growth. Here two young women are tending the growing crystals.