The practice of realizing underwater acoustic standards and methods for the systematic calibration of the wide variety of electroacoustic transducers is rich in tradition and has given rise to some unique underwater acoustic calibration facilities and electroacoustic transducers. In about 1940, the US Navy Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD) headed by Dr. Vannevar Bush, established a center for Underwater Acoustic Metrology under the expertise of Columbia University in collaboration with Bell Laboratories, which subsequently resulted in the establishment of the Underwater Sound Research Laboratory (USRL) in Orlando Florida with unique acoustic lake testing facilities. That facility later became a detachment of the Naval Research Laboratory (USRD) and was the home for a concerted effort in transducer development and calibration for many years. The National Bureau of Standards and later the National Institute for Standards (NIST) deferred the activity of establishing and maintaining underwater acoustic standards and calibration methods to the USRD Navy facility now headquartered at NUWC, Newport. This paper summarizes some of the early pioneers in this field including Lynman Spitzer, Leslie Foldy, Henry Primakoff, and Edwin Carstensen, who were followed by Ira Groves, Robert Bobber, Joseph Blue, and others.

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