Acoustical Society of America
Wallace Clement Sabine Award - 1968

Hale J. Sabine

This evening, the Acoustical Society honors a man who was born into the acoustical materials sphere. He has grown with it, studied its problems, contributed greatly to needed solutions, and has taken an honorable part in the activities of an industry that strives to manufacture commodities that fit the market in a competitive world.

Hale J. Sabine is the elder son of the late Paul E. Sabine, a man remembered with affection and respect by those of us who were privileged to know him. During his father's tenure as head of the Riverbank Acoustical Laboratories and Geneva, Illinois, Hale grew up in an atmosphere of acoustical science and engineering.

On joining The Celotex Corporation in 1930, he moved into a field where the broad principles of application of sound-absorbing materials to auditorium correction and to office noise reduction were understood, but sales were small. The Mazer discovery–that a pattern of relatively few holes drilled into a painted block of suitable material makes an excellent repaintable sound absorber–resulted in a valuable patent acquired by Celotex. The Norris discovery–of well-distributed small openings in a rigid and otherwise impervious facing, over a blanket absorber–arrived to spur competition. Business in the industry grew, despite a recession. Hale grew with it, rising to be Chief Acoustical Engineer.

His four years with Armour Research Foundation, where he participated in, and directed, a variety of contract research projects in architectural acoustics, and in other acoustic fields, enlarged his experience and his circle of acquaintances and colleagues.

For the last seven years, he has been Manager of the Sound Laboratory, Owens-Corning Fiberglass Technical Center, directing acoustical research and technical support activities of this important company.

The acoustics of building materials is a subject covering a wide range of concepts, mathematical analyses, and test methods. Suitable commodities must be developed, manufactured, and merchandised; and they must serve the purchaser properly. Hale has contributed in important ways to measuring flow resistance and impedance, to evaluating and predicting the performance of lined ducts, and to developing testing techniques for transmission loss and reverberation chamber absorption.

He has served the Society well on its committees, and as its President 1959-1960. He is a charter member of ASTM Committee C20, which has the responsibility for the standard test procedures used in architectural acoustics, since its foundation in 1948. In his capacity as Vice Chairman of the Committee and as chairman of the subcommittee on sound absorption, he is a leading spirit in standards writing activities and associated research projects. In industry circles, he has been active on the Technical Committee of the Acoustical Materials Association.

The award of this medal is a deserved tribute to a man who combines in a most happy fashion the talents of scientist–experimenter–engineer in a field where the entire gamut, from the conception of a product to its successful in-place performance, is the measure of the service.

William Jack