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Historical audio engineers

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John Roberts {JR}:
This is a massive undertaking but perhaps technology is catching up to the task with it's ability organize and cross reference information so this can be saved for posterity.

Just looking at your list I learned about connections I was previously unaware of.

I still see a technology or product focus as a more logical organizing theme. Organized by names requires knowing who you are looking for. Of course the data could be indexed  any number of ways once in a searchable data base.

Now such an index might link to the same people from different directions. IIRC Baxandal was also active in RADAR design for the military prior to WWII. I didn't realize "that" Walsh as in Ohm loudspeaker drivers worked at Bozak earlier. Another probably coincidental connection, Bruce Zayde who designed the time aligned OHM bookshelf speakers also design some bookshelf speakers for Bozak in '80s

Audio is a small world indeed.


Lee Brenkman:
John Roberts  {JR} wrote on Wed, 12 March 2008 11:09

Audio is a small world indeed.


And a world with some surprising participants

As this segment of actress Hedy Lamarr's Wikipedia biography demonstrates:

Avant garde composer George Antheil, a son of German immigrants and neighbor of Lamarr, had experimented with automated control of instruments. Together, they submitted the idea of a Secret Communication System in June 1941. On 11 August 1942, U.S. Patent 2,292,387  was granted to Antheil and Hedy Kiesler Markey. This early version of frequency hopping used a piano roll to change between 88 frequencies and was intended to make radio-guided torpedoes harder for enemies to detect or jam.
The idea was impractical, ahead of its time, and not feasible due to the state of mechanical technology in 1942. It was not implemented in the USA until 1962, when it was used by U.S. military ships during a blockade of Cuba,[4] after the patent had expired. Neither Lamarr nor Antheil (who died in 1959) made any money from the patent. Perhaps due to this lag in development, the patent was little-known until 1997, when the Electronic Frontier Foundation gave Lamarr an award for this contribution.[1]
Lamarr's and Antheil's frequency-hopping idea serves as a basis for modern spread-spectrum communication technology used in devices ranging from cordless telephones to WiFi Internet connections, namely CDMA.[5] Similar patents had been granted to others earlier, like in Germany in 1935 to Telefunken engineers Paul Kotowski and Kurt Dannehl who also received U.S. Patent 2,158,662  and U.S. Patent 2,211,132  in 1939 and 1940.

Who'd a thunk it watching her in the movies...

Michael 'Bink' Knowles:
One thing you all can do is write a little bit about the experiences you have had in live sound. If you write and publish in a magazine or online then you are a quotable reference that I can use. If you write the exact same stuff in a Wikipedia article about, say, David Blackmer, then you are interjecting original research and it won't stick. Please sharpen your pencils and write what you know about. Then get it up and out in public.

It's even fair game to scan old product brochures and put them up online. Blow the dust off your old files and get scanning!

Everybody wins if we all start recording our history.


Scanned Altec brochures: me/page09.jpg

Scanned Bozak brochures:

Scanned EV38N/D microphone photos, specs, graphs and brochure:

Lots of scanned microphone, amplifier and tape recorder ads from 1965:

I love this stuff!

Dave Barnett:
On the EE side, don't forget Dick Burwen (or is it Burwin...?), who came up with a lot of nifty EQ circuits.

Michael 'Bink' Knowles:
Dave Barnett wrote on Tue, 18 March 2008 11:29
On the EE side, don't forget Dick Burwen (or is it Burwin...?), who came up with a lot of nifty EQ circuits.

Good call. A search at the AES e-library finds him here:
Automatic Noise Filter for Telephone Lines by Burwen, Richard S. (1974)
A Wide Dynamic Range Program Equalizer by Burwen, Richard S. (1975)



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