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== About Louis F. Moose  ==
 
== About Louis F. Moose  ==
  
Moose got his BS in electrical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1940, and spent the next year as a teaching assistant. Recruited by Lauriston C. Marshall, his lead professor at Berkeley, he went to work at the Rad Lab in May 1941. He worked for the magnetron group, at first primarily with George Collins and Bob Kyhl. He worked on X-band and/or 3-cm magnetron areas, and application work for magnetrons and all X-band systems. Moose describes the Rad Lab as having some contact with Raytheon, Sperry, RCA, and Bell Labs; having an informal structure; a slight bias towards physicists but nothing major; that Foster Riecke’s work on magnetrons was very important, and the contributions of John Slater, A. M. Clogston, and Ed Purcell also played a role. He comments on the roles of Columbia, Raytheon, RCA, and AT&T. His job evolved from general measurement to specialized design through the war. After the war he went to work for Bell Labs.  
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Moose got his BS in electrical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1940, and spent the next year as a teaching assistant. Recruited by Lauriston C. Marshall, his lead professor at Berkeley, he went to work at the [[MIT Rad Lab|Rad Lab]] in May 1941. He worked for the magnetron group, at first primarily with George Collins and [[Oral-History:Robert Kyhl|Bob Kyhl]]. He worked on X-band and/or 3-cm magnetron areas, and application work for [[Cavity Magnetron|magnetrons]] and all X-band systems. Moose describes the Rad Lab as having some contact with Raytheon, Sperry, [[RCA (Radio Corporation of America)|RCA]], and [[Bell Labs|Bell Labs]]; having an informal structure; a slight bias towards physicists but nothing major; that Foster Riecke’s work on magnetrons was very important, and the contributions of John Slater, A. M. Clogston, and [[Oral-History:Edward Purcell|Ed Purcell]] also played a role. He comments on the roles of Columbia, Raytheon, RCA, and AT&T. His job evolved from general measurement to specialized design through the war. After the war he went to work for Bell Labs. Moose died in 2009 at the age of 90.
 
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<br>
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== About the Interview  ==
 
== About the Interview  ==
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Louis F. Moose: An Interview Conducted by William Aspray, IEEE History Center, 10 June 1991  
 
Louis F. Moose: An Interview Conducted by William Aspray, IEEE History Center, 10 June 1991  
  
Interview # 071 for the IEEE History Center, The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
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Interview # 071 for the IEEE History Center, The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.  
 
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<br>
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== Copyright Statement  ==
 
== Copyright Statement  ==
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This manuscript is being made available for research purposes only. All literary rights in the manuscript, including the right to publish, are reserved to the IEEE History Center. No part of the manuscript may be quoted for publication without the written permission of the Director of IEEE History Center.  
 
This manuscript is being made available for research purposes only. All literary rights in the manuscript, including the right to publish, are reserved to the IEEE History Center. No part of the manuscript may be quoted for publication without the written permission of the Director of IEEE History Center.  
  
Request for permission to quote for publication should be addressed to the IEEE History Center Oral History Program, Rutgers - the State University, 39 Union Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8538 USA. It should include identification of the specific passages to be quoted, anticipated use of the passages, and identification of the user.  
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Request for permission to quote for publication should be addressed to the IEEE History Center Oral History Program, 39 Union Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8538 USA. It should include identification of the specific passages to be quoted, anticipated use of the passages, and identification of the user.  
  
 
It is recommended that this oral history be cited as follows:  
 
It is recommended that this oral history be cited as follows:  
  
Louis F. Moose, an oral history conducted in 1991 by William Aspray, IEEE History Center, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA.  
+
Louis F. Moose, an oral history conducted in 1991 by William Aspray, IEEE History Center, New Brunswick, NJ, USA.  
  
<br>
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== Interview  ==
  
== Interview ==
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Interview: Louis F. Moose
 +
 
 +
Interviwer: William Aspray
  
Interview: Louis F. Moose Interviwer: William Aspray Place: Boston, Massachusetts Date: 10 June 1991  
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Place: Boston, Massachusetts Date: 10 June 1991  
  
 
=== Educational Background  ===
 
=== Educational Background  ===
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'''Moose:'''  
 
'''Moose:'''  
  
Before coming to the Rad Lab, after graduating from Burlingame High School in California, I went to the University of California at Berkeley. I received a B.S. in 1940. I then continued as a part-time teaching assistant at the University of California. I was told by my draft board there would be no exemptions for the second year, and they suggested that I find a position somewhere else. At that time, Lauriston C. Marshall, who had been my lead professor at Berkeley, had come to the Rad Lab. He arranged for me to come. I came in 1941 in May.  
+
Before coming to the [[MIT Rad Lab|Rad Lab]], after graduating from Burlingame High School in California, I went to the University of California at Berkeley. I received a B.S. in 1940. I then continued as a part-time teaching assistant at the University of California. I was told by my draft board there would be no exemptions for the second year, and they suggested that I find a position somewhere else. At that time, Lauriston C. Marshall, who had been my lead professor at Berkeley, had come to the Rad Lab. He arranged for me to come. I came in 1941 in May.  
  
 
'''Aspray:'''  
 
'''Aspray:'''  
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'''Aspray:'''  
 
'''Aspray:'''  
  
Had you heard anything about radar before going to the Rad Lab?  
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Had you heard anything about [[Radar|radar]] before going to the Rad Lab?  
  
 
'''Moose:'''  
 
'''Moose:'''  
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'''Moose:'''  
 
'''Moose:'''  
  
I had very good rapport with Dr. Marshall. I had very good grades in school, he thought I was a good candidate for work, and they were very interested in setting up a group to do power transmitter tubes, magnetrons. He thought I would be well suited with my background to go into microwaves too, in the graduate area.  
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I had very good rapport with Dr. Marshall. I had very good grades in school, he thought I was a good candidate for work, and they were very interested in setting up a group to do power transmitter tubes, [[Cavity Magnetron|magnetrons]]. He thought I would be well suited with my background to go into microwaves too, in the graduate area.  
  
 
=== Magnetron Group  ===
 
=== Magnetron Group  ===
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'''Moose:'''  
 
'''Moose:'''  
  
I started at Radiation Laboratory learning the ropes. People such as Kyhl were very helpful in teaching me the things I needed to know to become familiar with the devices. Shortly thereafter I was assigned to the x band or 3 centimeter magnetron area in the test and measurement area. From there we did the application work for magnetrons and all x band systems, I think, that were sponsored by the Radiation Laboratory until the end of the war. My assignment really didn't change. I started out pretty much alone on x band. I must have had 6 or 8 people by the time the Radiation Lab started to disband.  
+
I started at Radiation Laboratory learning the ropes. People such as [[Oral-History:Robert Kyhl|Kyhl]] were very helpful in teaching me the things I needed to know to become familiar with the devices. Shortly thereafter I was assigned to the x band or 3 centimeter magnetron area in the test and measurement area. From there we did the application work for magnetrons and all x band systems, I think, that were sponsored by the Radiation Laboratory until the end of the war. My assignment really didn't change. I started out pretty much alone on x band. I must have had 6 or 8 people by the time the Radiation Lab started to disband.  
  
 
=== Work Environment  ===
 
=== Work Environment  ===
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'''Moose:'''  
 
'''Moose:'''  
  
At the beginning there was a great deal of direction, but I always felt, especially after we had some staff in an area, that we had to get certain projects done. We were a final development group in one sense. The things that we were doing were designed for particular system applications, or else we were studying problems that existed when applications didn't go as they were supposed to go. Later on I thought that we had a great deal of freedom. We also had a great deal of interaction with the magnetron design group, the assembly group that Joe Feldmeier had in our department, and a lot of contact with Percy Spencer and the group at Raytheon. We also were involved with some klystron and some magnetron work with the Sperry Gyroscope Company, magnetron developments at RCA, and at Bell Laboratories. It was a nice job because I got to meet a lot of people that knew more than I did about different things.  
+
At the beginning there was a great deal of direction, but I always felt, especially after we had some staff in an area, that we had to get certain projects done. We were a final development group in one sense. The things that we were doing were designed for particular system applications, or else we were studying problems that existed when applications didn't go as they were supposed to go. Later on I thought that we had a great deal of freedom. We also had a great deal of interaction with the magnetron design group, the assembly group that Joe Feldmeier had in our department, and a lot of contact with Percy Spencer and the group at Raytheon. We also were involved with some [[Klystron|klystron]] and some magnetron work with the Sperry Gyroscope Company, magnetron developments at RCA, and at Bell Laboratories. It was a nice job because I got to meet a lot of people that knew more than I did about different things.  
  
 
'''Aspray:'''  
 
'''Aspray:'''  
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'''Moose:'''  
 
'''Moose:'''  
  
Of course. There was Rabi. I remember Rabi and Purcell, Lawrence, Pollard, Slater. Not all of those are Nobel laureates, but there were a number of others who are. There were a number of basic physicists and quite a few engineers who were in those sessions. The informal work that went on there, as I mentioned easily maintained communications at any level; and people were willing to explain things. As a neophyte in the field, it was very very helpful to get someone to explain how some detailed aspect of the design of a modulator could drive the magnetrons. It was a little hard to figure it out without their basic knowledge their limitations in construction were similarly, people that were using the receivers had to make a presentation and tell me how they worked and why they didn't work as well with one type magnetron as with another. We worked together to clear these things out.  
+
Of course. There was Rabi. I remember Rabi and [[Oral-History:Edward Purcell|Purcell]], Lawrence, [[Oral-History:Ernest Pollard|Pollard]], Slater. Not all of those are Nobel laureates, but there were a number of others who are. There were a number of basic physicists and quite a few engineers who were in those sessions. The informal work that went on there, as I mentioned easily maintained communications at any level; and people were willing to explain things. As a neophyte in the field, it was very very helpful to get someone to explain how some detailed aspect of the design of a modulator could drive the magnetrons. It was a little hard to figure it out without their basic knowledge their limitations in construction were similarly, people that were using the receivers had to make a presentation and tell me how they worked and why they didn't work as well with one type magnetron as with another. We worked together to clear these things out.  
  
 
'''Aspray:'''  
 
'''Aspray:'''  
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'''Moose:'''  
 
'''Moose:'''  
  
Raytheon was the models' laboratory for a long, long while to the Radiation Laboratory. Anything that we wanted to do and we knew was going into production, just seemed to flow naturally to Raytheon. Percy Spencer was the lead man in the development area of Raytheon, and he was an excellent person. His contribution was great, from his long-term knowledge of power tubes and things of this sort should be well considered. Bill Brown, also of Raytheon, was a contributor, and was useful in getting a lot of ideas out and originating a number of them, too. They are strong companies. GE was the next one?  
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Raytheon was the models' laboratory for a long, long while to the Radiation Laboratory. Anything that we wanted to do and we knew was going into production, just seemed to flow naturally to Raytheon. Percy Spencer was the lead man in the development area of Raytheon, and he was an excellent person. His contribution was great, from his long-term knowledge of power tubes and things of this sort should be well considered. [[William C. Brown|Bill Brown]], also of Raytheon, was a contributor, and was useful in getting a lot of ideas out and originating a number of them, too. They are strong companies. GE was the next one?  
  
 
'''Aspray:'''  
 
'''Aspray:'''  
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'''Aspray:'''  
 
'''Aspray:'''  
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<p><flashmp3>071 - moose - clip 1.mp3</flashmp3></p>
  
 
A number of people have told me that the Lab was a very special place in their lives. What kind of features would you talk about that made it such an important experience?  
 
A number of people have told me that the Lab was a very special place in their lives. What kind of features would you talk about that made it such an important experience?  
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It was in the same field, but a tremendous extension of it. I had been working on magnetrons here. I was asked to lecture to a group of Western Electric factory people about a month after I got there, not on magnetrons but klystrons, which are an entirely different kind of device and I had to learn them fast. From then on there were a continuous number of challenges but in a very broad sense, it was an extension. Actually, light-wave devices weren't in existence at the time of the Radiation Laboratory. That was my last assignment at Bell Laboratories.  
 
It was in the same field, but a tremendous extension of it. I had been working on magnetrons here. I was asked to lecture to a group of Western Electric factory people about a month after I got there, not on magnetrons but klystrons, which are an entirely different kind of device and I had to learn them fast. From then on there were a continuous number of challenges but in a very broad sense, it was an extension. Actually, light-wave devices weren't in existence at the time of the Radiation Laboratory. That was my last assignment at Bell Laboratories.  
  
[[Category:People_and_organizations]] [[Category:Engineers]] [[Category:Inventors]] [[Category:Research_and_development_labs]] [[Category:Culture_and_society]] [[Category:Defense_&_security|Category:Defense_&amp;_security]] [[Category:Signals]] [[Category:Signal_detection]] [[Category:Radar_detection]]
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[[Category:People and organizations|Moose]] [[Category:Engineers|Moose]] [[Category:Inventors|Moose]] [[Category:Research and development labs|Moose]] [[Category:Culture and society|Moose]] [[Category:Defense & security|Moose]] [[Category:Signals|Moose]] [[Category:Signal detection|Moose]] [[Category:Radar detection|Moose]] [[Category:Components, circuits, devices & systems|Moose]] [[Category:Electron devices|Moose]] [[Category:Vacuum technology|Moose]] [[Category:Environment, geoscience & remote sensing|Moose]] [[Category:Radar|Moose]] [[Category:News|Moose]]
 
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[[Category:Components%2C_circuits%2C_devices_%26_systems]]
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[[Category:Electron_devices]]
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[[Category:Vacuum_technology]]
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[[Category:Environment%2C_geoscience_%26_remote_sensing]]
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[[Category:Radar]]
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Revision as of 17:11, 29 March 2012

Contents

About Louis F. Moose

Moose got his BS in electrical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1940, and spent the next year as a teaching assistant. Recruited by Lauriston C. Marshall, his lead professor at Berkeley, he went to work at the Rad Lab in May 1941. He worked for the magnetron group, at first primarily with George Collins and Bob Kyhl. He worked on X-band and/or 3-cm magnetron areas, and application work for magnetrons and all X-band systems. Moose describes the Rad Lab as having some contact with Raytheon, Sperry, RCA, and Bell Labs; having an informal structure; a slight bias towards physicists but nothing major; that Foster Riecke’s work on magnetrons was very important, and the contributions of John Slater, A. M. Clogston, and Ed Purcell also played a role. He comments on the roles of Columbia, Raytheon, RCA, and AT&T. His job evolved from general measurement to specialized design through the war. After the war he went to work for Bell Labs. Moose died in 2009 at the age of 90.

About the Interview

Louis F. Moose: An Interview Conducted by William Aspray, IEEE History Center, 10 June 1991

Interview # 071 for the IEEE History Center, The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.

Copyright Statement

This manuscript is being made available for research purposes only. All literary rights in the manuscript, including the right to publish, are reserved to the IEEE History Center. No part of the manuscript may be quoted for publication without the written permission of the Director of IEEE History Center.

Request for permission to quote for publication should be addressed to the IEEE History Center Oral History Program, 39 Union Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8538 USA. It should include identification of the specific passages to be quoted, anticipated use of the passages, and identification of the user.

It is recommended that this oral history be cited as follows:

Louis F. Moose, an oral history conducted in 1991 by William Aspray, IEEE History Center, New Brunswick, NJ, USA.

Interview

Interview: Louis F. Moose

Interviwer: William Aspray

Place: Boston, Massachusetts Date: 10 June 1991

Educational Background

Aspray:

Could you please describe briefly your background in education before coming to the Rad Lab?

Moose:

Before coming to the Rad Lab, after graduating from Burlingame High School in California, I went to the University of California at Berkeley. I received a B.S. in 1940. I then continued as a part-time teaching assistant at the University of California. I was told by my draft board there would be no exemptions for the second year, and they suggested that I find a position somewhere else. At that time, Lauriston C. Marshall, who had been my lead professor at Berkeley, had come to the Rad Lab. He arranged for me to come. I came in 1941 in May.

Aspray:

What was your degree work in? Electrical engineering?

Moose:

In electrical engineering. But curiously enough, instead of being in communications work, it was in power and power distribution.

Aspray:

That's not so surprising. A lot of departments were still primarily oriented towards power at the time, weren't they?

Moose:

Yes, but there was a strong communications option.

Aspray:

Had you taken any of the course work in the communications side?

Moose:

I had taken all the lead courses in the communications side. I did not take too many of the extra special courses.

Recruitment to Rad Lab

Aspray:

Could you go in a little bit more detail what it was that led you to go to the Rad Lab?

Moose:

Like many young people I was faced with a low draft number. I had been rejected as an officer-training candidate in the Navy because I was wearing glasses, and my draft board had suggested that instead of going in as a private in the army to be drafted, that they would find a position for me. I was in a small town and the draft board was most helpful. Their job happened to be at the Puget Sound Naval Yard at Bremmerton. It was a job of designing electrical conduits between various compartments in a battleship. Honestly, the Radiation Lab sounded much more intriguing.

Aspray:

Had you heard anything about radar before going to the Rad Lab?

Moose:

No, I hadn't. It was pretty much classified in 1941 in many respects. I remember going to the draft board and telling them I had made a different selection. At that time I had been on a visit to Boston and I had to ask them if they were cleared to hear classified materials. They weren't.

Aspray:

That's very funny. Why do you think you were recruited for the Rad Lab?

Moose:

I had very good rapport with Dr. Marshall. I had very good grades in school, he thought I was a good candidate for work, and they were very interested in setting up a group to do power transmitter tubes, magnetrons. He thought I would be well suited with my background to go into microwaves too, in the graduate area.

Magnetron Group

Aspray:

Do you want to continue the story of your early times in Boston?

Moose:

I came to Boston in May of 1941. I met F.W. Loomis first when I came to the Laboratories and was assigned to the magnetron group, which I believe was group 52.1 I believe. I worked primarily with George Collins at first and Bob Kyhl.

Aspray:

Who decided who would go to work with which group when one arrived? Maybe you didn't see that.

Moose:

I didn't see that, and as I mentioned earlier, I think it's because of my experience or my education in high voltage work that I was assigned to the magnetron group.

Aspray:

Did you feel that you were well prepared to do the work that you were assigned?

Moose:

I thought that there were probably very few people that were well prepared to do the work that I was assigned to. I took it as a challenge and think that most of the people that were there felt the same way about it. This was a technology where very few people had done much before. Within the first year that I was there, or just before, the English had come over with the new magnetron designs. So this work was completely different from anything that had been done before.

Aspray:

Tell me about your particular assignments. What did you do? Did you work with other people? Did you work by yourself?

Moose:

I started at Radiation Laboratory learning the ropes. People such as Kyhl were very helpful in teaching me the things I needed to know to become familiar with the devices. Shortly thereafter I was assigned to the x band or 3 centimeter magnetron area in the test and measurement area. From there we did the application work for magnetrons and all x band systems, I think, that were sponsored by the Radiation Laboratory until the end of the war. My assignment really didn't change. I started out pretty much alone on x band. I must have had 6 or 8 people by the time the Radiation Lab started to disband.

Work Environment

Aspray:

Was your work task-oriented or open ended? How much direction was set for you?

Moose:

At the beginning there was a great deal of direction, but I always felt, especially after we had some staff in an area, that we had to get certain projects done. We were a final development group in one sense. The things that we were doing were designed for particular system applications, or else we were studying problems that existed when applications didn't go as they were supposed to go. Later on I thought that we had a great deal of freedom. We also had a great deal of interaction with the magnetron design group, the assembly group that Joe Feldmeier had in our department, and a lot of contact with Percy Spencer and the group at Raytheon. We also were involved with some klystron and some magnetron work with the Sperry Gyroscope Company, magnetron developments at RCA, and at Bell Laboratories. It was a nice job because I got to meet a lot of people that knew more than I did about different things.

Aspray:

How would you say that the Rad Lab was similar to or different from a university environment?

Moose:

The Rad Lab was similar to a university environment in that the assignments were very informal and the communications were informal but very easy to maintain on almost any level inside the Rad Lab, perhaps more so than most university labs that I have been in. I had been warned by some of my colleagues at Berkeley, where I was teaching, that the politics would be terrific at a place like the Radiation Laboratory. I didn't experience them as terrific. They were less important, I think, than they were at Berkeley. Perhaps that's because it was such a dynamic organization and it was growing so fast. Later on I found that it was more like a university in the way it operated than Bell Laboratories was. Bell Labs was a research and development organization.

Aspray:

Tell me about information transfer in the organization. Were there formal mechanisms and were they the principal ways? Were there seminars? Were there formal meetings? Regular meetings? Or was it through informal exchange?

Moose:

Both. I'll elaborate a little bit. One of the things that I look back upon when I left the Radiation Lab as being a high point was the Monday night seminar. Every Monday night there was an outstanding scientific speaker on some subject related to the activities of the Radiation Laboratory. Occasionally, it was a report on military results using radar, but for the most part it was on technical subjects that were involved in the Radiation Laboratory. When I think back on the people who received Nobel laureates from that I am astounded.

Aspray:

Can you give some names?

Moose:

Of course. There was Rabi. I remember Rabi and Purcell, Lawrence, Pollard, Slater. Not all of those are Nobel laureates, but there were a number of others who are. There were a number of basic physicists and quite a few engineers who were in those sessions. The informal work that went on there, as I mentioned easily maintained communications at any level; and people were willing to explain things. As a neophyte in the field, it was very very helpful to get someone to explain how some detailed aspect of the design of a modulator could drive the magnetrons. It was a little hard to figure it out without their basic knowledge their limitations in construction were similarly, people that were using the receivers had to make a presentation and tell me how they worked and why they didn't work as well with one type magnetron as with another. We worked together to clear these things out.

Aspray:

Were there departmental or divisional meetings at which people would give reports?

Moose:

There were meetings. These were often just progress meetings. But there were good communications outright.

Aspray:

Were these held on a regular basis or were they ad hoc?

Moose:

They were on a regular basis for part of the time and for a fairly large part of the time they were ad hoc.

Reports and Information Sharing

Aspray:

What about other kinds of written records? Were there any written progress reports that had to be prepared? Did you have to prepare proposals if you wanted funding for additional support for something or other?

Moose:

The reports were not elaborate technical reports for funding, but there were technical reports prepared on the characteristics of the devices we were producing and the application of them, notes on problem areas, areas where the designers that were using the devices had to be particularly careful, or perhaps we made recommendations on things that they do in order to make sure that things went well. There seemed to be really no problem in going to a person informally and saying, "Look, we got your note that you'd like this and we think that that is better." I felt there was no real limitation there on our application work from the standpoint of communication. We were able to get our story through everywhere.

Aspray:

Let me ask my question another way. These reports or technical notes, what was their breadth of dissemination? Were they automatically sent places? Were they restricted to people in a certain part of the Lab or to anyone in the Lab? Could they go outside of the Lab?

Moose:

There were several degrees of reports. There was a rather formal report that we could write. This report would be automatically disseminated to a number of locations both inside the laboratory, to affiliated areas (I'm thinking later of Lincoln Laboratories), and sometimes to principal contractor representatives. I remember the library got regular copies of these for file purposes. Then there were other reports, which I would say were reasonably complete on a very detailed subject, and these often were of limited dissemination. As I recall, there were some progress reports made, too. There was a certain limitation in the amount of writing that was done because of the classification problem. Almost everything that we did was classified "confidential". When there were application conditions or military locations mentioned in the technical sense (rather than just in the general sense), the reports became secret. In a couple cases I was involved in some top-secret work and that required a little more diligence in getting the information and disseminating it properly.

Aspray:

Was there any compartmentalization in classification within the Laboratory? Could everybody within in Lab know what they were doing?

Moose:

I never felt a restriction myself when getting anything that I needed. I felt that if there was any, it must have been only in certain areas where there was a large interchange of people or something of that sort. But in the basic Laboratory, I wasn't aware of it. Let's put it that way. I wasn't the librarian or keeper of it.

Materials, Equipment, Personnel

Aspray:

How did you get the materials, the equipment, the personnel you needed in order to do what you needed to do?

Moose:

First of all, I very seldom felt budget restrictions. I felt that if I could present a need for something in a short report, that it was accepted and we got it almost immediately. There was always a shortage of personnel that were trained to the point where they could quickly assimilate the matters, it seemed to be the squeaking wheel got taken care of, and I thought I was taken care of well. I didn't feel there was any basic problem, but I could have always had two or three more people busy if I had the chance; but that is the name of the game anywhere in industry as well.

Aspray:

To whom would you go to ask for money?

Moose:

Originally it was the division head, the head of division 52. George Collins was the division head almost the entire time in 52.1, and he was the one that I would go to. Later on we got a business administration section set up. R.F. Sangster was the business representative in our area, and generally I would go to him with my request; if it were a personnel request or involved a lot of technical work, then the two of us would go together. He would represent the whole division.

Relationship between Physicists and Engineers

Aspray:

Was the Rad Lab or even just group 52, as Henry Guerlac claimed in his account of the Lab, "A physicists' world run for and as completely as possible by physicists?" Were there any significant problems in integrating people with different disciplinary backgrounds into the research program?

Moose:

I was sensitive to the fact that I was an electric engineer instead of a physicist. I felt that I was accepted as an engineer, and they felt that I was able to make contributions as an engineer. But I became more and more of a physicist as the years went by. I didn't feel that there was a great problem. I know of a couple of individual cases (but I don't want to mention any names) where people came in with a chemical background. I felt that they expected everything to come out in chemical terms and that everyone should be completely aware of the chemists' view of the situation. But then again, I remember a biologist who came in and did a marvelous job as a physicist. So there was a cross-section in there.

Aspray:

Were most of the people you worked with trained as physicists?

Moose:

Most of them.

Aspray:

What was the mix of scientists, engineers, as against technicians in your group?

Moose:

We were roughly one to one as I recall, one technician for each engineer. Then we had a couple of technicians from time to time, who were assigned to rather routine and repeatable work that had to be done. They provided a service to everyone in my group.

Theory and Practice

Aspray:

How significant was the theoretical work of John Slater (scaling theory), and the work of Foster Rieke to the ultimate development of magnetron designs and a comprehensive theory of magnetrons? Could you identify others who made key contributions during Rad Lab years in this area?

Moose:

If anyone asked me for a first name as to who was doing things to explain what we were measuring and helping us to understand on a basic basis what it was, it would be Foster Rieke. He had a group of physicists working with him who supported him greatly and that was the big support. John Slater's work had been earlier work for the most part, and the additions that he made to it I didn't personally feel were as strong as Rieke's. A.M. Clogston, I would mention. I know some simple remarks that Ed Purcell made. He was in an entirely different area. They were very helpful. There were at least a dozen others, but they were secondary in importance to these. They were real contributors, too, though.

Aspray:

Let me ask you a rather long question now. The Rad Lab volume, Microwave Magnetrons edited by George Collins, devotes approximately ten chapters to theory and analysis, four chapters to design, and three chapters to so-called practice. Some scholars assert that several bodies of knowledge may be distinguished, including basic science, engineering science, and design. Do you agree or disagree that knowledge about magnetrons as developed at Rad Lab can be appropriately placed in these sorts of categories? If so, should the kinds of practical knowledge or know how included in the last three chapters be distinguished as a fourth body of knowledge, including things such as fabrication methods, hobbing, and brazing?

Moose:

Fabrication methods are important in any area. The tolerance requirements were varied and of considerable interest in magnetron work. In certain cases reproducibility between different measurements was more important than other things in this section. There was an area of specialization in the mechanical design and processing of magnetrons, but whether that is a separate field or a contribution to the ever-growing field of design that was needed for these devices I am just not certain. I wouldn't diminish the importance of it or the contribution. It's an appropriate thing to have in a Radiation Lab book.

Aspray:

Can you clearly distinguish between some material that is basic science and other material that is engineering science?

Moose:

There is no question about that.

Aspray:

Those two can be separated, just differentiated in design work?

Moose:

The engineering science or the less specific science is probably more associated with specific design than not. My feeling was that during the time of our activities there, there were specific add-ons to the specific design, the specific theory, and specific area that had to be added for design. There were a number of design niceties, things such as: how do you keep the modes stable in the magnetron? How do you keep it operating in different ways, the temperature requirements, and tuning? These things perhaps were rather specific in a number of cases, but to be of any lasting value and not to change every time that you had a problem required that a fundamental specific design to be understood and that it was theoretically correct.

Contributions of Private Industry

Aspray:

Can you comment on the significance of the work done on magnetrons elsewhere? At Raytheon, GE, AT&T, Westinghouse, Columbia? How efficient was it?

Moose:

At Columbia I felt that the millimeter wave work was very good, but I felt that it was really an annex to the Radiation Lab rather than something special. Polykarp Kusch and Rabi were the real leaders there and they did a very nice job. Fortunately Rabi never lost his contact with the Radiation Lab. What were the next companies you mentioned?

Aspray:

Raytheon, GE, AT&T?

Moose:

Raytheon was the models' laboratory for a long, long while to the Radiation Laboratory. Anything that we wanted to do and we knew was going into production, just seemed to flow naturally to Raytheon. Percy Spencer was the lead man in the development area of Raytheon, and he was an excellent person. His contribution was great, from his long-term knowledge of power tubes and things of this sort should be well considered. Bill Brown, also of Raytheon, was a contributor, and was useful in getting a lot of ideas out and originating a number of them, too. They are strong companies. GE was the next one?

Aspray:

GE.

Moose:

I wasn't too familiar with GE, so I would rather duck the GE part of the question.

Aspray:

That's fine.

Moose:

RCA did some very good work at Princeton. I don't recall names of people at Princeton, but they carried the work through the Lancaster area. It was good. It was more specialized, and I thought their devices were not of as much general interest as some of the other ones. I think though, that the operation was designed to be that way. That they were after particular niches in the field and they did well in those.

Aspray:

AT&T?

Moose:

I thought AT&T did a great bit of independent work and their first magnetrons were pretty much similar to the ones built in England. As developments came they kept up to date with these things, and I would have to get out a chart and try to figure out who was first where, but a lot of their units were very similarly made, designed at the Radiation Laboratory. I think the tunable magnetrons, starting with the 2J51, were primarily AT&T developments. They were also building complete systems and their system requirements were such that they made tubes that were almost identical to the ones that were made by Raytheon for Radiation Laboratory but that had different mechanical aspects for fitting better into their equipments. They also went in the klystron area and the local oscillator area. I guess they did more fundamental work than anywhere else.

Aspray:

How was the information exchanged between Rad Lab and these other centers of magnetron research?

Moose:

At the ones I mentioned, there were visitations on maybe a biweekly or triweekly basis between the two locations. I know that I spent a reasonable amount of time at Princeton and Lancaster, at New York (on West Street). Of course, Raytheon had the distinct advantage that it was a bicycle ride from one place to the other. I thought that there was no strong withholding. I am sure that all these companies were concerned from a patent standpoint that they wanted to know what was discussed with the Radiation Laboratory, but I didn't feel that they were hiding things. If they made a clear disclosure, this was done. I didn't feel that there was a big race to see who could get the next big patent on the thing. It was very low pressure. In fact, I guess the military contracts may have involved military ownership of any patents that were developed that's probably it.

Aspray:

That's likely.

Moose:

I guess that's why there was no real big patent problem.

Relationship with Military

Aspray:

That raises the question about the relationship with the military. What kind of relationship was it?

Moose:

Our relationship was primarily with the Bureau of Ships, and they acted as representatives for all the military people that were involved. They funded us, and they often requested that we come to one of their suppliers for a meeting. The military provided us with contacts with many of the users, especially when there was a problem that the user had, or the user had a potential application for the kind of things that we could design, perhaps different than our current devices but related to them. We also had many contacts through the military with other supply areas. We had contacts with NRL that were reasonably close.

Aspray:

What sorts of contacts would you have with NRL? What kind of issue would arise?

Moose:

They were mainly general issues about how this fit into the general philosophy of military applications. I don't feel they were doing a lot of design work at that time. They were so busy trying to keep track of what the military was contracting for; they didn't do too much on their own at the time. But the Bureau of Ships was an excellent contact all the way through.

Evolution of Job

Aspray:

Tell me what about what happened over time at the Lab. Did your duties change? Did your assignments change? You told me that a group slowly built up around you.

Moose:

The assignment just gradually evolved, I would say, rather than changed. It became more specialized. When I first came into the Laboratory there were only a limited number of magnetrons being considered. The problems with these spread across the board, as we understood more about them. It became clear that there were problems involved which seemed to centralize about the frequency of operation more than the general basic design of units, and we were able to do a more effective job by specializing in tubes in one bandwidth. We evolved from first being a measurement group into essentially a design group. We originated a number of designs and design changes throughout the time of operation and were able to do more little side developments that were necessary to keep the reliability of the units high. We also were in a number of positions where we were working with a basic physics group in order to understand phenomena that we could not explain and which seemed to be due to magnetrons. We got a great deal of support from people on that.

General Reflections on Rad Lab

Aspray:

A number of people have told me that the Lab was a very special place in their lives. What kind of features would you talk about that made it such an important experience?

Moose:

I would say for a fellow that had just gotten the earlier part of his education and hadn't gotten a Ph.D. that it was a marvelous place to be. There were so many experts in all fields that you could learn whatever you needed to in whatever field was necessary with a minimum number of problems. My colleagues were select people. They were selected from all the universities in the country. They were selected because they were achievers in their fields. This worked well for them. From a social standpoint, too, the Laboratory had people from all over the United States, and we got to make friends from Florida to Maine and from the east coast to the west coast. It was a great thing for a young person to come in and do these things.

Aspray:

What was the work environment like? Were people there all hours of the day and night? Was there formal dress? Was there a formal way of operating with your boss? Those kinds of issues.

Moose:

As I recall, the only formal activity was that we had a general business meeting periodically. I don't remember the period exactly. We also had periodic progress reports. The rest of it was very informal and most people were working six and a half days a week. There were no formal hours. Everyone seemed to find a way to get in on time in the morning. This continued on through dinner usually to maybe eight or nine at night. Often we wouldn't eat until then except on Monday nights, and Monday nights we had our informal seminar. We had our formal seminars before that. We had an informal seminar at a Chinese Restaurant on ___ Avenue in Boston. J.R. Zacharias was usually the one that arranged this. He told the restaurant was how many people were coming, and this would vary from twenty to fifty or sixty. So we would sit down for maybe an hour and a half before the formal seminar took place. There were a multitude of individual seminars going on. Problems were interchanged between many of the design areas. That's another one of the things that was very good about the Laboratory. It was very informal, but it really worked and it continued. The attendance never dropped.

Aspray:

To the degree that people had time to do work outside of the Laboratory, did people do things together socially?

Moose:

We still have friends from our Radiation Laboratory days. I know of lots of the good eating places from my going out in the area. I know about probably as many beaches in this area as most of the natives do. As for other recreational areas, the Pops was always a big thing with us. Sailing on the MIT boats on the Charles River was another.

Postwar Career

Aspray:

When was it that you left the Laboratory?

Moose:

I left at the end of 1945. I did some work on the magnetron book, but I left before any of the final editing was done. I went directly to Bell Labs. I was first in New York and then transferred.

Aspray:

How did you get that job? Did it have something to do with your involvement with the Laboratory?

Moose:

Absolutely. H.D. Lewis (the department head) and the director in the Bell Laboratory at the time, spent a great deal of time with us to see how we felt about how some of the Bell Laboratory devices worked compared to the other Raytheon devices that I mentioned before. They knew me well. J.P. Leico was another one that came up frequently from Bell Laboratories. At the end of the war I had a history with Bell Laboratories. Before I took my graduate work at Berkeley, I applied to Bell Laboratories, and at the time I got a "so sorry letter". I later found out that the "so sorry letter" was the result of this particular lead professor that got me into the Radiation Laboratory. He had been asked for an evaluation of me and another person. He said he had me earmarked for being a teaching fellow at Berkeley, and it would be more to his advantage if I stayed at Berkeley. I didn't find out about that letter except by mistake late in my Bell Laboratories career, but it was an interesting subject. Because of that, I didn't apply to Bell Laboratories. Mr. Wilson and Mr. Roxie thought that I could perhaps contribute in their new activities and they came and asked me. It shows the tight relationship between the two organizations.

Aspray:

In the actual work you did after you arrived at the Laboratories, was it a continuation of the kinds of work that you had done at the Rad Lab?

Moose:

It was in the same field, but a tremendous extension of it. I had been working on magnetrons here. I was asked to lecture to a group of Western Electric factory people about a month after I got there, not on magnetrons but klystrons, which are an entirely different kind of device and I had to learn them fast. From then on there were a continuous number of challenges but in a very broad sense, it was an extension. Actually, light-wave devices weren't in existence at the time of the Radiation Laboratory. That was my last assignment at Bell Laboratories.