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Oral-History:Russel S. Ohl

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About Russel S. Ohl

Russell Ohl's collegiate interest in chemistry and electricity led to his pioneering career in radio electronics. A graduate of Pennsylvania State College, Ohl enlisted in the Army during World War I and conducted license service tests for military aircraft radios. After the war, he continued electrical research in batteries and vacuum tubes. He went to work for the AT&T Company, building unipotential tubes and a new portable radio receiver. His subsequent projects were in quartz crystal research, high frequency control, interference reduction, and building semiconductors.

The interview spans Ohl's career, concentrating most upon his research and inventions between the two world wars. He discusses his technical discoveries as well as support for and opposition to his work. The interview also examines his attitudes about some Bell Labs colleagues and his post-retirement activities.