IEEE

Oral-History:Frank W. Godsey

SHARE |

From GHN

(Difference between revisions)
Jump to: navigation, search
m (Text replace - "[[Category:Power, energy & industry application|" to "[[Category:Power, energy & industry applications|")
(9 intermediate revisions by 4 users not shown)
Line 1: Line 1:
 
== About Frank W. Godsey  ==
 
== About Frank W. Godsey  ==
  
Frank Godsey was born in Vernon, Texas in 1906. He completed his undergraduate studies at Rice University and did his graduate work in electrical engineering at Yale University. Between 1929 and 1934, he worked for the Safety Car Lighting and Heating Company. In 1934 he moved to Sprague Electric, where he worked for six years, holding the positions of assistant production manager and chief electrical engineer. In 1940 he joined Westinghouse in their new products division located in East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Near the end of WWII, Godsey was instrumental in the establishment of Westinghouse's military division, based in Baltimore. He continued with Westinghouse as manager of the Baltimore Divisions until 1951, when he left to head Electronic Communications Incorporated, a company that developed military communications equipment. In 1959, he purchased ECI's research division, which became Advanced Technology Corporation. ATI's primary work was in millimeter-wave devices and solid-state technology.  
+
[[Frank W. Godsey|Frank Godsey]] was born in Vernon, Texas in 1906. He completed his undergraduate studies at Rice University and did his graduate work in electrical engineering at Yale University. Between 1929 and 1934, he worked for the Safety Car Lighting and Heating Company. In 1934 he moved to Sprague Electric, where he worked for six years, holding the positions of assistant production manager and chief electrical engineer. In 1940 he joined Westinghouse in their new products division located in East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Near the end of WWII, Godsey was instrumental in the establishment of Westinghouse's military division, based in Baltimore. He continued with Westinghouse as manager of the Baltimore Divisions until 1951, when he left to head Electronic Communications Incorporated, a company that developed military communications equipment. In 1959, he purchased ECI's research division, which became Advanced Technology Corporation. ATI's primary work was in [[Millimeter Waves|millimeter-wave devices]] and solid-state technology.  
  
The interview begins with brief comments on Godsey's background, education and his first job with the Safety Car Lighting and Heating Company. Godsey discusses his work with Sprague Electric, which focused on the development and production of various types of capacitors. The primary focus of the interview is on his work while with Westinghouse. The interview covers the beginnings of Westinghouse's commitment to military production and his work in the new products division, which was formed to handle military equipment orders. He gives an overview of his work with transformers and the development of the four hundred ampere D.C. [[Generators|generator]]. He also relates the development by Westinghouse and George Jernstead of an artificial kidney machine. Godsey details the background of Westinghouse's military division, which was permanently established after the war. The interview concludes with a discussion of Godsey's work after leaving Westinghouse. This included five years as president of ECI, developing military communications equipment and three years in which he owned Advanced Technology Corporation, where he was involved in research on millimeter-wave techniques.  
+
The interview begins with brief comments on Godsey's background, education and his first job with the Safety Car Lighting and Heating Company. Godsey discusses his work with Sprague Electric, which focused on the development and production of various types of capacitors. The primary focus of the interview is on his work while with Westinghouse. The interview covers the beginnings of Westinghouse's commitment to military production and his work in the new products division, which was formed to handle military equipment orders. He gives an overview of his work with [[Transformers|transformers]] and the development of the four hundred ampere D.C. [[Generators|generator]]. He also relates the development by Westinghouse and George Jernstead of an artificial kidney machine. Godsey details the background of Westinghouse's military division, which was permanently established after the war. The interview concludes with a discussion of Godsey's work after leaving Westinghouse. This included five years as president of ECI, developing military communications equipment and three years in which he owned Advanced Technology Corporation, where he was involved in research on millimeter-wave techniques.  
  
== <br>About the Interview  ==
+
== About the Interview  ==
  
 
FRANK W. GODSEY, JR.: An Interview Conducted by Kenneth Van Tassel, IEEE History Center, 13 May 1974  
 
FRANK W. GODSEY, JR.: An Interview Conducted by Kenneth Van Tassel, IEEE History Center, 13 May 1974  
  
Interview # 017 for the IEEE History Center, The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
+
Interview # 017 for the IEEE History Center, The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.  
  
== <br>Copyright Statement  ==
+
== 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.  
 
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.  
+
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:  
  
Frank W. Godsey Jr., an oral history conducted in 1974 by Kenneth Van Tassel, IEEE History Center, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA.  
+
Frank W. Godsey Jr., an oral history conducted in 1974 by Kenneth Van Tassel, IEEE History Center, New Brunswick, NJ, USA.  
  
== <br>Interview  ==
+
== Interview  ==
  
INTERVIEW: Frank W. Godsey Jr. <br>INTERVIEWER: Kenneth Van Tassel<br>DATE: May 13th, 1974<br>LOCATION: Gulfport, FL  
+
INTERVIEW: Frank W. Godsey Jr.  
 +
 
 +
INTERVIEWER: Kenneth Van Tassel  
 +
 
 +
DATE: May 13th, 1974  
 +
 
 +
LOCATION: Gulfport, FL  
  
 
=== Rice University, Yale and Safety Car  ===
 
=== Rice University, Yale and Safety Car  ===
Line 67: Line 73:
 
'''Godsey:'''  
 
'''Godsey:'''  
  
Yes. I was busy there in developing and putting into production and then going out and selling capacitors of all sorts. Not only electrolytic, but power factor correction capacitors, and small mica trimmer capacitors for radio.  
+
Yes. I was busy there in developing and putting into production and then going out and selling capacitors of all sorts. Not only electrolytic, but power factor correction [[Capacitors|capacitors]], and small mica trimmer capacitors for [[Radio|radio]].  
  
 
'''Van Tassel:'''  
 
'''Van Tassel:'''  
Line 75: Line 81:
 
'''Godsey:'''  
 
'''Godsey:'''  
  
Molded to a limited extent, but primarily the market for Sprague then was with the radio business, and it was a very interesting period of time. Companies were beginning to come out of the Depression, yet purchasing tactics were pretty severe. I have often thought that purchasing agents would murder their mother-in-law for a penny off on an order.  
+
Molded to a limited extent, but primarily the market for [[Frank J. Sprague|Sprague]] then was with the radio business, and it was a very interesting period of time. Companies were beginning to come out of the Depression, yet purchasing tactics were pretty severe. I have often thought that purchasing agents would murder their mother-in-law for a penny off on an order.  
  
 
'''Van Tassel:'''  
 
'''Van Tassel:'''  
Line 133: Line 139:
 
'''Van Tassel:'''  
 
'''Van Tassel:'''  
  
One problem I can remember: Transformers were not able to meet military requirements for immersion, leaks, and things of this nature. They needed a suitable protective coat, a sealer, and Westinghouse had — was developing at that time — a product called, I guess, Fosterite. A Mr. Foster was working on this. Was he in your area?  
+
One problem I can remember: [[Transformers|Transformers]] were not able to meet military requirements for immersion, leaks, and things of this nature. They needed a suitable protective coat, a sealer, and Westinghouse had — was developing at that time — a product called, I guess, Fosterite. A Mr. Foster was working on this. Was he in your area?  
  
 
'''Godsey:'''  
 
'''Godsey:'''  
Line 142: Line 148:
  
 
'''Van Tassel:'''  
 
'''Van Tassel:'''  
 +
 +
<p><flashmp3>017 - godsey - clip 1.mp3</flashmp3></p>
  
 
Did Westinghouse also in their military effort get into the four-hundred-cycle transformer business, instead of sixty cycles? This was for aircraft and...  
 
Did Westinghouse also in their military effort get into the four-hundred-cycle transformer business, instead of sixty cycles? This was for aircraft and...  
Line 194: Line 202:
  
 
'''Godsey:'''  
 
'''Godsey:'''  
 +
 +
<p><flashmp3>017 - godsey - clip 2.mp3</flashmp3></p>
  
 
One of the activities was an [[Electroplating|electroplating]] lab, which was headed up by a young man named George Jernstead, who later became a vice president of the company. George was a chemical engineer and an electric-chemist, and he was doing some very interesting work in periodic reverse-current plating. That's rather interesting too in that we did succeed in selling a license to the General Motors Corporation over the dead bodies of their patent department. Among other things, George was interested in artificial kidneys. I don't know just how he initially became interested in that, but he was, and he wanted to build an experimental artificial kidney machine. It wasn't going to cost a great deal, and it involved a lot of the same kind of lab equipment that he already had, so we went ahead with it. At that time the only artificial kidney in existence was the Kolf design, which was good, but it had two disadvantages. First, it took quite a few liters of blood or plasma to charge it, and second it had two rotating joints in the blood circuit, and blood and rotating joints don't get along so well. You get too many clots due to physical damage to the blood itself.  
 
One of the activities was an [[Electroplating|electroplating]] lab, which was headed up by a young man named George Jernstead, who later became a vice president of the company. George was a chemical engineer and an electric-chemist, and he was doing some very interesting work in periodic reverse-current plating. That's rather interesting too in that we did succeed in selling a license to the General Motors Corporation over the dead bodies of their patent department. Among other things, George was interested in artificial kidneys. I don't know just how he initially became interested in that, but he was, and he wanted to build an experimental artificial kidney machine. It wasn't going to cost a great deal, and it involved a lot of the same kind of lab equipment that he already had, so we went ahead with it. At that time the only artificial kidney in existence was the Kolf design, which was good, but it had two disadvantages. First, it took quite a few liters of blood or plasma to charge it, and second it had two rotating joints in the blood circuit, and blood and rotating joints don't get along so well. You get too many clots due to physical damage to the blood itself.  
Line 285: Line 295:
 
'''Godsey:'''  
 
'''Godsey:'''  
  
Well, yes. We had also developed a one-kilowatt transmitter that went in the offshore aircraft that were supposed to give you advanced long-range intercept warning. LRI Program. We had the contract for the communication equipment in that aircraft. We had developed a rather good one-kilowatt transmitter, and you should remember that in this timeframe we did not have transistors and solid-state devices. We were still working with vacuum tubes, and it wasn't easy.  
+
Well, yes. We had also developed a one-kilowatt transmitter that went in the offshore aircraft that were supposed to give you advanced long-range intercept warning. LRI Program. We had the contract for the communication equipment in that aircraft. We had developed a rather good one-kilowatt transmitter, and you should remember that in this timeframe we did not have [[Transistors|transistors]] and solid-state devices. We were still working with [[Electron (or Vacuum) Tubes|vacuum tubes]], and it wasn't easy.  
  
 
'''Van Tassel:'''  
 
'''Van Tassel:'''  
Line 337: Line 347:
 
'''Godsey:'''  
 
'''Godsey:'''  
  
Yes, we were very, very fortunate. We even recovered our start-up costs and overhead rates for the next two or three years, which again was unusual. We were treated sympathetically by our customers then. That group was working in imaging type radar systems, in millimeter-wave devices and in mine-detection type devices, which involves quite a lot of expertise in near-field antenna patterns. When I left ECI I asked if they would like to sell their research division, and they said, "No." But they came back three years later and asked if I was still interested, and I said, "Yes," and I bought it. So for almost three years I owned and operated that group, which we called Advanced Technology Corporation. We did make a great deal of progress in millimeter-wave techniques. Not just wave guides and devices but also in the solid-state end of it. I did some very interesting work there. Finally I sold that operation to Beckman Instruments. It didn't last very long after that for reasons that I am not fully aware of, but the group broke up and scattered throughout the technical world.<br>
+
Yes, we were very, very fortunate. We even recovered our start-up costs and overhead rates for the next two or three years, which again was unusual. We were treated sympathetically by our customers then. That group was working in imaging type radar systems, in millimeter-wave devices and in mine-detection type devices, which involves quite a lot of expertise in near-field antenna patterns. When I left ECI I asked if they would like to sell their research division, and they said, "No." But they came back three years later and asked if I was still interested, and I said, "Yes," and I bought it. So for almost three years I owned and operated that group, which we called Advanced Technology Corporation. We did make a great deal of progress in millimeter-wave techniques. Not just wave guides and devices but also in the solid-state end of it. I did some very interesting work there. Finally I sold that operation to Beckman Instruments. It didn't last very long after that for reasons that I am not fully aware of, but the group broke up and scattered throughout the technical world.  
  
[[Category:People_and_organizations]] [[Category:Engineers]] [[Category:Inventors]] [[Category:Components,_circuits,_devices_&_systems|Category:Components,_circuits,_devices_&amp;_systems]] [[Category:Electronic_components]] [[Category:Capacitors]] [[Category:Power,_energy_&_industry_application|Category:Power,_energy_&amp;_industry_application]] [[Category:Power_generation]] [[Category:Culture_and_society]] [[Category:Defense_&_security|Category:Defense_&amp;_security]] [[Category:World_War_II]] [[Category:Communications]] [[Category:Communication_equipment]] [[Category:Transmitters]] [[Category:Power_systems]] [[Category:Transformers]] [[Category:Environment,_geoscience_&_remote_sensing|Category:Environment,_geoscience_&amp;_remote_sensing]] [[Category:Radar]] [[Category:Transportation]] [[Category:Vehicles]] [[Category:Aircraft]] [[Category:Bioengineering]] [[Category:Anatomy]] [[Category:Digestive_system]] [[Category:Fields,_waves_&_electromagnetics|Category:Fields,_waves_&amp;_electromagnetics]] [[Category:Millimeter_wave_technology]]
+
[[Category:People and organizations|Godsey]] [[Category:Engineers|Godsey]] [[Category:Inventors|Godsey]] [[Category:Components, circuits, devices & systems|Godsey]] [[Category:Electronic components|Godsey]] [[Category:Capacitors|Godsey]] [[Category:Power, energy & industry applications|Godsey]] [[Category:Power generation|Godsey]] [[Category:Culture and society|Godsey]] [[Category:Defense & security|Godsey]] [[Category:World War II|Godsey]] [[Category:Communications|Godsey]] [[Category:Communication equipment|Godsey]] [[Category:Transmitters|Godsey]] [[Category:Power systems|Godsey]] [[Category:Transformers|Godsey]] [[Category:Environment, geoscience & remote sensing|Godsey]] [[Category:Radar|Godsey]] [[Category:Transportation|Godsey]] [[Category:Vehicles|Godsey]] [[Category:Aircraft|Godsey]] [[Category:Bioengineering|Godsey]] [[Category:Anatomy|Godsey]] [[Category:Digestive system|Godsey]] [[Category:Fields, waves & electromagnetics|Godsey]] [[Category:Millimeter wave technology|Godsey]] [[Category:News|Godsey]]

Revision as of 13:51, 13 November 2013

Contents

About Frank W. Godsey

Frank Godsey was born in Vernon, Texas in 1906. He completed his undergraduate studies at Rice University and did his graduate work in electrical engineering at Yale University. Between 1929 and 1934, he worked for the Safety Car Lighting and Heating Company. In 1934 he moved to Sprague Electric, where he worked for six years, holding the positions of assistant production manager and chief electrical engineer. In 1940 he joined Westinghouse in their new products division located in East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Near the end of WWII, Godsey was instrumental in the establishment of Westinghouse's military division, based in Baltimore. He continued with Westinghouse as manager of the Baltimore Divisions until 1951, when he left to head Electronic Communications Incorporated, a company that developed military communications equipment. In 1959, he purchased ECI's research division, which became Advanced Technology Corporation. ATI's primary work was in millimeter-wave devices and solid-state technology.

The interview begins with brief comments on Godsey's background, education and his first job with the Safety Car Lighting and Heating Company. Godsey discusses his work with Sprague Electric, which focused on the development and production of various types of capacitors. The primary focus of the interview is on his work while with Westinghouse. The interview covers the beginnings of Westinghouse's commitment to military production and his work in the new products division, which was formed to handle military equipment orders. He gives an overview of his work with transformers and the development of the four hundred ampere D.C. generator. He also relates the development by Westinghouse and George Jernstead of an artificial kidney machine. Godsey details the background of Westinghouse's military division, which was permanently established after the war. The interview concludes with a discussion of Godsey's work after leaving Westinghouse. This included five years as president of ECI, developing military communications equipment and three years in which he owned Advanced Technology Corporation, where he was involved in research on millimeter-wave techniques.

About the Interview

FRANK W. GODSEY, JR.: An Interview Conducted by Kenneth Van Tassel, IEEE History Center, 13 May 1974

Interview # 017 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:

Frank W. Godsey Jr., an oral history conducted in 1974 by Kenneth Van Tassel, IEEE History Center, New Brunswick, NJ, USA.

Interview

INTERVIEW: Frank W. Godsey Jr.

INTERVIEWER: Kenneth Van Tassel

DATE: May 13th, 1974

LOCATION: Gulfport, FL

Rice University, Yale and Safety Car

Van Tassel:

Well, Mr. Godsey, this afternoon, which is May the 13th, 1974, we're in your nice home, and we'd like to hear some of your early experiences, where you were born, what year, and so forth.

Godsey:

A long time ago, in Vernon, Texas, in 1906. I was brought up in East Texas and did my undergraduate work at Rice University, and after that I went to Yale for a couple of years' graduate work, and did a little extra-curricular work for a local company in New Haven, the Safety Car Lighting and Heating Company. When I got my master's degree from Yale in 1929 they offered me such a good job I couldn't turn it down, and I stayed with them for six years.

Van Tassel:

Your specialty at Yale? You got your master's degree, or just graduate work, in what?

Godsey:

A master's in electrical engineering. But I did a little more graduate work there than just the straight electrical engineering. I did some work in chemistry and physics, and as a matter of fact I had a small lab up in the chemistry department for a while that they let me use for some experimental work. After I had been out of Yale for about four years they gave me another degree, which is the professional degree of E.E. Not many schools give that, but I wrote a dissertation, and they gave me a degree, and that was the end of my formal education.

Van Tassel:

That is interesting. I found that in my case, working for the Bell Laboratories, going on for a doctorate, often the schools would say, "Well, what you are doing in the laboratories is the same as what we're doing in our doctoral." There's no particular advantage in that kind of move. In your case, where you were able to write up your own dissertation, that contributes at least.

Godsey:

It was based on quite a lot of research work I had done on electrolytic capacitors. I had done some publishing, and continued to do a little research work, even after I had separated myself from the university.

Sprague Electric: Capacitors

Van Tassel:

With this electrolytic capacitor work, is that what ties you in with the Safety Car, or did that come in some of your later work?

Godsey:

No, I was working with Safety Car on primarily railway electrical equipment and then the adaptation of some of the controls of that nature to industrial use, so it was direct current and sixty-cycle engineering. I finally got back to electrolytic capacitors in 1934, when Sprague Electric hunted me out as a result of my publications. I went with them, up in North Adams, Massachusetts. I was there another six years until 1940. I was assistant production manager and chief electrical engineer, I suppose, if you must have titles.

Van Tassel:

Titles. Well, it's nice to have some kind of handle.

Godsey:

Yes. I was busy there in developing and putting into production and then going out and selling capacitors of all sorts. Not only electrolytic, but power factor correction capacitors, and small mica trimmer capacitors for radio.

Van Tassel:

Molded capacitors?

Godsey:

Molded to a limited extent, but primarily the market for Sprague then was with the radio business, and it was a very interesting period of time. Companies were beginning to come out of the Depression, yet purchasing tactics were pretty severe. I have often thought that purchasing agents would murder their mother-in-law for a penny off on an order.

Van Tassel:

One thing I remember on condenser problems was getting a seal that would adequately hold condensers on. These were, I wouldn't say very high-voltage, but at least fairly high voltage. There was a seal problem, wasn't there, on capacitors to some extent?

Godsey:

Yes, there was a very serious problem, and oil leaks on oil-filled capacitors were very common. Most of the paper capacitors were impregnated with waxes, such as halogenated hydrocarbons. They weren't such a problem, but the liquid-filled capacitors really were, and it wasn't until about the time I left Sprague that there was some limited use of glass to metal seals, which really gave you a permanent seal. But otherwise it was a matter of using bolts and neoprene washers, and sometimes not even that good.

Westinghouse

Military Work

Van Tassel:

Well then, following Sprague you were offered, or at least got interested, in Westinghouse?

Godsey:

I was offered a place in the new products division of Westinghouse, which was then located in East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I went there in October of 1940, and World War II was beginning to come over the horizon as far as the United States was concerned.

Van Tassel:

Yes.

Godsey:

It was a very, very interesting and busy time. I think that the next sixteen years that I spent with Westinghouse were undoubtedly the most productive of my entire career. I was generally in the midst of new things, almost day to day, and certainly week to week. A great deal to do, and a very interesting time.

Van Tassel:

At this particular time had Westinghouse committed themselves to a sizeable program to support the military needs, or was this something they were just developing?

Godsey:

Westinghouse had begun to be fairly heavily committed to military work just before I arrived in 1940. In World War I Westinghouse had been active, but within two weeks after the war had ended they decided that they weren't interested in the military business. They turned away from it entirely. They did no research and development work for the government, and they re-converted to civilian goods entirely. It wasn't until the early 1930s when the electronics division, which was located up in Massachusetts at the time, started to build radio transmitters and receivers to a limited extent for the Air Force and primarily for the Navy. The older-style radio transmitters for the Navy were almost one hundred percent Westinghouse built. So that activity, also building steam propulsion equipment for some Navy ships, was just about the limit of it in Westinghouse until the late 1930s. The company went into the war period with very few products of its own design, and it was a real scramble to get factories that had been building washing machines and refrigerators converted to building armor-piercing shot, binoculars, radio transmitters, and anything that you could think of. It really didn't fit very well, but nevertheless, something had to be done, and that was what happened.

Van Tassel:

What constituted some of the management decisions that would prompt a company to make a move this way? Can you tell us?

Godsey:

They didn't have much choice.

Van Tassel:

All right, that was a factor.

Godsey:

Strategic materials limitations were shutting down plants one after another, and Westinghouse employees were being laid off not a few hundred at a time, but several thousand at a time. It was absolutely essential, aside from national interest, that something be done. A rather substantial effort was made to find things that Westinghouse could manufacture for the government and pursue the war effort, and that was the only type of order you could get at that time. So that was what was done, and to some extent that was, I believe, why I was offered a place with the company. I was associated with the new products division and also the emergency products division, which was set up to handle military equipment orders at the time.

Fosterite Transformer Seal

Van Tassel:

One problem I can remember: Transformers were not able to meet military requirements for immersion, leaks, and things of this nature. They needed a suitable protective coat, a sealer, and Westinghouse had — was developing at that time — a product called, I guess, Fosterite. A Mr. Foster was working on this. Was he in your area?

Godsey:

Foster was one of the men in the Westinghouse research laboratory at East Pittsburgh, and he had developed a rather good filled-plastic coating in which you could dip a transformer or object, and it would seal it and coat it, and it adhered very well to metal and other materials, so that it did give you a rather effectively sealed unit. At the same time, Westinghouse had sparked a development of oriented silicon steel, which made possible the Type C core, which was a wound core. It was then cut with an abrasive wheel and the two halves were then inserted through the coil in the case of polyphase transformers, or more than that. That made a smaller, lighter weight, a more efficient transformer, and hundreds and hundreds of thousands of those, dipped in Fosterite, were made and used at that time.

DC Generators for Aircrafts

Van Tassel:

Did Westinghouse also in their military effort get into the four-hundred-cycle transformer business, instead of sixty cycles? This was for aircraft and...

Godsey:

Yes, I was perhaps more responsible for that than anyone else. The small motor division in Lima, Ohio, had gotten some contracts to develop direct-current generators for aircraft use. They had a great deal of difficulty in the development, and I got involved in it because they were having so many problems. We brought some people in who could assist them and encourage them when they were becoming discouraged, and we finally succeeded in designing a two hundred ampere, twenty-eight volt DC generator that was very effective, very good. As a matter of fact, the Westinghouse design was finally used by our competitors, and that finally went on to a four hundred ampere DC generator. It became apparent that as aircraft got larger and larger, you couldn't afford the weight of the copper required to move twenty-eight volt power around an airplane. I had had some experience with four hundred cycle equipment for other purposes, and I talked to Ted Holliday, who was an Air Force Colonel at the time, at Wright Field, and we jointly decided that we were going to press very hard for a four hundred cycle power for aircraft. We did develop some transformers and alternators, and eventually some variable-speed transmissions that were developed out of Westinghouse were applied, so that you had a rather good four hundred cycle power supplies on aircraft at fairly high kilowatt ratings. After World War II ended, this really came into its own. Up to the end of World War II, almost all the military aircraft had the twenty-eight volt DC power supplies.

Van Tassel:

Were there any interesting stories that happened, that you could tell us about the beginning of this? I won't say conflict, but discussion, or "You can't do this, but you can do that"?

Godsey:

Well, I remember one. Sometimes you had to use brute force methods. The engineering people in the Air Force were insisting that the two hundred ampere DC generator have a weight of thirty-eight or thirty-nine pounds, and this meant that you had to use magnesium castings and do things of this sort. We discovered very soon that the magnesium casting that went between the generator and the engine just wouldn't hold. They would break under extreme engine vibrations, especially on the engines that went on the B-24, that had a butter-paddle type propellor, and they really shook things. So I got into the act again and decided that we'd just better stop wasting time until the Air Force added another pound and a half to the weight of the generator. We started using a forged molybdenum-steel end bell and mount, and that time it started pulling studs out of the engine. I said, "It's your problem now!" Our equipment was no longer breaking.

Military Division in Baltimore

Van Tassel:

As the war finished, I believe that you became interested at Westinghouse in setting up a military division for Westinghouse near Baltimore. Can you tell us some of the management factors, and some of the decisions that entered into this establishing a new whole branch or division?

Godsey:

Yes, I can. During the war we found that we were manufacturing electric torpedoes in our transformer division and plant, and idiocies such as binoculars and armor-piercing shot, and tail assemblies for airplanes, and — what was the other one? Oh yes, airborne radio transmitters, all in one plant that had been designed to make refrigerators and electric ranges. I thought that we just don't want to go through this again, and we should try to develop an operation that would be self-supporting.

When another war came along Westinghouse would have a line of military products that had developed for the military, to their requirements, and under contract to the military, but we'd have the knowledge, and we'd have the facilities, and would try and guide ourselves in a direction where we could make a much smoother transition from peace-time effort to war-time effort than had been possible either in World War I or World War II. Of course, I wasn't there for World War I, but I certainly went through it for World War II, and I didn't want to see that happen again. Fortunately at that time George Booker was president of the company. He was a very wise man, and he agreed with me on this. We started to arrange things that we would move in that direction, and we slowly got the rest of the corporation management used to the idea and away from the "Well, let's get back to peace-time work and no more of this war equipment business." So that was excellent; I got all of the front office support that I needed, and after I had been in Westinghouse about a year and a half or two years, I found that I was manager of a new products division, which made things a little easier.

Now, specifically the Baltimore complex started from two directions. The electronics division, which had been building radio equipment up in Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts, and then finally in the 1930s moved to Baltimore, had done a lot of the pre-war radar development. They were heavily involved in military electronic equipment, although they still were a relatively small operation. It looked as though they could survive unless the management decided to turn it off and they were able to block a move in that direction. Then in East Pittsburgh there was a small group of about six people, headed up by John Peters. John was known as Doctor Peters, but actually he had never finished high-school. He was a self-taught genius, a good mathematician, a good engineer, an excellent R&D man, and he had a group of about four or five young fellows working for him. They had begun to apply errate gyros for the control of aircraft gun turrets, and they had a few small contracts from Wright Field to develop stabilized gun sights and gun turrets for the Air Force. Somehow or other I inherited that group in the mid-1940s. I had responsibility for what they did, and what they were doing was pretty much in line with what I was interested in doing too, for the company.

We pressed that, and in 1950 we had a small pilot plant that we leased in East Liberty, just outside of Pittsburgh, with forty-five thousand square feet of space. I had about two hundred engineers working in that group, and some more leased space out on Ardmore Boulevard, out near East Pittsburgh. I realized to my horror that I had a hundred million dollar backlog of orders, and something had to be done! So we decided to move that operation to Baltimore, and we did. We built what at that time was the Air Arm Division plant. So that was the beginning of the dedicated Baltimore operation. Until then it was pretty much hit or miss. We never knew whether we were in the business or out of it.

Manager of Baltimore Divisions

Van Tassel:

Then you yourself actually went to Baltimore, as the director of the plant there?

Godsey:

I had originally intended to move this particular group to Baltimore, get the plant built for them there, and turn them over to the Baltimore management. I intended to stay in Pittsburgh and try and move in a direction of continuous flow process control equipment, application of early computers to production problems of all sorts. Unfortunately, Walter Evans, who was a vice president of the company in charge of the Baltimore operations, didn't have very long to live, and he asked me if I would stay on. He had already talked to my boss in Pittsburgh, who was George Booker, and I agreed that, yes, I would give up my other plans and stay in Baltimore. So I became manager of the Baltimore divisions, which at that time constituted the Air Arm Division, the Electronics Division, and the X-Ray Division. I stayed there for another ten years and enjoyed every minute of it.

Van Tassel:

Wonderful. I believe while you were in Baltimore, not directly associated with military work, you also had some real experience in the development of pumps for medical purposes.

Godsey:

This was prior to going to Baltimore, but back in the Pittsburgh area. The new products division was a catch-all for a lot of things. Originally it did market-development work. Soon after I arrived we spun that off, and that became a part of the headquarters sales operation. Our basic responsibility was to look at product lines which might be of interest to Westinghouse but which did not fit readily into existing Westinghouse divisions. If it was a product line that had sufficient apparent potential, then we were authorized to go ahead, start the development work, get the product built and into production and sold. When it became mature enough we would either transfer it to an existing division or create a new division for it.

George Jernstead and the Artificial Kidney

Godsey:

One of the activities was an electroplating lab, which was headed up by a young man named George Jernstead, who later became a vice president of the company. George was a chemical engineer and an electric-chemist, and he was doing some very interesting work in periodic reverse-current plating. That's rather interesting too in that we did succeed in selling a license to the General Motors Corporation over the dead bodies of their patent department. Among other things, George was interested in artificial kidneys. I don't know just how he initially became interested in that, but he was, and he wanted to build an experimental artificial kidney machine. It wasn't going to cost a great deal, and it involved a lot of the same kind of lab equipment that he already had, so we went ahead with it. At that time the only artificial kidney in existence was the Kolf design, which was good, but it had two disadvantages. First, it took quite a few liters of blood or plasma to charge it, and second it had two rotating joints in the blood circuit, and blood and rotating joints don't get along so well. You get too many clots due to physical damage to the blood itself.

So we first went to work on a design that would reduce the volumetric requirements of the device, and then we went to work on eliminating the rotating seals, and we decided to use a peristalsic pump, which had never been used for that purpose before, as far as I know. We built two kidney machines using a roller-type pump, working on soft rubber plastic tubing, which meant that you totally eliminated the seal problem. We managed to get the charging requirements down to considerably less than a liter of blood or plasma, but it wasn't a product that we wanted to try and sell in Westinghouse. We could make it no problem there, but we simply didn't have any organization to distribute it. So we gave one of the pumps to the Children's hospital in Boston, and another one to a hospital in Pittsburgh. A week after we delivered the one to the hospital in Pittsburgh, my understanding is that it did save the life of a woman patient, so it was worthwhile.

Van Tassel:

As I believe, this principle has been taken up by other manufacturers and is now the principle used in present day kidney machines?

Godsey:

It's common in both heart and kidney machines to use that type of pump.

Tank Gun Stablizers

Van Tassel:

Yes. One other area of the research division is this tank gun stabilizer. Got any interesting little facets here?

Godsey:

Yes. That was one of the odd products that was manufactured in bits and pieces in several divisions of Westinghouse. It came about initially because a Dr. Hannah, an associate director of the research division, had been working with the same rate gyros that John Peters finally began to apply to aircraft use. The application that Hannah had had initially was to use them for very precise speed control on rotating machinery. The advantage was that you got a second-order signal immediately. You didn't have to wait for the speed of the shaft to change. If it started to change, you knew it, with the rate gyro; and so it placed you one up on all of the other types of governors that were then in existence. These were applied initially to rolling mills and to steel mills. Hannah did most of the development work on the controls, and the motor division of Westinghouse did the axle application to the steel mill drives. I don't know where the suggestion came from, but it became apparent to a number of people that a tank moving over even smooth ground is going to move around enough that it's almost impossible to fire a gun from a moving tank with the expectation of hitting a target. If you could stabilize the gun, the gun mount, then you could maintain a point of aim, and you would improve your probability of hit by a factor of ten-to-one or better. In some cases a hundred-to-one improvement. So Doctor Hannah started to develop a tank gun stabilizer using rate gyros. He brought this along in the very early days of the war, and actually before the United States got into the war, the components for these stabilizers were built in East Springfield, and out in Camden, Ohio, and many different places. Most of the tanks used by the United States and most of our allies by the end of the war had tank gun stabilizers on them. So this was the beginning of that. As a matter of fact, this was where Peters picked up the rate gyro control for the aircraft gun stabilizers and the aircraft gun sights.

Van Tassel:

Yes.

Godsey:

That was really the start of the major part of Westinghouse involvement in post-war military equipment.

Van Tassel:

I'm just curious, but — those early tanks, was that the M1, the one that had the first stabilizer in it? Or was there some other title on it, early tank?

Godsey:

I don't remember the designation —

Van Tassel:

All right.

Godsey:

It was a medium tank; it wasn't a heavy tank. I remember one of the people was a little exuberant at times, and he was handing a loaded round of ammunition in with the hatch open on the tank. He set it down on the tank hatch cover with considerable force. I don't know if I could have stood it or not, but one of the other men there was just shaking because he had missed a rivet head on the tank cover by a matter of one inch when he had slammed the primer down on this loaded shelf.

Van Tassel:

Yes sir, those can be real ticklish moments when they're on these early experimental setups.

Godsey:

Yes.

Van Tassel:

From Baltimore you then became interested in much of the microwave or ultra-high frequency area.

Godsey:

Well, no.

Van Tassel:

No?

Godsey:

No, not quite that fast.

Van Tassel:

All right.

Electronic Communications Incorporated (ECI)

Shift to Electronics Company

Godsey:

I left Westinghouse in 1951 to become president of what was then Air Associates Incorporated, but was very rapidly changing from a mechanical and hydraulic actuator type of company into an electronics company. Soon after I left Westinghouse we changed the name of Air Associates to Electronic Communications Incorporated. We were still making hydraulic and reduction-gear type actuators for aircraft. The principal activity was the final stages of the development of communications equipment for Air Force fighter planes, interceptors. We were building, developing and beginning to build a fifty-watt transmitter and associated receivers, and under subcontract to Hughes Aircraft. We were Hughes' captive for quite a few years, but we were well-treated by Hughes and by the Air Force, and we finally developed a very good line of equipment there. It was standard communications gear on Air Force fighters and interceptors for quite a few years. I stayed with ECI, or Electronic Communications, until 1956. I agreed to stay with them for five years, and I did.

Van Tassel:

Is this also the one that you took out and tested in an old bomber for a while over a Christmas period?

One-Kilowatt Transmittor

Godsey:

Well, yes. We had also developed a one-kilowatt transmitter that went in the offshore aircraft that were supposed to give you advanced long-range intercept warning. LRI Program. We had the contract for the communication equipment in that aircraft. We had developed a rather good one-kilowatt transmitter, and you should remember that in this timeframe we did not have transistors and solid-state devices. We were still working with vacuum tubes, and it wasn't easy.

Van Tassel:

Let's put actual dates on it. This was early 1951, 1952, and 1953. Is that right?

Godsey:

About 1953, 1954.

Van Tassel:

All right. And the frequency range?

Godsey:

It was UHF.

Van Tassel:

All right, UHF.

SAC Airborne Command Posts

Godsey:

Yes. So that equipment worked rather well, and then we began to be interested in the possibility of interest in SAC in longer-range communications equipment for their airborne command post. SAC was very much interested too. We scrounged around the laboratory and found that we had enough bits and pieces lying around that we could put together primarily a transmitter, but also the receiver equipment that we could test-fly in a SAC aircraft. So we did, and it was being test flown for quite a few months. I had a group of field service engineers up at SAC headquarters. We were at that time beginning to come under a rather severe competitive pressure from two other companies, both of which were a great deal larger than we were and trying very hard to push us out. We finally got to the point where we completed our test program essentially, and it was beginning to be Christmas time. I had a decision to make, whether to bring our crew back for the Christmas holidays or not. I talked to the field service manager about it, and said, "Mart, if we take our equipment out of that airplane, our competitors are going to go in instantly and we'll never get back in. We aren't coming home for Christmas. We'll send the families out there, and you have Christmas at the SAC base!" We did that, and we froze the buggers out! That was the start of the command post communications equipment that ECI has been making since then for the Air Force.

Van Tassel:

That is a very interesting story.

Millimeter-Wave Devices

Godsey:

You said something a little earlier about the millimeter wave.

Van Tassel:

Yes, we would like to hear a little about this.

Godsey:

Just very briefly, when I became president of ECI I started their research division, something that the company had not had in a formal way. We started this operation in Baltimore with people who came out of Johns Hopkins primarily. It was a little bit unusual in that after the first three or four months it was in the black, and it stayed in the black for the rest of its existence.

Van Tassel:

That is very unusual to have a good development program start right off in the black.

Godsey:

Yes, we were very, very fortunate. We even recovered our start-up costs and overhead rates for the next two or three years, which again was unusual. We were treated sympathetically by our customers then. That group was working in imaging type radar systems, in millimeter-wave devices and in mine-detection type devices, which involves quite a lot of expertise in near-field antenna patterns. When I left ECI I asked if they would like to sell their research division, and they said, "No." But they came back three years later and asked if I was still interested, and I said, "Yes," and I bought it. So for almost three years I owned and operated that group, which we called Advanced Technology Corporation. We did make a great deal of progress in millimeter-wave techniques. Not just wave guides and devices but also in the solid-state end of it. I did some very interesting work there. Finally I sold that operation to Beckman Instruments. It didn't last very long after that for reasons that I am not fully aware of, but the group broke up and scattered throughout the technical world.