|Introduction to History Section
This Newsletter has three historically-oriented articles for our readers.
The first article is one that has a familiar look; it is the review of Newsletters from 50 years ago, 25 years ago, and 10 years ago. One unique twist for this issue is that we reviewed two Newsletters from 50 years ago; one from January of 1960 and one from March of 1960. The Newsletters had fewer pages back then and they were published more frequently than today.
I would also like to point out that the Winter 1985 issue highlights Aaron Humphrey Sullivan, Jr. who was our Society’s President in 1965, 1966, and 1967. A closer look at his term reveals that he was the longest-serving President of the Society since he was President from 1 July 1965 through 31 December 1967; a total of 30 months. One of the reasons for this extended period of service was the fact that the EMC Society changed from a fiscal year of 1 July through 30 June to 1 January through 31 December in 1967 to be consistent with the IEEE. For those of you who would like to know the shortest-serving President; it was Donald R. J. White who served from 1 July 1963 through 31 December 1963; a duration of only six months.
The second historical article is a “modern history” article about one of our famous Japanese members; Takeo Yoshino. He has devoted much of his long life (he is 80 years old) to “scientific services” and has been recognized by the Japanese Government and the EMC Society with significant awards.
The third historical article is a reprint of an article titled “RFI: Invisible Killer” from the Saturday Evening Post. Despite the alarming headline, it is an interesting article from the 1961 timeframe that discusses the state of RFI technology in the early 1960s. Unfortunately, some of the stories in the reprint are still true today.
The actual reprint of the article was sent to the Associate Editor (Hoolihan) by Bob Goldblum, the long-time editor of the EMC Newsletter from 1968–1997. He wanted it kept in the historical archives for the EMC Society (the basement of the Hoolihan House). When I read the article, I thought it would be of interest to our EMC Society readers so I started the process of obtaining permission to reprint the reprinted article in our Newsletter.
I contacted the Saturday Evening Post via a Google search and found a telephone number that looked relevant. “Dialing” (does anyone dial a number anymore?) the number, I soon was talking to a legal person who said they would get back to me with a decision. That happened on December 11; on December 18 I had not heard from anyone so, I called again and left a message on a recorder. On December 23, I tried again and reached a real person who promised me an e-mail with an answer. Finally, on December 31, I received an e-mail from the archives authority at the Saturday Evening Post stating that “We are not able to definitely determine ownership, since we have nothing on the writer at this time. If it is acceptable to the author (or his estate) we have no objection to the reprinting.”
The author’s name was Richard Haitch. A Google Search of that name led me to an editorial (that mentioned the name Richard Haitch) by Jeffrey Bairstow from the Laser Focus World magazine. An e-mail sent to his address in the October – 2006 editorial bounced back to me. But, a quick search of the web site for Laser Focus World showed me another e-mail address for Mr. Bairstow. He replied within 24 hours that, indeed, the Richard Haitch I was seeking was known to him many years ago but he had lost track of him. But, he did mention that Mr. Haitch had worked for the New York Times and I should try them for an address for Mr. Haitch.
I sent an e-mail to the New York Times requesting help in locating Mr. Haitch; after receiving no response from them I went back to “Google.” A people-search firm called Intelius showed me several Richard Haitch’s in the USA. One was located in New Jersey; I paid a fee of $1.95 with my credit card and I had an address, an age (90 years old), and a phone number for Mr. Haitch.
Richard W. Haitch answered the phone and introduced himself by name after the first ring. I introduced myself and asked him if he was the Richard Haitch that used to be an editor with the New York Times, he replied in the affirmative. I told him what I was doing and I asked permission to reprint his article from 1961. He replied that I could reprint the article and then he wanted to know if we had made any progress on some of the problems he had highlighted in his article. I told him I thought we had and mentioned that he had predicted some future computer issues in his article. (“In 10 years, an official of the Westinghouse Electric Corporation confidently predicts, computers and related electronic data-processing equipment should be in universal commercial use, even by the store on the corner.”) In reality, it took closer to 20 years for that prediction to come true, since the IBM Personal Computer was released in the early 1980s and soon after that everyone seemed to have a personal computer – including “the store on the corner.”
I especially liked one of his paragraphs in the article. It reads “If the waves of energy put out by all the electric and electronic devices in the world could be observed in the air as moving strands of wire, we would find ourselves enmeshed in an amazing jungle of contorted metal. If by some legerdemain we could separate the wires and trace them to their origins, we would see that they vary in shape and length – some fat, some thin, some many thousands of miles long, others as short as five or ten feet – or even inches. The wires would be extremely active, undulating out from their points of origin and darting hither and yon like nervous reptiles, seeking entry to any other electrical devices attuned to their size.” A wonderful layman’s description of resonance and wave-lengths of electromagnetic energy!
The reprinted Saturday Evening Post article also quotes one of our illustrious EMC Society Founders,
Rexford Daniels, who said “The art of interference control is a tricky one, and new tricks are appearing every day.” As some of you might remember, Mr. Daniels was the second editor of the EMC Society Newsletter from 1958 to 1968.
I hope you enjoy all three of the historical articles. EMC