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Proceedings of the IEEE

Issue 9 • Date Sept. 1976

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Displaying Results 1 - 25 of 49
  • [Front cover and table of contents]

    Publication Year: 1976 , Page(s): c1
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Scanning the issue

    Publication Year: 1976 , Page(s): 1267 - 1269
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  • Franklin as electrician

    Publication Year: 1976 , Page(s): 1270 - 1273
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    Benjamin Franklin's electrical work is reviewed, much of it through his own words. Emphasis is placed on the important role new instrumentation-the improved electrostatic machine and the Leyden jar-played in the development of his theoretical views. View full abstract»

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  • The electric motor, the telegraph, and Joseph Henry's theory of technological progress

    Publication Year: 1976 , Page(s): 1273 - 1278
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
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    Joseph Henry (1797-1878), America's foremost electrical physicist of the early nineteenth century, stood at the center of the developing science and technology of the newly discovered electric current. The electromagnetic telegraph and the battery-powered motor were two leading technological efforts of the period. Although Henry chose not to engage in the actual inventive process, he closely followed the development of both devices. While he fully supported the work on the telegraph, especially S.F.B. Morse's experiments, he stood opposed to the battery-powered motor on the grounds of impracticality. He stated these views forcefully to the numorous inventors who sought his expert advice on electricity. This paper explores the reasons for Henry's contrasting opinions of the telegraph and the motor. Underlying these opinions was a set of assumptions about the progress of technology and its proper relations to scientific knowledge and the current needs of society. View full abstract»

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  • Stray sparks from the induction coil: The volta prize and the page patent

    Publication Year: 1976 , Page(s): 1279 - 1286
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    In 1864, following the recommendation of a committee of eminent French scientists, Emperor Napoleon III awarded "Le Prix Volta," 50 000 francs, to a Paris instrument maker, Heimich D. Ruhmkorff, for "l'invention de la bobine d'induction." When news of this reached Washington, Charles G. Page, a patent examiner, claimed to have anticipated Ruhmkorff's first coils by 13 years. Page was subsequently able to secure a special Act of Congress authorizing an extraordinary patent for the coil. While this patent was ostensibly designed simply as a formal tribute and to "vindicate our own nationality in the paths of science," Page's attorney, in league with the Western Union Company, began to press charges of infringement. Even though there is no evidence that Page conspired to exploit his "honorific" patent-indeed, he died shortly after it issued-many of his one-time partisans denounced it as "an outrage on the public." Controversy eventually subsided, and most authorities conceded that Page's priority claim was valid. Nevertheless, Page was virtually forgotten, while historians of science have continued to treat Ruhmkorff as a noteworthy figure on the basis of the recognition accorded him for his work on the coil. Yet, by standard criteria such as publication Ruhmkorff was not a scientist at all, whereas Page was a bona fide experimental physicist, a worthy peer of Joseph Henry. The story of the Volta Prize and the Page Patent, then, reveals something about scientific chauvinism, and about the capricious basis of scientific repute. View full abstract»

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  • Growing pains at the crossroads of the world: A submarine cable station in the 1870's

    Publication Year: 1976 , Page(s): 1287 - 1292
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    Soon after the first Atlantic cable was laid in 1866, social and technical adjustments were made at the terminal stations which were essential to its successful operation. This critical period of change extended through the 1870's. Activity at Heart's Content is examined through reference to the original logs and letter books. View full abstract»

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  • Telecommunications—The resource not depleted by use. A historical and philosophical resumé

    Publication Year: 1976 , Page(s): 1292 - 1299
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
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    Telecommunications is unique among technologies in its minimum demands upon the material and energy resources of nature. Throughout its history-particularly in the past century-it has found ways to increase its message handling capacity and reduce the unit costs by engineering developments, particularly by improved coding procedures. These coding procedures exploit both the single worldwide common medium of the radio spectrum and the multiple use of physical conductors employing cables and tubes and, more recently, by optical transmission to carry many messages simultaneously through common media. The cost of individual messages has continually decreased and the available media would be wasted rather than consumed if not used. Telecommunications may be substituted for many technologies such as physical transportation, which would consume scarce supplies of energy and materials. The paper is a historical outline of how the technology of telecommunications has expanded in the past century based on concepts as old as man's discovery of speech, smoke signals, picture writing, and the alphabet. View full abstract»

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  • American contributions to electronics: Coming of age and some more

    Publication Year: 1976 , Page(s): 1300 - 1305
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    The rise of a "science-intensive" industry, electronics, illustrates the transition of the United States from a scientifically underdeveloped nation to a world leader in science. View full abstract»

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  • Bell and gray: Contrasts in style, politics, and etiquette

    Publication Year: 1976 , Page(s): 1305 - 1314
    Cited by:  Papers (3)
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    In the late 1870's both Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha Gray claimed to be "the inventor" of the telephone. Both held substantial claims to this title. Yet, conventional folk wisdom tells us that Bell invented the telephone. This paper explores one reason for this outcome: the difference in the style of invention between Bell, a professional speech teacher, and Gray, a professional inventor. Just as style is crucial in the success of an author or an artist, style is also critical in an inventor's success. Central to this study of the differences in Bell's and Gray's style is the element of science. The two inventors saw science in very different ways. Thinking that the electrical transmimion of speech was more a matter of interest to the scientific community than the technical community, Gray chose not to develop his mature ideas on how this could be accomplished. Bell, on the other hand, saw great commercial possibilities in the telephone. In developing the device, Bell not only applied what science he knew, he also used the scientific community to establish priority for his invention and to provide expert witnesses for his ideas. He achieved success in this regard because he understood the norms of science in America and followed them with perfect etiquette. View full abstract»

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  • The origins of the electronics industry on the pacific coast

    Publication Year: 1976 , Page(s): 1314 - 1322
    Cited by:  Papers (4)
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    The pattern of growth of the United States electronics industry on each of the two coasts is decidedly different. In the years 1920 to 1940, while the large eastern firms controlled the electronics market, a small group of entrepreneurs laid the basis for the present electronics industry on the Pacific Coast. The background to and the growth of this industry can be viewed as a four-stage process-developing out of an area with a colonial economy controlled by eastern United States firms to the present mature position of the electronics industry. The first three stages are discussed in this paper. Several of the most important companies in northern Calfornia have been selected for emphasis and these include both wireless and electronics companies. Stress is placed on the vertical and horizontal time relationships among these companies and the technology they relied on and modified. View full abstract»

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  • Perspectives on television: The role played by the two NTSC's in preparing television service for the American public

    Publication Year: 1976 , Page(s): 1322 - 1331
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
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    This paper recounts the adventures of the two National Television System Committees (NTSC's)in preparing monochrome and color television service for the American public. The first NTSC had the active encouragement of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Building on the important prior work of the Television Standards and Allocations Committeees of the trade association of the time, the Radio Manufacturers Association, it was able to complete its task of setting up the system standards for black-and-white television in less than nine months, from July 1940 to March 1941. These standards, with narrower tolerances but otherwise unchanged, now serve as the basis for the compatible color service now universally broadcast to the American people. The second NTSC had a rougher road to follow. The FCC, having approved an incompatible color system over strong-and strongly resented-objections of the industry's engineers, did not welcome the formation of the second NTSC. The second NTSC had, in addition to these political and institutional pressures, a very difficult technical task, one thought by many at the time to be flatly impossible: to impose high-quality color on the black and white system without injuring reception on black-and-white receivers. Combining and refining the work of many contributors, the second NTSC cogitated and tested from early 1950 to mid-1953 until it had the system we now enjoy-one that has been adopted in its essentials throughout the World. One aim of the paper is to reveal the constructive forces that led to these successes, and the near misses with defeat that were encountered on the way. View full abstract»

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  • A history of color television displays

    Publication Year: 1976 , Page(s): 1331 - 1338
    Cited by:  Papers (3)
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    During the first half of the 50-year period covered by this paper, the color television display progressed from crude mechanical methods and rudimentmy cathode-ray-tube ideas to a more sophisticated combination of these with a rotating color disk in front of a black-and-white picture tube. By 1950, the need to make practicable a compatible color system resulted in an intensive program to develop something better. The result was the shadow-mask color tube, which has since been greatly improved and has been outstandingly successful. Although other cathode-ray approaches succeeded techinical, they have not supplanted the shadow-mask tube commercially. For larger screen applications, projection methods are employed, both with light valves and with projection cathode-ray tubes. The future will undoubtedly see major changes, particularly in the direction of paneltype displays. View full abstract»

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  • The damnable alternating current

    Publication Year: 1976 , Page(s): 1339 - 1343
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
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    While the struggle over the use of alternating cunent (ac) versus direct cunent (dc) in the United States lasted from 1886 to 1895, the critical year was 1888. Early in 1888 the Edison dc interests first launched public attacks on the technical aspects of ac. Later they redirected the controversy, from a general consideration of comparative merits, to concentrate on only the safety issue. The decision of dc interests to launch public attacks on ac was probably caused by the success of a French copper syndicate in cornering much of the world's copper supply and forcing prices sharply upward in 1887. This made the lower copper costs of ac systems an attractive selling point and forced dc proponents to react. Thus the early months of 1888 saw a number of well-rounded discussions on the comparative merits of the two systems. The decision in mid-1888 to focus the debate on the safety issue was related to the discovery, in the spring of that year, of a workable principle for an ac ampere-hour meter (Shallenberger) and an ac motor (Tesla). The Edison interests were largely successful in focusing the polemics on the safety issue and achieved several major publicity coups (such as the use of ac for the first legal electrocution), but they were unable to match the technical improvements that by 1895 were clearly to make ac a far better system of power transmission. View full abstract»

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  • The Niagara system: The evolution of an electric power complex at Niagara falls, 1883-1896

    Publication Year: 1976 , Page(s): 1344 - 1350
    Cited by:  Papers (3)
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    This paper analyzes the evolution of the universal electric power system introduced at Niagara in 1895. The establishmemt of public parks at the site destroyed the former pattern of individual power consumption and made Niagra utilization a necessarily large, difficult and costly venture. The Cataract Construction Company and its engineering subsidiary, the Niagara Falls Power Company, organized - investigations to minimize the costs and problems of power development. Responding to the growth of the electrical market, the enterprise hoped to build a single electric central station that would supply electric power to consumers locally and in Buffalo, 22 miles away. Finding no satisfactory solution to the problems involved in this effort, the enterprise lacked a rudder until Swiss advances in hydro-electric technology demonstrated the feasibility of polyphase systems for the generation and long distance transmission of electric power. Niagara development quickly became a polyphase project involving an international relatioship between leading figures in polyphase technology. The turbines and alternators followed Swiss designs although the alternators were modified in a compromise between Cataract's market desires and Westinghouse's polyphase capabilities; the distribution system represented polyphase advances in America. The completed system delivered any current demanded by local or distant consumers. View full abstract»

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  • Railroad electrification in the United States

    Publication Year: 1976 , Page(s): 1350 - 1360
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    The history of railroad electrification falls into three phases that we might designate the primitive, the pioneer, and the mature. The first was the period of preliminary experiment covering the mid-Nineteenth Century. The second, concentrated in the decade of 1895- 1905, was marked by the first successful installations in Europe and the United States. The third, the age of technological maturity, grew directly out of the previous period. View full abstract»

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  • Technology and public policy: The failure of giant power

    Publication Year: 1976 , Page(s): 1361 - 1371
    Cited by:  Papers (3)
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    Interconnections of utilities, stimulated by shortages of power during World War I, and the availability of high-voltage transmission technology encouraged projects for regional electrification years before the TVA was established. Morris Llewellyn Cooke, a progressive and controversial engineer, and Gifford Pinchot, the governor of Pennsylvania, proposed a regional electrification plan for Pennsylvania in 1923. The plan boldly called for mine mouth power plants, by-producting of bituminous coal before firing, rural electrification, and a statewide high-voltage transmission system as a common carrier. The plan, named Giant Power, embodied far more than recent technology-it expressed economic and political attitudes as well as advocated social change through electrification. Support for Giant Power was well organized, but opposition, eapecially of the utilities, ran strong. The nontechnological impact was seen as a radical challenge to existing trends and institutions in the electric power industry. The history of Giant Power is a reminder that technology is a social concern stimulating fervid debate and dramatic confrontation. View full abstract»

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  • Triumph and irony—The TVA

    Publication Year: 1976 , Page(s): 1372 - 1380
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
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    In the years since 1933, the Tennessee Valley Authority's (TVA's) electric power operations have passed through three phases. The first, lasting from the early days until 1941, was characterized by the construction of multiple-purpose dams, a quest for power markets and consequent battle with private companies, and innovative experiments with utility rate structures. The gamble of very low rates paid off, and well served both the goal of raising the standard of living in the Tennessee Valley and of demonstrating the possibilities inherent in sliding-scale prices. The TVA's second phase, lasting roughly from 1941 to 1961, witnessed immense growth of its power program, in response to demands imposed on the system by external conditions. WorldWar II created an emergency situation, with the Tennessee Valley an important area because of the presence of such aluminum firms as Alcoa and Reynolds, whose production facilities were largely turned over to the fabrication of aluminum for warplanes. After the war, the demands of the Cold War prompted the Atomic Energy Commission, in Oak Ridge, Tennessee and elsewhere, to expand its uranium plants, and with them its demands on the TVA. The Authority thus turned to coal, and ultimately to nuclear generation, which brought about criticism from environmentalists and successive problems involving the cost of fuel. The entire story demonstrates how an institution is inevitably a volitional actor in history, and a prisoner or victim of it, as the TVA has been in its third phase, which began in 1961. View full abstract»

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  • The history of induction motors in America

    Publication Year: 1976 , Page(s): 1380 - 1383
    Cited by:  Papers (4)
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    This paper briefly reviews the history of the induction motor from its invention by Nicola Tesla in 1888 through the various stages of its development-the invention of the cast aluminum squirrelcage winding, improvements in magnetic steel and insulation, and the progressive reduction of the dimensions for a given horsepower rating, so that today a 100-hp motor has the same mounting dimensions as the 7.5-hp motor of 1897. View full abstract»

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  • Corporate technology: The social origins of the American institute of electrical engineers

    Publication Year: 1976 , Page(s): 1383 - 1390
    Cited by:  Papers (4)
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    The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers came into being almost one hundred years ago, calling itself in the years before the advent of electronic technologies the American Institute of Electrical Engineers. The AIEE was founded in 1884 by an active group of managers, telegraphic electricians, inventors and manufacturers, and a few professors of physical science. Just over half of the initial leadership were corporation managers and leading inventormanufacturers. From the beginning, the Institute sought to centralize and nationalize electrical knowledge in America. Through the first quarter century, members sought status through educational standards, and struggled with the restrictions of specialization. A study of the original officers and board members indicates that the first generation of electricians and electrical engineers were largely self-taught inventors. Even before their natural demise, these men were displaced by the academically trained electrical engineers; their companies were either absorbed or made useless by the corporations which took control of the industry. Thus in the AIEE itself, the original founders-inventors, telegraph and telephone company officers, and telegraph electricians-soon gave over the reins of the society to the employees of large electrical corporations. The society emerged from the explosive growth of the electrical industry. Electrical technologies, virtually ignored at the Centennial Celebration of 1876, became within ten years the basis for a powerful new industry centered on dramatic advances in electric lighting and power. AIEE was born as a consequence of the needs of modern industrial society. Its drive for professional status was a perfect response to those needs. There could be no opposition from the corporate bureaucracies since professionalism itself was a bureaucratic response to knowledge. View full abstract»

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  • Scientists and engineers: The evolution of the IRE

    Publication Year: 1976 , Page(s): 1390 - 1392
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
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    The IRE was unique; it was the most scientific of American engineering societies. This spirit found expression in high membership standards, a stress upon crativity, democratic elections, and dedication to international scientific ideals. The relationship between professional standards and the style and direction of the work fostered by a professional society has not been clear historically, however. By examining a specific case, nonlinear problems, this paper shows that there was a convergence between the values implicit in the development of a highly scientific field and the professional atmosphere created by the founders of the IRE. View full abstract»

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  • Ten vignettes of an engineering institute

    Publication Year: 1976 , Page(s): 1392 - 1399
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    As a cooperative activity of the Bicentennial Year, 1976, the present operations of The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, now in its 93rd year by succession, are examined from ten viewpoints. View full abstract»

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  • A brief history of electrical engineering education

    Publication Year: 1976 , Page(s): 1399 - 1407
    Cited by:  Papers (12)
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    Electrical engineering curricula made their first appearance in the U.S. in the early 1880's as options in physics that aimed to prepare students to enter the new and rapidly growing electrical manufacturing industry. As this industry developed, so did electrical engineering education, and within a decade made a place for itself as an equal among the older engineering departments. The curricula that evolved followed the needs of the industry, and before World War I were concentrated largely on the properties of dc and ac circuits and equipment and associated systems of power distribution. Before World War I, little graduate work was carried on, and what passed in academic institutions for "research" was typically advanced testing. The standard career pattern was to receive a B.S. deggee and then obtain a job where one could learn how practical electrical work was done. After World War I, developments in broadcasting and communication led to the appearance of communication options within electrical engineering departments. Concurrently, students having a special interest in teaching or in research were increasingly encouraged to obtain the master's degree. However, the numbers who did so were small, and practically no electrical engineers sought a doctor's degree. For example, at the Massachussetts Institute of Technology in 1925 there was only one member of that large faculty who held an earned doctorate, while the background of about half of the faculty consisted of a bachelor's degree plus practical experience. Under these circumstances research performed in academic institutions was in most cases superficial, although here and there some significant work was carried on by an unusual professor. When World War II came along and brought into being such new electrical and electronic techniques such as radar, microwaves, control systems, guided missiles, proximity fuses, etc., the electrical engineers were caught unprepared. As a group they had neither the fundamental knowledge required to think creatively about these new concepts, nor the research experience to carry through. Thus most of the great electrical developments of the war were produced not by engineers, but rather by scientists, particularly physicists who had turned engineers for the duration. - In the decade after the war, electrical engineering education went throush a complete transformation. Prewar courses were drastically revised. Increased emphasis was placed on fundamentals, including particularly emphasis on physical and mathematical principles underlying electrical engineering. These results were achieved by reducing the time devoted to teaching engineering practice, by eliminating subjects such as surveying that were of little concern to electrical engineering, and by reducing the concentration on 60-cycle power. In addition, master's programs were developed that were direct extensions of the revised bachelor's program, and in time the master's degree became the recommended degree goal of the student who desired to follow a career in technical engineering. Concurrently, the doctor's degree became the objective of those who planned a career in academia or of research in industry, or who wanted training superior to that of their many classmates working for the master's degree. With government funds available, programs of studentfaculty research developed on many campuses that were the equal of the research being carried on in the best industrial laboratories. The combined effect of curriculum changes, more students carrying on graduate work, the existence of university research laboratories of the highest caliber with this research led by well-trained faculty aided by doctoral and master's candidates, has completely changed both the character and intellectual level of eletrical engineering on the campus. This is illustrated by the fact that in a 1969 survey of a representative group of major high technology firms, 82 percent agreed with the statemen View full abstract»

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  • Early impacts of communications on military doctrine

    Publication Year: 1976 , Page(s): 1407 - 1413
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    Airborne radiotelephony was one of the most important, yet least discussed developments of World War I. It evolved from a successful organization of science and engineering created by Chief Signal Officer of the Army, Major General George Owen Squier. Under the leadership of such early notables in the history of electrical engineering as John J. Carty, Frank B. Jewett, and Nugent H. Slaughter the radiotelephone transformed the airplane from a weapon of individual opportunity to a weapon capable of centrally commanded operation. It made it possible to apply the established military principle of concentration of mass to aerial combat. This important innovation came from technical officers-primarily from those who had a vision of aircraft operating in concert. The potential of military aircraft thus conceived differed markedly from the popular image of the fighter pilot engaged in individual combat, which shared much in common with the popular view of cavalry officers in the nineteenth century. Tanks and airplanes are often regarded as the most significant weapons forged in World War I. It must be added that they attained their full significance as weapons only after being equipped with radiotelephones. View full abstract»

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  • C. P. Steinmetz and E. F. W. Alexanderson: Creative engineering in a corporate setting

    Publication Year: 1976 , Page(s): 1413 - 1417
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
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    A Consulting Engineering Department was organized by the General Electric Company in 1910. It was designed to complement the General Electric Research Laboratory through a focus on creative engineering rather than basic science. The Department was conceived and directed during its early years by C. P. Steinmetz. It continued under the able leadership of a Steinmetz protegé, E. F. W. Alexanderson, until its identity was finally lost during a reorgnization in 1951. The Department produced numerous innovations in communications, electronics and power engineering, including a world radio system that provided the technological basis for a new corporation, the Radio corporation of America, founded in 1919. The history of the Department and the philosophy articulated by Steinmetz and Alexanderson are considered from the perspective of recent studies of the nature of science and technology and their interaction. View full abstract»

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  • The U.S. transition from muscle extension to brain expansion

    Publication Year: 1976 , Page(s): 1418 - 1423
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    To develop perspective for the discussion of root-force influences shaping our culture today, a short oversimplified time-structuring review of important science and engineering developments is related to the 75-year life-spans of three individuals standing lifetime to lifetime. During the past 75 years the rising complexity and the profligate use of materials and fossil fuels have brought us to the end of our exponential growth journey. Rising chaos will characterize our socioeconomic systems until we evolve the essential brain-extension modeling means for developing adequate system understanding. We can expect to intervene intelligently only after we succeed in identifying leverage points in the system, and improve the quality of decision-making to guide the intervention and control processes. Free enterprise must be modified to permit the selection of priorities and goals. We have a choice ... either we make me of extended-brain-power and modeling techniques or we descend into a perpetual state of chaos. View full abstract»

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North Carolina State University