Browse Prior Art Database

Biographies: George H. Brown, Richard P. Feynman Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129561D
Original Publication Date: 1988-Mar-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-06
Document File: 3 page(s) / 20K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People




This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 30% of the total text.

Page 1 of 3


Copyright ©; 1988 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Used with permission.

Biographies: George H. Brown, Richard P. Feynman



George H. Brown

George H. Brown, 79, for 40 years an employee and executive of the Radio Corporation of America, during which time the firm went from manufacturing radios through television, into computers, died on 11 December 1987. In his self-published autobiography and part of which I was; Recollections of a Research Engineer (Angus Cupar Publishers, Princeton, NJ, 1982, 342 pp.), he wrote, "It has been my good fortune to have had an exciting and pleasant life and a rewarding professional career. I have encountered some of the world's great people, the near- great, and the supposed-to-be great. Of course, most of the folks I would classify as 'great' never make the headlines."

Brown earned B.S. (1930), M.S. (1931), Ph.D. (1933), and E.E. (1942) degrees from the University of Wisconsin (Madison). In 1934 he established the correct theory for the performance of vertical radio antennas, in 1936 he published the fundamental principles for calculating the patterns of directional antenna arrays, in 1938 he developed the vestigial sideband filter for television transmitters, during World War II he developed radio frequency heating devices for the production of penicillin, and in 1948 he co-authored the definitive papers on the propagation of ultrahigh frequency radio signals. In 1965 he was named RCA's executive vice president for research and engineering and before his retirement in 1972 he served in other corporate executive positions and on the Board of Directors.

In his autobiography Brown describes his major personal involvement with computing machinery as follows: "During the war I thought of a batch of electrical signals which were identical in form with the equation of a directional antenna. After World War II, I asked Wendell Morrison, because his skill with electronic circuitry far exceeded mine, to develop and construct an analogue device which followed my concept and which I named an 'Antennalyzer.' The result was an instrument with knobs for each of the variables of the equation for as many as five tower antennas with the radiation pattern displayed on the face of a cathode-ray tube. When one twiddled the knobs at random, a myriad of liriodendron-shaped figures were produced." The operator first marked the desired pattern on the tube face and then adjusted the knobs until the CR trace coincided with the markings. The positions of the knobs gave the location of the antennas and all the other operating parameters.

In 1958 the RCA 501, the firm's first large transistorized data processor, was produced under Brown's direction as the Chief Engineer of Commercial Electronic Products. Brown, who shortly went on to other RCA executive positions and its Board of Directors, conside...