Interviewee: Dr. George Mueller

Interviewer: Mr. Martin Collins

Location: National Air and Space Museum

Date: April 30, 1987


MR. MARTIN COLLINS: Last time we began to discuss your coming to Bell Laboratories. I wanted to back up just a little bit before we get into that and go back to the fact that you had two essential offers when you were thinking about leaving Purdue, one for RCA and one for Bell Labs. It was very clear in your mind that Bell Labs was the preferred place to go. I'm kind of curious on what grounds you felt that strongly about Bell Labs.

DR. GEORGE MUELLER: At that time, and even today, Bell Labs was the first research institution in the nation, at least in industrial research. At that time the only comparable ones in terms of capabilities were places like MIT. Of course, RCA and General Electric were trying to become research centers, but they did not enjoy nearly the reputation that Bell Labs had. There wasn't, in my mind, much of a choice. It was an opportunity to do research, and that was the thing that I was most interested in. I just jumped at the chance.

COLLINS: Even though in a practical sense you had a little more exposure to RCA, given the contract work that was going on at Purdue.

MUELLER: Yes. I knew at least some of the people there and something of the inner workings, but not very much. As a student, one doesn't know much about the external world.

COLLINS: As you made this change to Bell Labs, I was kind of curious. We discussed some of your initial impressions, but I was wondering whether you had any thoughts on the difference between doing research in the university setting, given your experience at Purdue, and the move into the Bell Labs system?

MUELLER: In both cases you had freedom to do whatever you thought you wanted to do, at least to a first order. Obviously, the projects you worked on were chosen by your supervisors, but once you chose a topic, you went off and did your own work to a large extent. But the thing about Bell Labs that became evident was that there was a team of people working. You worked as an individual, but if you needed help, you could turn to some people who were far better than you were, in any particular area, and get the help you needed. And that was a very exciting time. When I went there, it was just before we got into the war. I started out in the television business building amplifiers for one of the portable TV systems, the ones that were supposed to replace telephones, so that people could look at each other, as well as talk to each other.

COLLINS: This was the Orthicon technology.

MUELLER: Right. One of the early implementations of it. And my, was I ever impressed with the ability to get things done. There were technicians available to work for you and with you. You could get things built in a short time. If you wanted to do your own work, there was a little machine shop you could use. Just the right environment for creative work.

COLLINS: You've touched on a number of issues I wanted to explore. When you came to Bell Labs, what was your position?

MUELLER: I was just an MTS of the lowest--you know, the culture there had everyone as a member of the technical staff who was hired in as a research worker. I came to the Labs with two other Purdue people, but they went into development whereas I went into research. I don't know quite why the Labs made that decision, but I was pleased with that point of contact.

I lost my train of thought. I was thinking about some old friends and where they were.

COLLINS: That raises a question. Did you interview with more than one person when you went? Did you have a choice where you might end up within the laboratory system? There was this distinction between research and development.

MUELLER: I interviewed with more than one person, but I never really had a choice in that fashion because the people that were interviewing me had in mind this research activity in the television group. I guess if I hadn't been interested in that, I might have had a choice, but it never occurred to me. I'd been working on television back at Purdue, and it seemed like a natural extension of what I'd been doing.

COLLINS: Can you describe a little bit further how one of these groups operated and tackled the problem that they were working on?

MUELLER: Yes. The television group, under Axel Jentsen, consisted of about 30 MTS or 40, but they were divided into smaller groups of ten or so each. The group that I happened to be working in, which was working on amplifiers and all the associated things that go with the TV system, had people like Barney Oliver in it, who is a friend all those years. He left the Labs about the same time I did, actually. He went to work for Hewlett Packard, was head of their research activities for many many years. We worked as a group, but we divided up the work. In my case, my supervisor--I'm trying to think of his name now--put me to work on building an amplifier first off. I designed and built a series of them. You had available all of the components you could use and people who could build the racks and chassis and so on. You could do it yourself, too. If you got frustrated and they were busy, you went out and did your own wiring and soldering. There was a technician assigned to two of us, I guess. We tried to keep him busy and ourselves busy. It was a free-form group. You weren't committed to doing anything at any particular time that wasn't a scheduled kind of activity. You just went at your own pace, but you were also paced by the other people working on the project with their parts of it. Soon you were working against a self-imposed schedule, which was a lot more stringent, probably, than anybody would have thought.

COLLINS: That's a very interesting concept. In the case of this Orthicon technology or later in the radar technology, you're talking about integrating a lot of components into a system, so this particular management style sounds quite interesting.

MUELLER: It's different than I have experienced elsewhere, I must say. But it worked well because everyone was highly motivated. It was fun, too. If you got into trouble, you could ask for help. Somebody would know or at least suggest some alternative ways of doing it.

COLLINS: In this television group, was there a subunit for the amplifier question? How did that work?

MUELLER: It was divided somewhat in that fashion. You overlapped from one thing to another. For example, I was working on straight amplifiers. Remember, I was just out of school, so I was the youngest member of the group and the least knowledgeable, probably the least competent, because there were very bright people in that group, which was a challenge and kept you working. Barney Oliver, as I recall, was working on phased delay lines for shaping wave forms. Of course, the amplifiers would do that, too, but you then had to go do some overall correction because you're talking about sending very wide band signals down an ordinary telephone line. There is a great deal of active filtering that had to be done to bring it back to some reasonable level of resolution at the far end of that line. A lot of the early work on looking at how you compress TV signals, and what you can do to transmit broadband signals over narrowband circuits, was done by this group and some associated groups at Bell. It's always amazing to me how the research activities tend to get repeated from time to time. People rediscover the wheel on a regular basis.

COLLINS: Did this group that you worked in have a specific name or designation?

MUELLER: It was the television group.

COLLINS: I mean, within the subunit that you were talking about.

MUELLER: I don't remember a specific name. They went more or less by whoever was the supervisor of that group.

COLLINS: Was that Barney Oliver in this case?

MUELLER: No, Barney was also new. We came in at the same time, except that he had a PhD. and I had a Master's.

COLLINS: You mentioned previously that you had a technician who would work with you and help with the shop work aspects of your work. Did this mean that the two of you were paired together on a research problem, or was it just a means for assigning the work of the technicians?

MUELLER: It was a means of assigning the work of the technicians. He floated between several people, depending on the work that was going on at the moment. There was maybe one technician for two or three MTS's, and then, of course, there was a small machine shop with two or three people that did all or a large part of the mechanical work.

COLLINS: How did you convey progress on your work to your supervisor? How did your supervisor monitor your progress as you worked on these amplifier problems?

MUELLER: Good question. He would visit occasionally, and if you ran into a problem, you could ask him for help. But there wasn't any overt supervision as such, that I recall. Maybe once a year or once a quarter you'd talk about what the objectives of the next quarter's work might be. Of course, we all knew what the overall objective was. We were doing our pieces for it. But my memory doesn't lead me to remember any structure as we would think of a program management job today. That wasn't the way that was set up. It was set up as a true research establishment with individual researchers going off and doing what they could do hopefully best and furthering this overall idea of a public television system.

COLLINS: You had the general problem of working on the amplifier. Did you move into other areas related to the Orthicon development?

MUELLER: Yes. This was after we began to broaden our work to meet the war effort because the first couple of months I was there I was working on amplifiers. One of the interesting things at Bell Labs, which I think is probably one of the characteristics that led to their real success, was giving the individual research workers a considerable amount of freedom. I remember that one of the things we were doing on an extracurricular basis, supported by the Laboratories, who knew what we were doing, was to build some audio amplifiers that were good for that time. They probably would still be good today, but they were based on vacuum tube technology rather than solid state technology. We wound our own transformers, built overall feedback systems that would provide almost perfect response. We built our own loudspeakers which were good. At that time Klipschorns were coming into favor, so there was a big project of building good Klipschorns, and careful analysis went into it to do it right. By the time the first year's work at the Labs was over, I had built one of the first photograph pickups, that could read both the lateral and vertical components of the record. That one I built from scratch, built the coils and everything. Actually designed it, I guess. I still have it. I'm not sure that it works any more, but it might.

COLLINS: Very interesting.

MUELLER: That was extracurricular. You did that at night after the day's work was done. I visited Barney Oliver just a month ago, and he still had that original amplifier. I lost mine. I lost mine some time ago, in one of our moves. Those were good amplifiers, drew on the technology of the laboratories. Folks in the audio end had provided inputs into the design. A very exciting time, I must say. One of the most productive in a creative sense that I have enjoyed.

COLLINS: Bell allowed you to use the resources of the laboratory after the normal work hours.


COLLINS: That's interesting. During this general research effort to work on the Orthicon or perhaps later on the radar, were you ever called onto other projects as a stopgap measure where somebody needed extra help for a short period of time?

MUELLER: Yes, particularly later. During that first year at West Street, I was getting acquainted with the Laboratories and getting to know people. I got interested in tubes because that was one of the problem areas associated with the television system. I got to know people in the lab across the street, where the tube lab was. At that time or a little later I ran into John Pierce, Samuels, and a couple of other people that were the creators of that whole--McNally, that's another one, and another friend of mine who became president of the Laboratories, who was in the tube business.

Then we got into the war. Radar was invented, and we began to work on building airborne radars. Our group was given the task of building the first airborne radar for the Bell system. It was at that time that I moved down to Holmdehl to build the receiving end of that. The transmitting end was built at West Street because that's where the tube work, the magnetrons, and the drivers, and all those other pulse generators that were necessary were being developed.

COLLINS: Was there any corporate rationale that you could determine why particular parts of the radar--for example, the magnetrons up at West Street, other elements down at Holmdehl--why that distribution of effort was decided upon?

MUELLER: Simply, that's where the expertise resided because Holmdehl had been the major receiving station for the development of transatlantic communications, whereas Deal was the major transmitting station development or research enterprise. Of course, the final operational things were put out on Long Island, but the original work was done at Deal and Holmdehl. The vacuum tube work had always been done at West Street. They called it the Cookie Factory, something like that, where the vacuum tube work was done. But they were closely linked.

We probably made one mistake in the development of the transmitter, which was done up there. It was an oil-filled transmitter and a bear to take care of. The object was as you went up in altitude, you didn't have pressurized cabins at that time, so they didn't want it to arc. An oil-filled thing seemed like a reasonable thing to do, but it was a problem to service and adjust to fix so it would run.

COLLINS: You began to move down to Holmdehl before our entry into the war.

MUELLER: Roughly at about that same time. I think after we were at war. Let's see, the war occurred when? In December.

COLLINS: December '41 was when we entered the war.

MUELLER: It wasn't until the next July or so that I went down to Holmdehl, so we were in it for six months.

COLLINS: So you were working on problems of radar while you were at West Street.

MUELLER: Yes. It started out up there. But then it became apparent that we could make more progress using the resources of the folks down at Holmdehl.

COLLINS: I find it interesting that you came to Bell Labs about the time that the National Defense Research Council was established. Bell was drawn into this larger consideration of national needs in science and engineering. Do you recall, say perhaps over the six-month period after you came in, that there was an influx of new personnel to tackle the larger question of national need in science and engineering?

MUELLER: No. Much of that work was not part of the research group there. It was an effort by Western Electric out at Murray Hill and that area in New Jersey, where the work directly war effort related went on.

COLLINS: I wondered if you had any general impressions of that larger concern that was developing at that time.

MUELLER: Obviously we got involved in it because we were competing on the radar with MIT or Lincoln Labs, which was building a comparable airborne radar system. We were, in a sense, competing with them and, in another sense, trying to lead the way in the application. There was not as much cross-coupling between the efforts of the Radiation Lab at MIT and the work we were doing, at least at my level. Now there was a good deal of interchange at a more senior level. But I didn't get to know many of the people in the Radiation Lab until quite late in the war effort. Of course, that was highly classified. They were trying very hard to keep the mere existence of radar secret.

COLLINS: Right. As you moved into the radar research, did the character of the research change? Were your problems more directed, or was it still you were given a general problem and then allowed great freedom in figuring out how to solve it?

MUELLER: There was a great urgency in getting it done, but in terms of actually being directed, I don't know. It seemed like there was direction but a fair amount of freedom, too. Since the microwave receivers had been developed at Holmdehl, we simply repackaged them to be suitable for airborne use. What we envisaged at that time was their being suitable for airborne use. I don't think today we would have thought them suitable at all. That was what I was doing. Then I also got involved in the development of the antennas for it and spent most of the time there building the polyrod antennas for the radar.

COLLINS: Were the polyrod antennas designed for airborne use?

MUELLER: Yes. Or at least adapted for it. Southworth had invented the idea of a Leakey wave guide, using dielectrics. We built one array--Charlie Feldman built for Navy use. That actually was deployed. It was a phased array radar, one of the early ones. Essentially he used the design that I developed for the airborne radar antenna, which was a tapered polyrod antenna.

COLLINS: How does the description "tapered" fit in there? I'm not clear.

MUELLER: You can control the radiation pattern and the amount of radiation by varying the diameter of the rod. We optimized the radiation from the rod, and therefore the radiation pattern controlled both the amount and the phase of the radiation to some extent.

COLLINS: So was the polyrod antenna meant to both transmit and receive?

MUELLER: Yes. Originally we set it up so that you had two, one for transmitting and one for receiving, and used the decoupling between them. Eventually we got to a TR box that would permit you to transmit and receive on a single antenna. But the original ones were two rods, one for transmitting and one for receiving. Decoupling was quite good between them. I don't know, 40 or 50 DB attenuation from one to the other.

COLLINS: The airborne radars you were working on, were they designed with a particular aircraft in mind?

MUELLER: No, they were designed with a particular gun in mind. They were supposed to work with the machine guns, so that you could control the firing of the gun.

COLLINS: This was a fire control radar.


COLLINS: I didn't realize that. That's very interesting. There were clearly a lot of different projects on radar going on at the Laboratories at this time. What relation or connection did you have with these other efforts? Was there a lot of collaboration? How would you describe that?

MUELLER: There was a fair amount of collaboration. At Holmdehl we were primarily working on the front ends of these radars, whereas the power supplies and the transmitters were being worked on at West Street and Murray Hill. There was interchange of information between the laboratories, a lot of visiting back and forth trying to make sure that the things would work when they got put together. There wasn't an overall systems engineer for that. Perhaps Barney Oliver was the closest in that he was doing the actual range measurement equipment, which was being built at West Street. So you had a group at West Street building the transmitter, another group doing the ranging work, and then the work on the antennas and receivers down at Holmdehl. Obviously there was a lot of discussion back and forth, but the processing of the data coming in was fairly well separated. You could divide it up into these monitors without too much trouble, and each guy had his own piece to worry about. Hopefully, everybody was going to come out working together, and they did.

COLLINS: I'm curious. As the war progressed, one of the things driving the technology was an interest in being able to utilize shorter wavelengths. How closely did you need to work with the people who were working on the magnetrons, the basic wave source, and the people who were working on the antennas? How closely coupled did that research need to be?

MUELLER: We finished that airborne radar and tested it. I have never been quite so sick as flying around in the back end of the DC-3 or maybe it was the predecessor to it. Flying around Wright-Pat with this radar, trying to see how it worked in practice. They had an extra generator at the back. The equipment was in the back of the airplane, the antennas and receiver were up in front, and you're bouncing up and down in a hot and humid compartment. Boy, you can sure get airsick! I have a vivid remembrance of that. But, as I said, we were in competition with MIT. The decision was made to go with the MIT radar because they went to a pressurized air system, which was lighter and more serviceable than the oilbath.

COLLINS: So the system you worked on never saw combat.

MUELLER: Never went further. By that time I had gotten myself involved with the more advanced radars, particularly from the receiving end. I was working with Russel Ohl on building crystal detectors for microwave. There was a question about atmospheric attenuation, which was beginning to be a problem. The original airborne radar was an X-band, but we thought we could do better if we went to K-bands. I started working on a K-band radar and got involved with John Pierce, who was working on K-band magnetrons. He'd started work on traveling wave tubes, based on Rudy Komptner's work in England. I got interested in that and began first to test his things, and then we went to work and built magnetrons down at Holmdehl.

COLLINS: You indicated previously most of the magnetron work was done up at West Street. Was this an indication of distribution of effort among the laboratories?

MUELLER: In retrospect, I was probably undisciplined. I just got interested in it and got John to make blanks for me. Eventually we made our own resonance circuits for the magnetrons and set up a small lab for building esoteric new shortwave devices down there. We built traveling wave tubes, both as amplifiers and oscillators, and went to work on extending the frequency range so we could work in it. In the course of that, we discovered a substantial attenuation at K-band because of water absorption. We did the early transmission work at K and K over two and spot frequencies, down as far as three millimeters.

COLLINS: To my understanding, this is not particularly clear, but were the problems with attenuation and absorption greater as you got it down to shorter wavelengths?

MUELLER: Yes. It turns out there are absorption spectra. Unfortunately, K-band was situated directly on the water vapor absorption. If we had chosen K-band to be one centimeter instead of one-and-one-quarter centimeters, we might have had a radar working, but it's hard to change frequencies in magnetrons. People didn't know what the absorption spectra was at that time. In fact, a lot of the work I did in the latter part of the war was looking at ways of measuring absorption spectra more effectively and more efficiently. The first measurements we made were over about a quarter-mile range, with a transmitter at one end and a receiver at the other, waiting for it to rain. We were looking at rain attenuation as well, because that was likely to be a real problem. It is, if you get enough rain, but it's not nearly as bad as the water vapor absorption in the K-band.

COLLINS: I recall you were also interested in the problem of radio noise from the sun.

MUELLER: Yes. I was working as a sort of technician for George Southworth, setting up the apparatus and making the measurements. It followed the work that Jannsky had done on the discovery of noise from the stars. Galactic noise. Southworth said, "There ought to be thermal noise at least from the sun." We set up the equipment to make those measurements. The technique was to measure the noise as the sun came above the horizon, because then you could get a difference between the background noise and the noise from the sun.


COLLINS: It sounds like your work was fairly well laid out for you when you were doing the Orthicon work and the airborne radar. But I get the impression that you had more choice following that about the kinds of problems you wanted to work on.

MUELLER: Yes. I had a good deal of freedom. I never felt like I was being directed, but I was doing the things that seemed reasonable at the time.

COLLINS: Were you moving from one research group to another, or were the interests and responsibilities of the group that you were in changing?

MUELLER: I moved from one group to another. After Axel Jentsen and that first airborne thing, I went to work for several months for Friis, one of the great people in the Labs. Harold Friis and Axel Jentsen were quite close. Because I got involved in these attenuation measurements, I went to work for Southworth and, in turn, got involved in sun measurements but also a continuation of work I was doing with Harold Friis. Although I was shifting around, I was working with all of the same people on a continuing basis.

COLLINS: I'm kind of curious how these transitions came about. For example, when you were working with Jentsen, you had exposure to the kinds of problems that Friis was working on. Did it just evolve that you began to work more closely with Friis after the one thing concluded, or was there some higher level decision that George ought to go over here and work with Friis for a while, he seems to have interest in his kinds of problems?

MUELLER: I think there was a higher level discussion, some transferring. Of course, you had to have an accounting transfer that went over to Southworth. So it wasn't quite as free as that. On the other hand, it felt free.

COLLINS: Was this kind of movement of personnel fairly typical?

MUELLER: I can't remember. Several of my friends made changes of that sort, so I guess it was typical. I never thought of it as typical or atypical. It was just things that needed to get done at the time.

COLLINS: In looking at your lab notebooks, and this is a cursory study of them, I get the impression that over time your contacts with others in the organization increased rather substantially, that you spent time going from one laboratory to another visiting different sites. I'm curious if that's an accurate impression.

MUELLER: Yes, indeed, almost exponentially increased because I got involved in the millimeter wave work with the forefront of things. It involved many groups around the Laboratories, so I was drawing on their resources to a large extent in getting the millimeter wave work done. That gave me an opportunity to meet a lot of people and to see what work they were doing, but also it was necessary if I were going to get my own work done. That was one of the great advantages of the Laboratories. You have tremendous depth of resources to draw on. All the way from the work of Bradden and Schockley and company--I got to know Bill Schockley reasonably well because I was working with Russell Ohl.

We were probably within a month of inventing the transistor. Russell Ohl was. I was working with him, in multiple contacts, on a crystal. The one thing that we didn't do, because we didn't realize it at the time. We were just unfortunate that we didn't get both contacts on a single crystal. If we had, we probably would have been co-inventors of the transistor. We were using zircon with multiple crystals. As soon as we heard of the work of Schockley and Bradden, it was easy enough to duplicate it.

COLLINS: During this period of greater contact, when you were studying this problem, did you build closer ties with MIT personally?

MUELLER: Yes, I got to know Dicky up there and Pursell and some of the other guys. But it wasn't nearly the same closeness, by any means, as that within the Laboratories. There was still the classification problem and some level of "not invented here" on both sides. The Laboratories have always been somewhat parochial in its view of life and its own capabilities, and certainly the Radiation Lab at MIT has always been very parochial in their view of life and what they ought to share with other people.

COLLINS: Over the course of the war period, you undertook these different research tasks. Did your title or position change? Were you still a member of the technical staff, or did that have different gradations? How did that work?

MUELLER: MTS didn't have gradations as such. My supervisor was an MTS. It was a matter of seniority and accepted position, not a grade. They were careful to avoid distinctions between the MTS. The distinctions were more on what you did rather than on any title. As I guess I mentioned, one of the reasons I left the Labs to go back to Ohio State was I discovered that all my supervisors had PhD.'s, and they were smarter than I was. I decided maybe I ought to go back and get a PhD. and get more educated because it was clear that there was a lot to learn. It was probably a more effective way of learning than continue working at the Labs. That was not the view of my supervisors, incidentally. About the time that I opted to leave, the head of the Lab got me aside. This is Friis's boss now.

COLLINS: This wouldn't have been Mervin Kelly?

MUELLER: No, M.J. was president by then. It was a wonderful guy who said, "Look, you know, you don't need a PhD. to get ahead at the Laboratories. It will set you back if you go off to school and get that PhD." In a sense he was right because as far as research work went, I didn't do anything like the research at Ohio State that I was doing at the Laboratories. On the other hand, from the standpoint of my own growth, it was probably the right thing to do.

COLLINS: How do members of the technical staff solidify the fact that they've done research? During the war period you were working on something classified, so you couldn't publish openly. How did you do that in-house to let people know that you'd achieved success on certain problems, or to convey that success to other people for their use?

MUELLER: Verbally but also reports, memoranda. There was a whole series of memos out on results of tests.

COLLINS: These were generally available to other people, with certain security clearances?

MUELLER: Sure. Security got developed after the war far better than it was during the war because we had problems to solve during the war. Of course, we had classified documents that were held closely, but it wasn't with the same stringency of accounting that the accountants eventually got around to imposing. As is usually the case, one or two breeches of security creates a whole structure, which then impedes the tranmission of information far more. You lose more than you gain in that process, but bureaucracies work better if they've got stringent rules that everybody has to obey.

COLLINS: Moving up in the Lab hierarchy, then, was simply a question of producing good research, either through these memoranda or, when possible, through outside publications.

MUELLER: Yes. Because they've grown much larger now, the Labs have introduced layers of management. When I was there, you had very little distinction as you went up. I'm sure there was a salary distinction.

COLLINS: That's what I was referring to primarily.

MUELLER: Salaries were not known. People were jealous of their privacy in that regard. You never knew what anybody else was making. I wasn't even curious about it. As long as I was making enough to live on, that was all I was interested in.

COLLINS: Did the number of hours that you worked during the war period shoot up dramatically compared to the pre-war period, with much longer days, less opportunity for vacation?

MUELLER: I don't remember taking a vacation. I may have. I must have. Not nearly as dramatic an increase as there was during the ballistic missile development days, partly because I was at Holmdehl and there was a great gasoline shortage, so you had to car pool. That meant everybody started and left at the same time essentially. We were working 60 hour weeks, six ten-hour days, which is about as much as one can effectively work over any period.

COLLINS: In a research kind of capacity.


COLLINS: You worked on the airborne radar. It didn't go into a production phase. Did any of the other projects that you worked on result in a prototype that went on to production?

MUELLER: The polyrod went on into production for the Navy. The decision was made not to go forward with the K-band radar, although we had it developed fairly well. There was some discussion of millimeter wave radars or communication systems, but that never got off the ground. It's just now getting off the ground. It would have been a great idea because you get the natural shielding of the atmosphere, the true short-range communications with protection from detection at a distance. But that wasn't the route taken.

COLLINS: In part I'm wondering how once some device were developed to a prototype stage, it was then moved into the development phase, and whether people in the Laboratory helped with that transition.

MUELLER: A good example is the Pulse Position Modulation system that was developed. I worked peripherally on that, helped on some early devices. That was really developed back in the research group, but then the guy that did it in research was transferred over to the development group. The Laboratories was fairly well compartmented, in the sense that research was separate and had a lot of freedom. If you got a product that was going into manufacturing, it went over to the development group to be re-engineered for manufacturing, from there it went over into the Western Electric development group to be re-re-engineered for manufacturing, and from there it went out into the operating companies. That was true of the early Pulse Position Modulation, the early digital communications, the wave guide transmission lines, and eventually the work on optical transmission lines. That occurred after I left the Labs, but we were starting to work on it even back then, at least the basic ideas.

COLLINS: The typical development process would not usually involve transfer of individuals to see this through, but just transfer of information. Let somebody else tackle the problems of adapting it to manufacturing.

MUELLER: Usually one or two of the research people would go with it. One or two of the development people would go over to manufacturing, some of the key people who understood it but not a mass transfer.

COLLINS: How are we doing on time here? Do we need to wind down?

MUELLER: I am late.

COLLINS: Let's stop here. Thank you very much.

Mueller 1 || Mueller 3

Rev. 09/06/96

© 1996 National Air and Space Musuem