Box 1, Folder 5 – General Speeches
April 28, 1954 – “The Importance of Mechanical Design in Electronic Equipment,” Iowa State College, Ames [A1] Iowa,
Hewlett was invited to address EE students at Iowa State in the hope of acquainting them with the importance of mechanical design in electrical engineering projects, and to give them some knowledge of the IRE.
4/28/54, Two pages of handwritten notes by Hewlett, outlining what he intends to cover in his remarks. Hewlett says to the students that “I can’t hope to tell you all about mechanical engineering as applied to electronics. I can only give you a broad summary and cite a few examples of changes that have come up in our own work. I do this with the hope that it may encourage you to take a greater interest in ME in college and to prevent you from becoming a ‘let Charlie do it’ with respect to ME, once you become a practicing engineer.”
He provides some specific examples of the importance of electro-mechanical design, knowledge of materials, and awareness of the production process, and concludes with these remarks:
- “Recognize the importance of ME in electronic design.
- Avail yourself of courses in characteristics of materials and light fabrication methods while in college
- In your practice of engineering remember that no matter how good the electronic design may be, if it can’t be produced and maintained in the field the design is not acceptable. I would say that this is one of the most important reasons for failure of modern equipment.
- That good mechanical design must be built in from the beginning and not after the electrical design is completed – this is too late.”
Undated, Typewritten outline of what could be a speech on the selection of materials, and layout of electronic equipment, Not clear where or how Hewlett might have used this. No heading is provided to identify the paper.
2/25/54, Letter to Hewlett from Ted Hunter inviting him to come to Iowa State College to talk about the importance of mechanical design – and to better acquaint them with someone from the IRE
3/10/54, Copy of a letter from Hewlett to Ted Hunter accepting his invitation
4/6/54, Copy of a telegram to Hewlett from Hunter asking date he can meet students
4/13/54, Copy of a telegram from Hewlett to Hunter saying he could meet on April 28th
4/22/54, Handwritten letter to Hewlett from Ted Hunter, advising him of changes in flight schedules.
4/23/54, Copy of a letter from Hewlett’s secretary, Mickie Ayres, to Ted Hunter advising of Hewlett’s arrival time
4/23/54, Letter to Hewlett from George R. Town, Associate Director, Iowa State College, giving some history about the head of the Mormon Church
4/26/54, Letter to Hewlett from Alvin A. Read of IRE, Iowa Section, thanking him for visiting
8/29/56, Letter to Hewlett from Alfred R. Gray, Editor, POPT Transactions asking for a copy of the speech he gave at Iowa State College in 1954 on the importance of learning Mechanical engineering.
9/12/56, Copy of a letter from Hewlett to Gray saying this speech was never prepared for publication
8/13/59, Letter to Hewlett from E. K. Gannett asking what progress is being made on the “mechanical design of electronic gears project”
Undated, internal HP memo with addressee unnamed, from “Lorna” saying she had talked to “Gail” about Hewlett’s speech on mechanical design
Undated, Typewritten note from “Gail” to “Lee” attaching a copy of Hewlett’s speech titled “The Importance of Mechanical Design in Electronic Equipment.” She says this is the only copy and asks for its return.
3/13/54, Copy of article from Business Week about Arthur A. Collins
Box 1, Folder 6 – General Speeches
May 6, 1954 – “A Look at Our Electronic Industry,” IRE Section Seven Technical Conference, Portland, OR
5/6/54, Outline of speech, handwritten by Hewlett on notebook paper
Hewlett talks about the changes in the industry since he was last in Portland in 1938, IRE membership going from over 5000 to 38000. He says electronics is now about a 8 billion dollar industry: 1/3 military, 1/3 radio, and 1/3 rest. “It emerged from the war as the general tool of science and industry.”
Hewlett looks at the activities of various areas, radio and TV, non-TV fields, business and industrial applications.
Among his conclusions are:
“In the long run and as military spending slacks off electronics will not just be relegated to the field of mass entertainment, important as it may be, but will render service to business, science and industry in an ever increasing and indispensable fashion.
“It is worthy of note that in this rapidly expanding industry called Electronics, the West is taking a leading role. If one can judge by IRE membership, it is now the most rapidly developing area in the country.
“I feel my election to the Presidency of IRE was a direct tribute to Western electronics.
“I am proud to represent you at the national level and hope that my visits to Portland and the NW may continue under such pleasant circumstances as they have in the past.”
5/6/54, Outline of speech printed by Hewlett on 3×5” cards
5/5-6-7/54 Copy of printed program of conference
Box 1, Folder 7 – General Speeches
May 9-12, 1954, National Conference on Airborne Electronics, Dayton Section IRE, Dayton OH
5/9-12/54, Outline of speech handwritten on notebook paper by Hewlett.
As President of the IRE Hewlett discusses various policies, aims and procedures of the Institute.
5/9-12/54, Same outline as above hand-printed by Hewlett on 3×5” cards.
5/9-12/54, Copy of typewritten comments, presumably by Hewlett, on the conference – the papers to be presented, the exhibits, as well as the future of aviation. He says “The National Conference on airborne Electronics is dedicated to aiding in the transfer of knowledge of significant electronics progress, and we hope that you will find our three-day conference both interesting and entertaining.”
4/26/54, Letter to Hewlett from Robert J. Doran giving details of conference schedule
5/3/54, Copy of a letter from Mickie Ayres, Secretary to Hewlett, giving information on his flight schedule
Undated, Handwritten page which appears to state a policy on the aims of an organization, possibly the Engineers Joint Council named below
1953, Copy of a page from the Institute News and Radio News. Apparently the question had arisen as to whether the IRE should affiliate with the Engineers Joint council. This article cites several conflicts between the way the EJC and the IRE operate, and says that the Board of IRE has concluded that “…it is not desirable to reverse these policies at this time in order to permit affiliation with the Engineers Joint Council;” and “The Institute must regretfully decline the invitation to join the Engineers Joint Council.”
Box 1, Folder 8 – General Speeches
August 27, 1954 – “Why Electronics Grows in the West,” WESCON Show and Convention, Los Angeles, CA
8/27/54, Copy of typewritten speech presented at the Convention by Hewlett
In searching for a subject for his speech, Hewlett says he had for some time been interested in “making a study of our West Coast electronic industry with the objective of analyzing its characteristics and its reasons for growth.” In making his study he admits that the data is primarily from California – because this was the most readily available – but he says he believes the conclusions are equally true of all the West Coast electronics Industry.
Electronics got off to an early start on the West Coast Hewlett says and he lists some of the contributions: the Poulson Arc, the first important source of high-powered continuous wave radio frequency energy, Lee DeForest’s work on the three-element tube , the dynamic loud speaker, aircraft and marine communications. A first in radio broadcasting was achieved at the Pan-Pacific Expedition in 1915 with broadcasts from San Jose to San Francisco.
“…other influences stimulated the growth of Western electronic activity,” Hewlett says. “One of the most important of these…was the introduction of talking pictures….In a similar fashion the Los Angeles area was an early center of oil developments.”
These “seeds” of West Coast electronics activity fell on fertile ground, he says, and he mentions such assets as favorable climate, space for plant growth, and colleges and universities which have “furnished an important reservoir of engineers.”
As to liabilities, Hewlett sees the distance that separates the Coast from sources of components and materials, and which, similarly, separates the Coast from its market areas.”
Next, Hewlett looks at “the peculiar properties of the electronic industry that seem to adapt it to this location.” He says he would like “to postulate two important characteristics and then demonstrate that my postulates are correct. First, I say that electronic equipment requires more than the average amount of research and development to obtain a marketable product. Second, I say that the production costs and investment per dollar produced are far less in the electronic industry than in industry as a whole. Some careful research was required,” he says, “to prove these postulates.”
On the first point, the high engineering content of electronic equipment, Hewlett says he found a survey from Harvard Business School which “showed that in the field of industrial research the national average for spending was 2% of net sales; for the electronic industry it was 5.4%.”
Since data were not available to prove that production costs were low in the electronic industry, Hewlett conducted his own survey. “…I made a survey of some 14 West Coast electronic concerns,” he says. He did not include companies associated with the aircraft industry.
“The survey indicated,” he says, “that the average investment in machinery and equipment of these 14 concerns was approximately 9% of sales.” He found comparable cost data from a survey made by the Machinery and Allied Products Institute. “This study showed that the national average for the investment in machinery and equipment as a percentage of sales was 70%; thus per dollar of sales, the electronics industry has only about one-eighth as much money invested in machinery and equipment as the national average.”
As to research and development costs, Hewlett found that this was 5.4% of sales revenue for the electronics industry – 2% for all industry. Another factor included in Hewlett’s survey was working capital per employee. “A typical national figure would be approximately $4,000 per employee. The average for the 14 concerns surveyed was about $2,500 per employee; thus, again, less investment required per dollars produced.”
Hewlett describes a typical West Coast electronics company. “…in general it is not a particularly large company and its market tends to break down into one of two classifications. Either it is a concern which has a specialized product and a national distribution or it is a concern which builds high quality consumer items primarily designed for local consumption. Thus, we see that both types of products are designed to minimize the liabilities of freight differentials, for the specialized product is usually relatively non-competitive and contains a high engineering content whereas the product of consumer consumption is not seriously affected by the adverse freight rates. The typical West Coast concern has usually been built on a firm financial foundation. In general the original founders are still closely associated with management.
Looking at the future Hewlett says “I would be safe in making a general prediction about the future of the western electronic industry. I would make this prediction in the form of a paraphrase of the theme of this year’s WESCON. I would predict that ‘Electronics will Continue to Grow Faster than the West.’ I would justify this prediction on the basis that I cannot convince myself that there will be any major reduction in the aircraft electronics industry in the foreseeable future; on the basis that the population will continue to increase in California, resulting in continued expansion of the local consumer market. I would justify it on the basis that our colleges and universities have kept abreast of the growth of the West and are turning out well-trained engineers at a high rate. And finally, I would justify it on the basis that high research and development expenditures are always a precursor of high production in the years to come. Yes, I think I would be safe in saying that ‘Electronics will continue to Grow Faster than the West.”
7/54, Copy of the IRE publication “The Bulletin” which announces the WESCON show.
8/25-26-27/54, Copy of the printed program for the WESCON show
8/25-26-27/54, Printed list of registrants for the technical sessions
5/5/54, Letter to Hewlett from Walter E. Peterson, WESCON Chairman of the Luncheon Committee confirming Hewlett’s acceptance of their invitation to speak at the Convention
5/5/54, Copy of a similar letter from Peterson to Dr. W. D. Hershberger, Chairman WESCON Board of Directors
6/18,21/54 Copies of fourteen letters written to West Coast electronics companies seeking information for his survey
6/18/54, Letter to Hewlett from Walter Peterson asking for the title of his intended speech at the Convention
6/21/54, Letter to Hewlett from Mal Mobley, Jr. WESCON Business Manager, asking for a message from the IRE President for the IRE Bulletin announcing the WESCON Convention
6/23/54, Copy of a letter from Hewlett to Walter Peterson saying he is awaiting replies of letters sent to several West Coast electronics companies and will be in a position to decide on a title after he receives these replies
6/23/65, Letter to Hewlett from H. L. Hoffman of Hoffman Radio Corporation giving some information in response to his request for data.
6/22/54 and 6/23/54, Letters to Hewlett from E. P. Gertsch of Gertsch sending information for the survey
9/3/54, Copy of a letter from Hewlett to E. P. Gertsch thanking him for the information and sending copy of his speech
6/24/54, Letter to Hewlett from A. A. Ward of Altec Lansing Corporation giving some information in response to his request.
6/25/54, Memo by Hewlett to his file on this speech saying he had visited Eitel-McCullough and collected data for his survey
9/2/54, Copy of a letter from Hewlett to Mssrs. Eitel and McCullough thanking them for their cooperation in the survey, and enclosing some figures from the survey
6/30/54, Copies of seven letters sent to various organization and government agencies seeking information for his survey
7/1/54, Copies of four letters written by Hewlett to respondents of his survey thanking him for their replies
7/1/54, Letter to Hewlett from Andrew Orrick of the SEC saying they do not publish data of the type he desires, but information along the line he requested is available for review at their office in San Francisco.
7/1/54, Letter to Hewlett from Dorothy Brooks of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in San Francisco saying they do not have the information he requested, but they have referred the matter on to the Chamber office in Washington D.C.
7/1/54, Letter to Hewlett from Frank S. Schaumburg of Advance Electric and Relay Co. saying they will send the information he requested shortly
7/1/54, Letter to Hewlett from W. H. Moore of Packard-Bell Company giving some information for the survey
9/3/54, Copy of a letter from Hewlett to William Moore of Packard-Bell thanking him for the information which he sent, and giving some data from the survey results
7/7/54 and 7/12/54, Letters from Kenneth Anderson of the Scientific Apparatus Makers Assn. sending information for the survey
9/3/54, Copy of a letter from Hewlett to Kenneth Anderson of the Scientific Apparatus Makers Assn. thanking him for the information he sent and sending him a copy of his speech with survey results
7/7/54, Letter to Hewlett from J. R. Bradburn of ElectroData Corp. giving information for the survey
9/3/54, Copy of a letter from Hewlett to J. R. Bradburn of ElectroData Corp. thanking him for the information he sent, and enclosing a copy of his speech
7/8/54, Letter to Hewlett from E. W. Robertson of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce giving some references for information for the survey
7/21/54, Another letter to Hewlett from the U.S. Chamber giving another reference for data
9/1/54, Copy of a letter from Hewlett to Fred Lindsey of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce thanking him for his help
7/9/54, Letter to Hewlett from Frank S. Schaumburg of Advance Electric and Relay Co. providing information for the survey
9/1/54, Copy of a letter from Hewlett to Frank S. Schaumburg thanking him for the information he sent and noting that he thought it was interesting that whereas the national investment of machinery and equipment as a ration of sales was 70%, for the fourteen West Coast electronic concerns surveyed this same ratio was only 9%
6/25/54, Letter to Hewlett from L. G. Erickson of Lenkurt Electric Company sending information in response to his request
9/1/54, Copy of a letter from Hewlett to L. G. Erickson thanking him sending information for his survey
6/29/54, Letter to Hewlett from George Long of Ampex saying it may be a week or ten days before they can send the information requested
7/1/54, Copy of a letter from Hewlett to George Long saying he will be putting his data together the last week of July.
8/4/54, Letter to Hewlett from James E. Brown of Ampex enclosing information for the survey
9/3/54, Copy of a letter from Hewlett to George Long of Ampex thanking him for the information they sent, and sending a copy of his speech
7/8/54, Letter to Hewlett from John F. Byrne of Motorola in Corona, CA responding to his request for information for his talk, and saying that they located in Southern California because of the availability of engineering personnel
7/13/54, Letter to Hewlett from L. W. Holland, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce giving some information in response to his request.
7/14/54, Copy of a letter to Mrs. Marilyn Porter of the National Association of Manufacturers in Palo Alto, CA from K. E. Cook, Ass’t Secretary at HP, thanking her for the information sent to Mr. Hewlett for his survey
7/14/54, Copy of a letter sent by K. E. Cook to Merrill Woodruff of the U.S. Department of Commerce thanking him for the information requested and returning it as requested
7/20/54 and 7/26/54, letters from Merrill F. Woodruff of the U. S. Chamber of Commerce giving more references and information for the survey
9/3/54, Copy of a letter from Hewlett to Merrill Woodruff thanking him for his help and enclosing a copy of his speech
7/15/54, Letter to Hewlett from Jo Emmett Jennings, President of Jennings Radio Mfg. Corp. providing information in response to his request.
9/1/54, Copy of a letter from Hewlett to J. E. Jennings saying he appreciated the information he sent.
8/1/54, Copy of a letter from Hewlett to Charles Stewart of the Machinery & Allied Products Institute asking for information
8/4/54, Letter to Hewlett from Charles Stewart of MAPI sending some information for the survey
9/3/54, Copy of a letter from Hewlett to Charles Stewart of MAPI thanking him for his help and enclosing a copy of his speech
8/3/54, Copy of a letter from Hewlett to Howard Vollum of Tektronix asking for data
8/23/54, Copy of a letter to Hewlett from Howard Vollum of Tektronix, Inc. giving some information for the survey
9/3/54, Copy of a letter from Hewlett to Howard Vollum thanking him for the information and sending him a copy of his speech
8/12/54, Letter to Hewlett from W. D. Hershberger, Chair of WESCON Board of Directors, inviting him to a press conference in Los Angeles on 8/25/54
8/16/54, Copy of a letter to W. D. Hershberger from Hewlett’s Secretary, Mickie Ayres, saying Hewlett is away and she cannot say whether or not he will attend the press conference
8/24/54, Copy of a letter from Hewlett to Hershberger saying he will attend the press conference
8/23/54, Letter to Hewlett from Christian J. Matthew of Arthur D. Little, Inc. giving information for the survey
9/3/54, Copy of a letter from Hewlett to Christian J. Matthew thanking him for his help and sending a copy of his speech
9/1/54, Letter to Hewlett from John F. Byrne of Motorola saying that “in spite of Motorola’s non-cooperation” he thought Hewlett gave “a very good speech”
9/2/54, Copy of a letter from Hewlett to Thomas P. Walker of Triad Transformer Corp. saying he appreciated his help with the Convention
9/2/54, Copy of a letter from Hewlett to W. D. Hershberger thanking him for his work putting on the WESCON show
9/2/54, Copy of a letter from Hewlett to Walter Peterson thanking him for what was done for him at WESCON
9/1/54, Letter to Hewlett from D. C. Duncan of Helipot, saying Beckman Instruments had been moving and his letter requesting information had been misplaced. He says Dr. Beckman offers his apologies
9/2/54, Copy of a letter to D. C. Duncan saying he completely understands the reason he received no reply from Beckman instruments and asking that he pass this along to Dr. Beckman
8/30/54, Letter to Hewlett from S. E. Howse of Technicolor Motion Picture Corp. asking for a copy of Hewlett’s speech
9/3/54, Copy of a letter to S. E. Howse from Hewlett’s Secretary sending a copy of his speech
9/3/54, Letter to Hewlett from Merritt Cutten sending a clipping from the L.A. Times
7/8/54, Letter to Hewlett from Weldon B. Gibson of SRI giving some suggestions on gathering data for his speech
9/3/54, Copy of a letter from Hewlett to Weldon Gibson thanking him for the suggestions and sending a copy of his speech
9/3/54, Letter to Hewlett from Audrey Carlson saying Mr. Gibson is away and she will give him the copy of Hewlett’s speech when he returns
9/3/54, Copy of a letter from Hewlett to L. M. Holland of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce thanking him for his help in gather data for his speech
9/3/54, Copy of a letter from Hewlett to H. L., Hoffman of Hoffman Radio sending a copy of his speech and thanking him for his help
9/13/54, Letter to Hewlett from Kenneth Anderson of Scientific Apparatus Makers Association, thanking him for sending a copy of his speech
9/14/54, Letter to Hewlett from H. L. Hoffman congratulating him on his “fine talk”
9/3/54, Letter to Hewlett from Walter Peterson of WESCON, thanking for his speech, and asking for a copy
9/16/54, Letter to Hewlett from George Long of Ampex Corp. thanking him for the copy of his speech
9/23/54, Letter to Hewlett from E. P. Gertsch, President of Gertsch Products, thanking him for the copy of his speech, which he says he gave to an interested visitor – he asks for another copy
9/3/54, Copy of a letter from Hewlett to George Bailey expressing appreciation for his help in finding needed statistics
9/13/54, Letter to Hewlett from George Bailey saying he read the speech with interest and passed it on
9/29/54, Copy of a letter to George Bailey urging him to visit next time he is in California
9/28/54, Letter to Hewlett from Fred W. Morris, Jr. of Gray Scientific Division, asking for a copy of his speech
9/29/54, Copy of a letter to Fred Morris from Mickie Ayres, sending a copy of Hewlett’s speech
10/4/54, Letter to Hewlett from A. C. Prendergast asking for a copy of his speech
10/5/54, Copy of a letter to A. C. Prendergast from Mickie Ayres, sending a copy of his speech
11/5/54, Copy of a letter from Hewlett to John S. Morgan sending a copy of his survey speech in response to a request from A. M. Zarem of the Stanford Research Institute in Los Angeles
12/9/54, Letter to Hewlett from A. M. Zarem, of SRI, sending some information and asking for a copy of Hewlett’s speech
12/13/54, Copy of a letter from Mickie Ayres to A. M. Zarem sending a copy of Hewlett’s speech
12/2/54, Letter to Hewlett from David Goodman asking for a copy of his speech
12/13/54, Copy of a letter to David Goodman from Mickie Ayres sending a copy
12/8/54, Letter to Hewlett from W. P. Von Behren of General Electric, asking for a copy of Hewlett’s speech
12/15/54, Copy of a letter to W. P. Von Behren sending a copy of Hewlett’s speech
12/26/54, Letter to Hewlett from Norman H. Kalson asking for a copy of his speech
12/28/54, Copy of a letter from Hewlett to Norman H. Kalson enclosing a copy of his speech
10/7/55, Letter to Hewlett from Ellis F. King asking for a copy of Hewlett’s speech
10/17/55, Copy of a letter from Mickie Ayres sending a copy of the speech to Ellis King
Undated, copy of an article from the Atlantic titled “The Prospects are Bright”
Undated, Typewritten page of data on several companies, listing Sales, Profit, Net Worth – HP is included
Undated, Typewritten note with some data from the Electronics Industry Conference, published by the U.S. Department of Commerce
Undated, Listed several companies in the survey showing the sources of some of the published data about them
12/7/56, Letter to Hewlett from David M. Goodman requesting a copy of his 1954 speech on electronics growth in the West.
12/28/56, Copy of a letter from Mickie Ayres, Hewlett’s Secretary, to David Goodman sending the requested copy
Box 1, Folder 9 – General Speeches
September 10, 1954 – A Radio Engineer Looks at Radio Physics, National Bureau of Standards Boulder, Colorado
9/10/54, Hewlett’s speech, in outline form, handwritten by him on notebook paper
Hewlett says he was “taken aback” to be asked to speak on radio physics. His field, radio engineering is “remote” from radio physics,” he says, “but it might be interesting” to take a look at radio physics from that viewpoint.
He says he wants to develop the idea of the importance of radio physics to radio engineering. To do this he follows the contributions made by such people as Faraday, James Clerk Maxwell, Heinrich Hertz, He says that these three were probably the first radio physicists.
He goes on to explore the development of the “Ionosphere Theory.”
This started he says with Marconi in 1901 with transatlantic transmission. He mentions the Heavyside Theory, a reflecting layer, and Kennelly and J. J. Thompson in 1902
He says, “One is impressed by the slow but steady accumulation of evidence that eventually led to proof of layer existence.” A 23 year period followed, and he mentions the contributions of many people during this period: Watson, Eckersley, Appleton and Barnett, Breit and Tuve.
Since 1925 “there has been continual improvement in methods of measurement of height – methods of prediction and methods of use.”
He discusses studies into the troposphere saying its “Importance for the radio engineer was that it might provide a means of communications when the ionosphere was not reliable.”
Hewlett discusses meteors and says that there is a strong belief “among many that meteors may be the real cause of major forward scattering [?] in the ionosphere.”
In summarizing his conclusions Hewlett says that “It is easy to see an indispensable role played by radio physics in the development of what is now the whole field of radio engineering.
“We have seen how the experimental work of Faraday, backed by the theoretical work of Maxwell layed [sic] the foundation for the whole field of Electrical Engineering.
“How the experimental work of Hertz placed scientific props under radio and paved the way for the works of Marconi and others.
“How the theories of Kennelly and [?] …culminated in the demonstration of Tuve and Breit, Appleton and Bernett that the ionosphere did exist.
“And how through continued work by radio physicists, reliable ionospheric data is now available in useable form to the radio engineer.
“How systemic investigation of the troposphere has given the radio engineer valuable information on what he may expect in the VHF and UHF regions.
“And how the study of meteor reflections may open up new fields of communications.”
As a radio engineer Hewlett says he must point out that the contributions have not been “one-sided, and that without the parallel development in engineering the work of the physicist would have been much more difficult if not impossible.”
He concludes with the thought that now that his research into these two fields, and his talk given, “I can look back and see how much I as a radio engineer have enjoyed my look at radio physics. I hope that you as physicists or engineers have also enjoyed this look.”
9/10/54, Several pages handwritten by Hewlett which appear to be earlier drafts of his talk
8/8-14/54, Copy of a printed program for the dedication ceremonies for the new National Bureau of Standards Laboratory in Boulder, Colorado.
6/16/54, Copy of a letter from Hewlett to Dr. Alan Schockley of the National Bureau of Standards saying he would be “most pleased” to participate in the dedication ceremonies of the new central Radio Propagation Laboratory of the National Bureau of Standards….
6/24/54, Letter to Hewlett from F. W. Brown of the NBS discussing details of the program
8/3/54, Copy of a letter from Hewlett to Dr. Brown suggesting the title of his talk as “A Radio Engineer Looks at Radio Physics.”
8/18/54, Letter to Hewlett from F. W. Brown offering to reimburse him for travel expenses
8/24/54, Copy of a letter from Hewlett to Dr. Brown saying he will not need travel expense reimbursement
8/19/54, Letter to Hewlett from Ronald G. Bowen , an electronic manufacturers’ representative, offering to be of service in any way while Hewlett is at the dedication.
8/24/54, Copy of a letter from Hewlett to Ronald Brown saying he has not yet firmed up his schedule and will see Brown there in Boulder
8/27/54, Letter to Hewlett from Wayne D, Phipps of the Boulder Chamber of Commerce inviting to him attend a luncheon while he is there.
9/3/54, Copy of a letter to Wayne Phipps from Hewlett accepting his invitation
Box 1, Folder 10 – General Speeches
November 16, 1954 – “Is There a Future in Electronics,” Kansas City, MO, IRE Section Conference
Hewlett, as President of the IRE, was invited to speak at the sixth Annual Electronics Conference of the Kansas City Section of the IRE
11/16/54, Copy of a double spaced typewritten draft of Hewlett’s speech with many handwritten changes/additions by Hewlett.
Hewlett’s one-year tenure as IRE president is drawing to a close, and he says that his travels of over 75,000 miles during the past ten months have given him “a much better appreciation of the tremendous scope and potential of this electronic industry of ours.”
“Today,” he says, “I would like to discuss briefly the tremendous opportunity that is available to those of us who have elected to earn our living in this field of electronics.”
He says electronics is a big business – eight billion dollars a year – and it can be divided into three rough categories: radio and TV, (three billion in sales); military spending (2.7 billion); and the remainder (2.3 billion). He looks at each of these areas separately.
Although “there has been some slump in [the radio and TV] market,” he says, “…there is every indication that when color television sets become generally available there will be a resurgence in this whole field.” He says he has confidence that the cost of a color TV set will “be beaten down” to where it is “only” 30-40% higher than a comparable black and white set.
As to the military arena, he says trying to estimate growth here is a difficult problem. “One can, however, bound the problem. If peace continues and the cold war becomes de-emphasized, there can be no doubt that there will be a reduction in total military spending. Of course, if our cold war should flame into full scale conflict the whole electronic industry would be drafted to meet the tremendous wartime requirements of full scale military mobilization.”
“I would hate to feel,” Hewlett says, “that the future of the electronic industry was dependent solely upon these two components, for, important as they are, their potentials, except in case of war, have obvious limits. It is really to the segment which I classified as ‘other’ that I feel our future depends.” Trying to describe all the activities would be impractical he notes, but he says he would like to mention a few which appear “destined to assume roles of increasing importance.”
“Let me take, for example, the field of data processing (computers). Today this represents about a 25 million dollar business. A recent survey of this field indicated that by 1960 this would probably be a 500 million dollar industry.
“Another field, closely associated with the first, is that of industrial application of electronics. I don’t suppose that you can pick up a paper today without reading some new or amazing job that electronics is performing. The fact of the matter is that prior to World War II electronics was simply the tool of a small group of engineers who were specialized in the field of communications. Today electronics is rapidly being recognized as a basic and important tool for all industry. I can’t say that the day of the automatic factory is here, but certainly many elements of it are well on the way. I feel it is particularly interesting to note that the entrance of electronics into this field has not been necessarily at the expense of the older methods –hydraulic, pneumatic, mechanical, etc. –but it is primarily to supplement them and to intelligently direct them. But if we do not now have the automatic factory I think we will have it within the next ten years. Even today many important operations are being carried out through the assistance of electronics. This can range all the way from controlling the amount of beer in a beer can down to the guiding of an intricate milling operation for jet aircraft skin structures.”
Another area which Hewlett thinks will undergo rapid growth is medical electronics. Including X-rays, Hewlett says estimates are that this field has about one billion dollars of electronic equipment in use. He says “the IRE as an organization is vitally concerned with the contributions that electronics may be able to make to the general field of medicine, and is planning an all out effort to develop every facility at its disposal to help the medical profession use and understand this new tool.”
Hewlett concludes saying that “…the electronic engineer as a group has one, if not the most, promising future of any field in the engineering profession.” He discusses four factors favoring this point: electronics is a rapidly expanding field; secondly, there is a serious shortage of all types of engineers; third is the high percentage of engineering that is required in electronic gear; and finally, the vitality resulting from the relatively low investment costs that are required in the field of electronics.
Concluding his remarks, Hewlett says that as he looks back on his year in office as President of IRE, he may have undersold the promise of electronic engineering as a field. “After some eleven months in traveling around the country I certainly have raised my sights and now feel that the opportunity it affords the engineer, either as an employee or as an entrepreneur, is without match in the engineering profession.”
11/28/54, Several pages of Hewlett’s handwriting and mathematical formulas apparently made as he drafted his talk
3/11/54, Letter to Hewlett from William H. Ashley, Jr. of the IRE Kansas City Section inviting him to their annual conference – and asking for a copy of his remarks
4/20/54, Copy of a letter from Hewlett to W. H. Ashley accepting his invitation
7/9/54, Letter to Hewlett from William Ashley listing speakers and their topics – and asking for a copy of Hewlett’s manuscript by Oct. 22. He also asks for suggestions for a speaker at one of the conference dinners
8/2/54, Copy of a letter to W. H. Ashley from Hewlett saying he has not come up with any suggestions for a dinner speaker
9/29/54, Handwritten letter to Hewlett from Bill Walters, inviting him to stay with them during his stay in Kansas City
10/4/54, Copy of a letter to William Walters for Mickie Ayres, Hewlett’s Secretary, saying Hewlett is away and will return on October 24th
10/24/54, Copy of a letter from Hewlett to William Walters saying his schedule is not yet firm, but when it is he will let him know and maybe they can get together
10/4/54, Letter to Hewlett from W. H. Ashley asking if Hewlett will be able to submit a manuscript by October 22
10/7/54, Copy of a letter to W. H. Ashley from Mickie Ayres, Hewlett’s Secretary, saying Hewlett will not be able to submit an abstract of his talk before Oct 22
10/12/54, Letter from W. H. Ashley saying they are printing a booklet on November 10 and would be able to include his material then if he is able to submit it by that time
11/8/54, Letter to Hewlett from W. H. Ashley sending a copy of the program for the conference
11/23/54, Letter to Hewlett from K. V. Newton, Kansas City, IRE Section, thanking him for his visit and his talk
11/30/54, Copy of a letter from Hewlett to K. V. Newton saying he enjoyed his visit
11/29/54, Letter to Hewlett from W. H. Ashley thanking him for coming to their conference
12/6/54, Copy of a letter from Hewlett to W. H. Ashley saying he enjoyed his visit