Friday, September 8, 2017

#149) Next "Has Beens" Luncheon - Wednesday, October 11th.

The following is an invitation to all Libravets and their guests from Ralph Simon:

To: All Libravets,

Mark your calendar! I have arranged for our next Has Beens' luncheon to be held on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at the Hill Street Cafe located in Burbank. 

Please join us at 11:45 AM to share old war stories and current ailments at our usual spot in the back of the restaurant. I have made arrangements for a special menu with a set price of $17 per person including an entree, soup or salad, soft beverage, tax and tip. Of course, you're on your own for any bar drinks.

Ralph Simon

PLEASE RSVP to by Monday, October 9th. Ralph will need a total head count for the restaurant by that date.

Hill Street Cafe in Burbank.
3301 N. Glenoaks  Blvd.

PS: Previous Has Been Luncheons are described in Posts #133, 132, 121, 120, 94, 91, 78, 51, 50, 28, and 25.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

#148) Roy Dean Bartlome, 1928 - 2017

Roy Bartlome, a long time Libravet known by all, has passed away. Roy's daughter, Laurie, kindly sent us an advance copy of his obituary which will appear in the LA Times' Glendale News Press tomorrow (Wednesday). A reproduction follows:

Roy Dean Bartlome, 89, of Glendale, California passed away on Sunday, July 30, 2017. Born in 1928 in Montpelier, Idaho to Fred and Lena Bartlome, he was one of eight children. Although raised in Idaho, he spent most of his adult life in the Los Angeles, California area.

Roy graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles with a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering and, in 1952, earned his Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering. Beginning in 1956, he dedicated his professional life to aerospace at Librascope (Singer Corporation) based in Glendale, California. He led a distinguished career in program management as Director of Naval Weapon Systems until he retired as Vice President of Navy Modernizations Programs in 1991.

Roy was a loving and devoted husband to his wife, Patricia, until her death in 2009. He was a proud father of his only daughter, Laurie Brighton, of Sydney, Australia, and adoring of his companions in later life, Burton Johnson and Kelly Cassidy. He is survived by them and by his brothers, Gordon and James Bartlome of Utah, and by his sisters, Helen Portela and Linda Aland of Idaho, as well as by many loving nieces, nephews and dear long-term friends.

In Roy’s own words, he felt “gifted to have lived his life with honor, courage, laughter and love.”

A celebration of his life will be held at the Hillside Chapel, Gate 17, Rose Hills Memorial Park, Whittier, California on Wednesday, August 9 at 3 p.m., followed by a graveside service.

Attention Blog (e-mail) subscribers: If you received this post as an e-mail and wish to add a comment, click here and then click on "comments" at the bottom of Post #148. Or, you may send your comment to me as a "reply" to this message, and I will post it for you. Thanks, Carl

Monday, August 7, 2017

#147) Robert "Bob" Chambers, 1935 - 2016

The other day, Georgine Archer unexpectedly discovered Bob Chambers’ obituary in the May 2, 2016 issue of The Record-Courier, serving Minden-Gardnerville & Carson Valley, NV.

As most Libravets know, Bob was a very highly regarded systems engineer at Librascope who made many important contributions. In 1989, for example, he was the AN/BSY-2 Program Director. See page 2 of the December 22, 1989 Librazette (click here).

Bob's 2016 obituary follows:
Robert "Bob" Chambers, long-time resident of Gardnerville, Nevada, passed away at home on Friday, April 1, 2016. Bob and his wife Brenda moved to Gardnerville in 2001 from June Lake, California. Bob loved the Sierras and his new home in Gardnerville. He became active in the community as a member of the Douglas County Library Board and as President and Treasurer of Friends of the Library. Bob was born in Los Angeles, California on May 26, 1935 and lived most of his life in Burbank before retiring to June Lake in 1997. He was a graduate of UCLA and had an MBA from Pepperdine University. Bob was a consummate engineer and spent his entire working career of more than 30 years with Singer- Librascope in Glendale.California. After retiring to June Lake, Bob became involved in various community projects including the June Lake Water Board, the Mono County Library, and Friends of the Bodie Railroad. Bob's smile, energy and hugs will be missed by family and friends. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Brenda, son Richard (Pamela) of Downey, California, grandchildren Jamie Chambers of Minden, Jeffrey Chambers of Simi Valley, California and Steven Chambers of Huntington Beach, California. Bob was preceded in death by granddaughter Bridget Chambers. Bob will also be missed by former daughter-in-law Terri Chambers of Minden and step grandchildren Stacey Tauson of Los Angeles and Stephanie Tauson of Downey, California. A memorial event will be planned for a later date. Arrangements were in the trusted care of Autumn Funerals & Cremations.

PS - Bob’s wife, Brenda, passed away December 3, 2016. She was 82 years old.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

#146) Bernadette P. Stahle, 1925 - 2017

Betty Grieve, nee Perkin (known at Librascope as Betty Gillikin), recently reported the following from Liverpool, England:

Bernadette Stahle passed away peacefully at the age of 91 on February 17th in Palm Desert, CA with her daughter Pam at her side. Bernie retired from Librascope Operations in 1991 after serving 26 years. She was the wife of Howard Stahle, who passed in 2011 (click here to see Howard's Blog Post #35).

Bernie's daughter Polly took this photograph of her several years ago while they were visiting Paris.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

#145) Moving a Canadian Oberon Class “O” Boat was on TV.

Thanks to Libravet Steve Dietrich for the following report.

I was watching a program recently on the Smithsonian Channel called “Humongous Moves”, and it was about a group moving a retired Canadian Oberon Class “O” boat to become a museum.

Having worked a little bit on MK 1 Mod C in the training department back in the early 80’, I was kind of shocked to hear they were all retired forgetting it has been over 30 years since we developed the system.

Anyway, I was doing some reading about the boats on Wikipedia and found this photo of the Mk 1 Mod C fire control system from the HMCS Onondaga. Man, did that bring back memories. I did notice that the bullnose has been removed from one of the units. You can even make out the Singer nameplate.

In fact, the Onondaga is being preserved as a museum in Rimouski, New Brunswick.

I worked in Customer Training for a couple of years after getting out of the Navy before moving to Installation Engineering and then Product Engineering. Most of the time I was farmed out to Arnold Peters. I worked on VLA, Mk 2 and BSY-2 and a mod for the MK 48 WDC before leaving in 1991. Once in awhile, I drive by the old complex when I am in the area and think back to the “Good ole days”.

One thing I wish could be done to the Librascope Memories web site is to have a “Memoriam” page for the Libravets who have passed. Georgine Archer had something like that at one time. I think it would be nice.

Anyway, just wanted to pass the photo along.

Best regards,
Steve Dietrich
Librascope Feb '82 – July '91

Friday, February 3, 2017

#144) Photos of 2016 Librascope Reunion Published on YouTube

Last November 5th, nearly 100  Libravets and guests gathered for Librascope's tenth bi-annual employee reunion since the company announced its closing in the late 1990's. This was almost twice the number of attendees originally forecast!

The reunion was held at the Acapulco restaurant in Glendale, and included a south-western buffet. As always, it was an opportune time to renew old friendships, and reminisce for several hours.

Throughout the day, several photos were taken which are now available on YouTube for everyone to see. The six minute "video slideshow" of the get together may be viewed by CLICKING HERE. Note, please use YouTube's full screen option in the lower right corner for the best viewing.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

#143) Stanford Destroys $300,000 Librascope Disc Memory

Photos of the large 4 foot diameter disc memories that Librascope designed and manufactured in the 1960’s have been published in the past (see photo), but the experiences of the customers for these large memories were not widely known. A January 28, 1977 Stanford University memo found on the Internet, however, describes their experience.

In 1967 the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at Stanford University purchased their 4 foot diameter disc memory from Librascope for $300,000. A short time before, a similar, if not identical, 4 foot memory was sold to Lawrence Radiation Laboratory (LRL) in Livermore, CA. Then in 1973, LRL donated their memory to Utah State University. Click here to view a copy of the detailed (97 page) March 10, 1965 Librascope proposal to LRL. Note, according to this "Large Scale Disc File" proposal, LRL's memory was patterned after Librascope's 473-L.

About a year after Stanford acquired their expensive disc, it had a massive malfunction that permanently destroyed half its memory capacity. Note, the large memory had five 4 foot magnetic discs (see photo). Stanford then sued Librascope, and collected $50,000. Soon after, Librascope reportedly discontinued production.

Finally in 1976, after nine years of (limited) use, Stanford's laboratory disconnected their memory from its laboratory computer, and received permission from their management to destroy it. The controller portion was given to Utah State University. Some parts of the memory were sold for scrap, and one or more of the disks were relegated to become oversize coffee tables. The remaining parts were auctioned off.

Click here to view a copy of the original January 28, 1977 Stanford memo describing the above history in more detail.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

#142) Librascope Service Awards Ceremony - 1996

Slide 1 - Opening Remarks
I recently came across several photographs that were taken at the 1996 Librascope Service Awards Ceremony. They are now published on YouTube as a short 76 second "slideshow video".

Awards given at the ceremony included Chelsea clocks and an unusual, but attractive, Benchmark indoor analog brass weather station made in Germany.

Note, for best viewing on YouTube, please elect to play the video "full screen" on your computer by clicking on the "Full screen" symbol located in the lower right hand corner of the YouTube screen.

Click here to go to YouTube and play the video. Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

#141) Looking for Librascope L107MA Disc Memory information

The other day I received the following request (edited) from Josh Dersch, who restores old computers as a hobby and as a full time job at the Living Computer Museum in Seattle (click here). This museum was co-founded by Paul Allen, owner of the Seattle Seahawks and co-founder of Microsoft.
PS: If you are reading this post in an e-mail, you can leave a comment beneath this post (#141) on the blog's website (click here).

Hello --
I recently picked up an L107MA Disc Memory unit, and I was curious if you had any technical information about it, or know anyone who might - the Librascope Memories site has brochures covering the basics, but I'd like to be able to spin it up and interface it to something, so I need something with a bit more substance to it :).

I picked up the L107MA off of eBay last week from a seller in Santa Cruz, CA. It was reasonably priced for something this cool, under $200. (The seller now has a second unit listed for $225 -- item 331955558119).

I restore old computers as a hobby, and as a full-time job at the Living Computer Museum in Seattle. I have a decent collection of DEC and Data General hardware from the '60s and '70s. I'm hoping to interface the L107MA to one of my vintage machines (but I'll probably start with a modern micro-controller to get a feel for how it works).

I have attached a photo of the unit I have. It's missing the cover, but is otherwise in excellent condition, and was shipped to me in what appears to be the original box/packing materials.

If no specs or manuals are available, what would be excellent to have would be what the interface to the drive looked like (recalling the pinouts from memory seems unlikely, but knowing if the interface is serial or parallel, how blocks were selected, etc. would be useful).

Thanks very much for the help, and the wonderful website! Feel free to post my question on the blog; hopefully, someone out there has some information.
- Josh

Saturday, August 27, 2016

#140) This is your invitation to the 2016 Librascope Reunion

To: All Libravets and Associates,
It’s that time again! Georgine has just finished making the necessary arrangements (and commitments) for the 2016 Librascope Reunion in Glendale, CA. She has signed the contract, made a cash deposit, and negotiated a great deal for us this year. A minimum number of 50 attendees has been guaranteed, and a room with a capacity of 80 was reserved. In addition, a terrific buffet luncheon has been arranged. All this for 38% less than two years ago!

Now, we must respond to Georgine ASAP, so she can give the restaurant a better estimate of the attending headcount. All the payment and reservation details are given below. Note, for your convenience, Georgine will accept preliminary reservations.
See you there,

     You are invited to a Librascope Employee Reunion

A time to greet and enjoy your Librascope friends and colleagues.

View Librascope memorabilia and share unique retirement hobbies**

Saturday, November 5, 2016
11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


Acapulco Mexican Restaurant
722 N Pacific Ave, Glendale CA 91203
(818) 246-8175‎

Directions: (click here)

Grande Fajita Buffet Luncheon - $26.00 per person

Coffee and No Host Bar at 11:00 a.m.; Lunch at 12:45 p.m.

Please RSVP to Georgine Archer by October 28, 2016:

By E-mail: By phone:  (818) 848-5664

With confirmation by check payable to and sent to:

Georgine Archer
509 East Andover Drive
Burbank, CA  91504

No refunds after October 28, 2016.


Please help us spread the word to all former Librascope employees and their guests. 

Former associates of Librascope are, of course, welcome too.

Enjoy almost 300 scanned Librazettes from 1940 to 1999, and many other Librascope documents at 

**To share your unique or interesting hobby at the reunion, please contact Georgine Archer.