Saturday, December 17, 2011

#47) A Voice From The Past - George Leiby

A person named George Leiby recently subscribed to this News Blog, but since he wasn't on our master mailing list I wasn't sure he was a Libravet. That led to the following exchange of e-mails:

Hi George,

Thank you for subscribing to our Librascope Memories - News Blog. How did you hear about the Blog?

I didn't recognize your e-mail address, so I searched our on-line Librazettes, and found a G. J. Leiby on page 11 of the September, 1961 issue. Is that you? I was first at Librascope from 1958 to 1961, then I returned in 1986 and retired in 1997.

Hope to hear from you,


Hi Carl,
Nice for you to write me. The Librascope experience is one of my fondest memories.

I really don't know how I ended up at your site. I was doing some research on the Burroughs Atlas program and ended up on the Librascope site where Wes Stupar had sent you a note about the short book he has written. As Librascope made the plotters used in the Atlas program, maybe I was searching for something about them.

In any case, Wes hired me, probably in 1961 or so as a field engineer for the FAA program, for either in the Silicon Valley area or at NAFEC in New Jersey. I spent several months studying the drum memory system used on that program and I suppose became more or less an expert with Bryant drums and the drum logic and electronics. I think that Viv Ninninger was the person responsible that part of the system and think that I indirectly reported to him.

I went out to NAFEC in Jersey, only about 40 miles from where my folks lived. I stayed at home, collecting per diem for about six months and then got married to a local girl. When the FAA contract went belly up, Ninninger, I think, invited me to work in engineering on an interface he designed for the Air Force contract, 473L? At that time Viv had left Librascope and was partners in a company called Abacus, co-founded with I think Chuck Davies?? In any case I worked at Librascope for Paul Hickey and later Jim Conway, doing a redesign of the Disk File Interface and the debug of some logic designed by a consultant, John Francis, called a multicolor display interface?? and something else John did, maybe a multichannel interface, that unless this lazy guy looks at some old resumes, will have to be unidentified.

As the 473L design phase wound down, I became itchy for new challenges and headed off to Data Products, which is an altogether different story.

I may have a Librascope Engineering telephone listing or two for the 1960 through 1963 era if this information would be of interest.

Finally, I am trying to find out how to purchase the Stupar book. If you could direct me on this it would be appreciated. I suspect that Wes will have a great perspective on this time interval that we were so lucky to have in this silly computer business.
Hi George,
Thank you for responding. Your e-mail story is the kind of thing that other Libravets enjoy reading about. So, would you mind if I posted our first two e-mails (minus the address headers) on our Librascope Blog? As you noted, I did this for when Wes first contacted me. The latest e-mail address I have for Wes is still: I'm sure he would like to hear from you. If you don't hear back from him, try leaving a "Comment" beneath his post (#7).
Yes, I would certainly like to have any old Librascope Phone Books, Brochures, etc. that you may have. My collection is large, but will never be complete. By the way, there are quite a few documents from the 1960's era on our main web-site. It's at Look on the Librazettes+ page toward the bottom.
Thanks again George. Keep in touch.
Post whatever you like. Thanks for the Stupar address. As we will be leaving for a five week stay on Tybee Island, GA Sunday I probably won't have time to sort out what little Librascope stuff I have and send it to you. However, I will do it late in January when I return.

I appreciate you making the very big effort to keep Librascope memories alive. And yes, I know what a big time consuming time it can be.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

#46) In Memoriam - Carl Krohn

Carl and Ruby's 50th in 2007
Carl Robert Krohn passed away December 1, 2011 near his home in Boulder City, NV. He was 83 and worked at Librascope from 1956 until 1991 when he retired as Vice President of Quality and Product Support. Carl's family has published a very thoughtful obituary with several of his photos, which you may view by clicking here.

Last year, Carl attended the 2010 Libravet Reunion in Burbank, CA. In recognition of his long service at Librascope, Ray Hand and Georgine Archer searched the 300+ Librazettes that are on-line at, and put together an interesting collage of clippings which you may view by clicking here.