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.