Thursday, December 31, 2015

#130) Some New Additions to the Librascope Memories Website

First of all, Happy New Year to everyone! Seems like 2015 flew by.

Today, some new photos and a YouTube video were added to the ever growing Librascope Memories website. Their captions are listed below under the section in which they appear.

Photo Album - Advertisements (56) (click here)

  • LGP-30 - 1959c
Photo Album - Products (47) (click here)

  • LGP-30 Triple Flip Flop Board
  • L-2010 - c1961
  • Trackball Product Line
Photo Album - Places (22) (click here)

  • Librascope Singer Instrumentation - Marina Del Rey
  • Librascope Singer Instrumentation - Marina Del Rey (Full)
  • For a short story about Singer Instrumentation, click here.
Photo Album - People (56) (click here)

  • Carl Sorensen and Don Barton (rear) with their wives at the 1960 Librascope Christmas Party.
Librascope Videos (9) (click here)

  • #9) Librascope LGP-30 Computer History - Vintage Vacuum Tube Circuit Boards (click here).
Again, Happy New Year!


Sunday, November 1, 2015

#129) Short Librascope LGP-30 Video Posted on YouTube

Mark Greenia, founder of the Computer History Archive Project (a not-for-profit research activity), recently posted a new video on the history of the LGP-30 and its recently discovered vintage vacuum tube circuit boards. Note, the video graciously gives partial credit to the Librascope Memories website.

Click here to see the 5 minute video.

Mr. Greenia, an active computer historian, has collected and generously donated many significant vintage computer items to various institutions. He has also published many other historical computer videos on YouTube, and in the early 2000's he authored a multimedia collection and a book on the history of computing.

The multimedia History of Computing collection, with full text and videos, is now online for viewing (click here). Regrettably, due to licensing problems at the time, Librascope’s contributions were not included, and it is not possible to add them now.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

#128) Jim Avera, Librascope Photo Lab, Passes.

Today, I received the following e-mail message from Georgine Archer:

"I received a phone call yesterday, September 15, 2015 from Jan Tempesta Sandiford. Jan said that Jim Avera’s grandson informed her that Jim passed away this morning in Tennessee. She said that Jim had gone to Tennessee for an annual family reunion. Because he had not been feeling well, his grandson drove him to the reunion. The day before, they spent visiting all the places he remembered from his youth. Jan said that Jim will remain in Tennessee because that is where he wanted to be buried.
Jim worked in the Librascope Photo Lab from 1959 to 1984+. He attended every Librascope reunion from 2000 to 2014."

Friday, August 21, 2015

#127) Chris Pearson says "Hello"

Chris Pearson, Librascope Marketing, recently reported that his e-mail address had changed, and asked me to give his best to all the Libravets that may remember him. Chris remarried in 2004 and now has four more children, ages 3 to 9 years, in addition to his 33 year old son. He included a recent snapshot of himself and his two youngest children.

Chris is still working, and is currently the Capture Director for Alima LLC, an Alaska Native Company. He is still in the defense business, but is doing mostly services instead of hardware nowadays. Offices are in Herndon, VA near Dulles Airport. Chris expects to continue working for as long as he can.

Note to all Libravets: If you would like to let other Libravets know what you have been doing, send me a short write-up with a current photo, and (time permitting) I'll post it here for you.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

#126} Thomas C. Mulholand Recently Passed.

To All LM - NB Readers,
Recently, I e-Mailed Tom Mulholand to ask if he could help us with Blog Post #124 regarding Librascope's disc memory history. Then, yesterday, I received the following e-mail from Steve, Tom's son-in-law, informing me of his passing last December. Tom was 87.

My name is Steve Goodkin and I am Tom's son-in-law. I am sorry to have to tell you that Tom passed away in Las Vegas on December 15th. His wife, Corky, has moved up to Oregon to be near her daughter, Linda.

A search of all our on-line Librazettes found Tom mentioned in several issues. A brief summary follows.
  • May, 1972 - Elected “Trip Chairman” of the Librascope Ski Club.
  • July, 1974 - Blood Donor List.
  • November, 1975 - Appointed Program Manager of Computer Products. Formerly a Senior Quality Control Engineer at Librascope, Tom came to Librascope five years ago (1970) from Ocean Technology where he was QA Manager. He received a BSEE from the American Television Institute of Technology in Chicago.
  • November, 1976 - Ski Club President.
  • July, 1977 - Re-elected Ski Club President.
  • March, 1979 - Ski Club Treasurer;
  • April, 1980 - 10 Year Libravet Award.
  • March and July, 1990 - 20 Year Libravet Award (Operations).

Saturday, July 11, 2015

#125) L-2010 Included In New Small Computer History Book

In February, I received a request for information about the Librascope L-2010 Portable General Purpose Digital Computer from Evan Koblentz, a computer historian and technology journalist based at the InfoAge Science Center, in New Jersey. Evan was writing a book about the history of "portable" computing and needed more information about the L-2010, a 1962 desktop computer with one of the first flying head disc memories.  He first learned of the L-2010 on our Librascope Memories website.

Key members of the L-2010 development team, including Roy Bartlome, Grey Stone, and Marty Rudolf all kindly provided Evan with the "behind the scenes" information he needed for his new book. The illustrated 100 page book is titled "Abacus to smartphone: The evolution of mobile computers", and is available on both his website (click here), and Amazon. The print version is $19.99, and an electronic (PDF) version is $8.00.

This unique history book includes a good variety of innovative computer companies and their products that older engineers will remember, plus a few they probably never heard of. Most will conclude the book provides a good balance between completeness and brevity, which makes it an interesting fast read.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

#124) Your Help Requested - Librascope Disc Memory History?

Nearly 60 years ago, Librascope and IBM were pioneers in the development of rotating disc memories that eventually led to the ubiquitous Terabyte disc memories used in personal computers today. Unfortunately, Librascope's contributions were not well documented, and we need your help. If you, or someone you know of, is familiar with Librascope's rotating disk memory development history during the late 1950's and early 1960's, please read on.

Last month I received an inquiry about Librascope's early rotating disc memories from Tom Gardner, a consultant associated with the Computer History Museum in the San Francisco Bay area. He also maintains a detailed website (click here) where, amongst other things, he documents the timeline for the history of disc memory development since 1956. However, Librascope's important contributions are not yet included, and Tom wishes to correct that.

From 1956 to 1967, the timeline only mentions IBM's contributions. However, from early 1960's advertisements in the trade magazines, we know that Librascope, along with IBM, was one of the first disc memory pioneers. Several of these early ('50's and '60's) advertisements are published on the Librascope Memories website. Click here and scroll through the various ads, and you will find many of them.

Tom has several specific questions, but he is especially interested in the Librascope L100 and L200 Disc Memory Series, which was advertised in the July, 1963 issue of Datamation. He also believes that a minor variation of this series was used in the ill-fated Librascope L-2010 Portable General-Purpose Digital Computer in 1962. If you, or someone you know of, can possibly help Tom, please contact him at: , and please copy me at:

Sunday, June 14, 2015

#123) Nearly 100 2014 Reunion Photos Published on LM!

As planned, the 2014 Librascope Reunion was held last November at the Angeles National Golf Club in Sunland, CA. Approximately 75 Libravets and their guests attended. During the event, many (98) photographs were taken, including Georgine's customary table photos and many more candid photos. Special thanks to my wife, Gloria Sorensen, for volunteering to take most of the candid photos.

As with past Reunions, the name of each attendee appearing in the above photos has been added to each photo's caption. All 98 photos, have now been published on the Librascope Memories web-site. To view all of them:

Click here for all the 2014 Table Photos , and

Click here for the 88 Candid Photos

Other updates to the Librascope Memories website this time include:

1) Two Sea Stories contributed by Ray Hand were added to Section III (last two items) on the History page. Click here.

2) A 1960’s Christmas party photo (the second photo) has been added to the People Album. Click here.

3) Finally, the FAQ’s page was updated. Click here.

4) And of course, as always, the Librascope Memories (LM) Blog page was updated to include this 50th update. Click here. Note, this LM Blog is not to be confused with the LM - News Blog you are reading now.

Friday, June 5, 2015

#122) Tom Charbonneau Passed Away

To All Readers,
Sadly, I received the following e-mail from Georgine Archer this morning:

To the Libravets who may remember Tom,

Tom Charbonneau passed away Tuesday, May 19 after a couple of days in the hospital. He had been diagnosed with an inoperable cancer about 8 months ago and prior to his passing had enjoyed good times with his family and friends.

There will be a remembrance gathering for him on June 6 for his family and close friends. My husband, Bob has been a close friend of Tom’s since their days at UCLA.

I will be attending the remembrance gathering. If you have any memories of Tom that you would like to share with his family, please send it by Reply email.

I prepared the attached document using information published in the Librazettes.

Please forward this message to anyone not on the distribution for this message who may have worked with Tom.




Tom started at Librascope in 1975.  In 1995 he, along with other 20+ service award celebrants, happily received his 20 year Service Award at the Cinnabar, a local Glendale restaurant. See Blog Post #77.

Georgine Archer prepared the following by searching the 300+ Librazettes online:

"Librazette News Clippings for Tom Charbonneau"

July 1980 - TOM CHARBONNEAU – PROMOTION from Sr. Engineer to Staff Engineer

December 1980 – 5 Year Anniversary

July 1981 - TOM CHARBONNEAU – PROMOTION from Staff Engineer to Supervisor-System Support & Evaluation;

June 1982 - Librascope Wins Competition For U.S. Army Contract

Librascope has been awarded a contract to carry out the Advanced Development phase for the U.S. Army's Communications Control System (CCS). The CCS is a highly intelligent front-end communications processor to be used with artillery tactical data systems.

Hank Pinczower, Director, Army Programs, notes that design of the CCS will permit its use with existing and planned Army communications system beyond the year 2000.

Administered by the U.S. Army Electronics Command, Ft. Monmouth, New Jersey, the initial contract is for $3.5 million and covers the delivery of six test type CCS's over a contract span of 20 months.

The CCS's will be delivered to Ft. Sill, Oklahoma for incorporation into the realistic user environment of the TACFIRE Artillery Test Bed. Human engineering factors will be an important consideration in all phases of the tests.

Tom Charbonneau will serve as Librascope's CCS project manager.

At the conclusion of the Advanced Development phase, the U.S. Army plans to enter Engineering Development and Final Engineering Design phases. Each phase will be under a separate contract.

July 1985 - Engineering Department Reorganization Creates New Supervisors and Assignments
Continued growth in the Engineering Department has resulted in organizational restructuring, as announced by Jerry Deitz, Engineering Vice President.
• New Supervisors in Systems Engineering Lawry Chapin, Manager):
Thomas Charbonneau, Systems Design (Army Programs)
John Good, Systems Design (CCS Programs)

November 1985 – 10 Year Anniversary

April 1990 – 

October 1990 – 15 Year Anniversary

October 1995 -- 20 Year Anniversary (see photo above) 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

#121) Twenty-three (23) attend recent "Has Beens" luncheon

After over a years hiatus, twenty-three (23) Libravet Has-Beens and a couple spouses gathered March 31st for lunch at the Hill Street Cafe in Burbank. As always, it was a great opportunity for Libravets to discuss old-times, current events, and personal stories.

Those attending, top to bottom and left to right, were:

Photo #1) Ray and Sharon Hand, Gloria and Carl Sorensen, and Don Barton.
Photo #2) Georgine Archer,  Ed Niekamp, and Paul Bazan.
Photo #3) A. J. Pankratz, Roy Bartlome, Earl Valdez, Bill Tilden, and Ralph Simon.
Photo #4} Gus Montes, Paul Bodeau, Steve Shepard, and Harvey Geminder.
Photo #5) Bill Chin, Jim Jaeger, and Chuck Gooley.
Photo #6) Emery Fekety, Dan Sibley, and Don Tubbs.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

#120) Next "Has Beens" Luncheon - Tuesday March 31st

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

Mark your calendar! I have arranged for our next Has Beens' luncheon to be held on Tuesday, March 31, 2015 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 $16 per person including a soft beverage and tip. 


PLEASE RSVP to by Sunday, March 29th. 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 #94, 91, 78, 51, 50, 28, and 25.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

#119) 1999, 2000, and 2002 Reunion Photos Published (finally)

Last month, Videos #6, #7, and #8 were published on the Librascope Memories website (click here), and today we are adding three photo albums for the 1999, 2000, and 2002 Librascope Reunions (click here). 

The 1999 Reunion, attended by over 300 Libravets, was Librascope's first reunion. It was held at the Pickwick Gardens in Burbank, and was hugely successful. Ernie Pool, who lived in Arizona, was one of the original organizers.

A total of 98 photos taken at these three reunions were added to the Librascope Memories website. The website now includes photo albums for eight of the past nine reunions, and the total number of reunion photos is now 347. Numerous photos from the ninth (2014) reunion will soon be added to this number.

Also, we made significant improvements to some of the previously published reunion photo albums. The people appearing in every reunion album are now identified by their name in the caption below each photo. In the past, for certain albums, it was necessary to refer to a nearby lookup table. However, you'll note that some of the names are missing, especially for the 1999 Reunion. If you can help identify any of these unknown Libravets please let us know.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

#118) Three "New" Librascope Videos Are Now On YouTube

Following are three new Librascope videos that I recently posted on YouTube. The first two were filmed in 1997, but have never been published before. The first video is of a very humorous roast of Sam Ward, who served as Librascope President shortly after Lockheed Martin acquired Librascope. The second video is a film of my "surprise" retirement luncheon. I wasn't roasted, but the speakers were very entertaining. The third film is a video slideshow of the Libravets who were honored for their 15+ years of service during the 1980's. The Libravet's photos were copied from the 1980's Librazettes. Finally, I have included a previously published German video of the LGP-30 in operation.

To view these four videos, simply click on the links provided below. Your Comments are welcome.

Sam Ward's Librascope Farewell Ceremony Roast - 1997

Carl Sorensen hosts a "roast" of Sam Ward, Librascope President and Carl's boss, in recognition of Sam's departure for an opportunity with SAIC in San Diego. Speakers (in order) were Carl Sorensen, Tom Taggart (Manassas, VA), Randy Klebe, Steve Lebit, Tom Cuda, Steve Wallace, Sam Ward, and Bob Lang.

The ceremony ends with the presentation of some "special" gifts.

Retirement Ceremony for Carl Sorensen, a Libravet since 1958.

On September 15, 1997, a luncheon ceremony was held honoring Carl Sorensen's retirement from Librascope Division, Lockheed Martin. Speakers, in order of appearance, were Craig Gifford (Librascope President), Tom Cuda (Engineering), Ed Arnold (Business Development), Jim Brantley (Union), Ray Hand (Information Systems), Steve Lebit (HR Benefits), and Carl Sorensen (Operations and Resource Management).

Libravets Honored During the 1980’s

A Video Slideshow of the Libravets Who Were Honored For Their Years of Librascope Service During the 1980’s.

Note, if you see an advertisement near the bottom of the screen, you can remove it by simply clicking on the X in the upper right hand corner of the ad. The copyrighted background music required this advertisement.

Warming Up The LGP-30

The LGP 30 is a computer made of valves, diodes and a drum memory. This machine is from 1958. It is located at the museum of the computer science faculty of the University of Stuttgart, Germany. The computer is in a fully functional state.

In this clip, the machine is shown starting up and doing some work, just to get a feeling for what that kind of machine looked and felt like.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

#117) 2014 - A Year In Review

Happy New Year to All,

2014 was a busy and eventful year, culminating with the Librascope Reunion in November. About 80 people attended, and a good time was had by all. Several photos were taken which will soon be published on the Librascope Memories website. Note, photos from the 1999, 2000, and 2002 Reunions are also in process, along with a couple "new" 1997 Librascope videos.

In April, the Librascope Memories website marked its 5 year anniversary, and two books of significant interest to Libravets were reviewed during the year. See Posts #102, 108, and 109 below.

Sadly, 2014 also marked the passing of four senior members of the Librascope management staff. Chuck Steele left us in April, followed by Jerry Deitz in July, Walt Picker in October, and Hank Pinczower in November. Stan Williams' and Jim Conway's passings were also reported on.

If you missed any 2014 news items, links to all the news blog postings are listed below.

Stay tuned during 2015,

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