Richard Hull's Attic

This section contains files, photos, and commentary by Philo or those who have worked with, known him, or are related to him.
User avatar
Richard Hull
Posts: 15018
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2001 9:44 am
Real name: Richard Hull

Re: Richard Hull's Attic

Post by Richard Hull »

A special side note on Fred "Freddy" Haak"

One of the great treasures of the ITT buy out of Farnsworth electronics in 1949 was the prized vacuum tube division. Within the tube division at Pontiac street was their phosphors lab! This is where their weird group of tubes were birthed. Phosphors were key to many military designs.

My visit in 1999 included lengthy interview time with Freddy Haak. He was a BS in chemistry specialized in phosphors. He was transferred to the Farnsworth team in late 1961 or early 62... He could not remember precisely.... He was transferred due to his knowledge of vacuum techniques and his phosphor knowledge. Freddy showed me many odd ball tubes that he was responsible for. Early computer phosphor scanned memory tubes, were his specialty. It is not known now, but only to me, that Freddy, Gene, and George, told me that in the many, over 20 bell jar type tubes created before the arrival of Bob Hirsch, and that almost every one and their test versions contained Fred Haak applied phosphors so that electron paths and ion paths might be followed or observed either on electrodes or the glass of the bell jar tubes.

By bell jar tubes, we make the distinction that it was a mix of bell jars, (very few), and special tube lab blown glass fusor tubes designed from Farnsworth's crude drawings supplied to Jim Hiney who produced precise design drawings for the tube lab to make up. According to Gene and Fred, bell jars were often used with phosphors to design the internals and then moved to blown glass tubes by the tube lab. None ever did fusion. All of these early tubes 1959-1963 are lost. They went through many such iterations, unseen and lost forever. According to George Bain, when Farnsworth was effectively fired, he saw a near dumpster full of old Fusor tubes as his office was cleared out. The older all metal versions were returned to stores for parts scrap out.

The all metal fusors were the doing of the arrival of Hirsch coupled with far more serious efforts to do fusion at a professional level with professional materials in ever expanding budgets.

In short Freddy showed me some tubes even he could not remember what they did!!
One of the hundreds of oddball tubes to come out of the Pontiac street tube division's phosphors lab.  This is a WWII "sniper scope" tube.
One of the hundreds of oddball tubes to come out of the Pontiac street tube division's phosphors lab. This is a WWII "sniper scope" tube.
sniper tube.jpg (17.51 KiB) Viewed 17298 times
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
The more complex the idea put forward by the poor amateur, the more likely it will never see embodiment
Post Reply

Return to “Philo T Farnsworth Archive”