Farnsworth ITT history - a bit more

Current images of fusor efforts, components, etc. Try to continuously update from your name, a current photo using edit function. Title post with your name once only. Change image and text as needed. See first posting for details.
Post Reply
User avatar
Richard Hull
Site Admin
Posts: 10899
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2001 1:44 pm
Real name: Richard Hull

Farnsworth ITT history - a bit more

Post by Richard Hull » Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:17 pm

Thanks to the recent efforts of Leland Palmer in opening up some of the documents related to the fusor effort, I will endeavor to push out a few photos and memories.

I have visited Fort Wayne twice for the sole purpose of interviewing every living entity involved in the Fusor effort at ITT during the 50's and 60's.
I think Paul was there twice also. The last time, (2001), he and I met and re-interviewed Steve Blaising and Gene Meeks. Paul has had far more dealings in Fort Wayne with the Farnworth family, mainly due to his book related to Farnsworth's television effort.

Due to my visits and phone calls to the team members over 6 years, they have gifted me many of there personal photographs and documents of that time when ITT funded the fusor effort in Fort Wayne. many are original polaroids taken with the groups 4X5 Speed graphic.

I will endeavor to to push a few photos in front of you now. (click on the photo to enlarge.)

The first image is a picture of Myself and Gene and Fred on my first visit in 1999 at the Pontiac street plant. Note the arrows and paper work on the doors the arrows directed all people to the guard shack at the gate. The building was for sale or lease and phone numbers were given on who to contact for a tour. As noted in an earlier posting we got in, unattended via subtrafuge.

Gene is seen in a picture by Paul having taken apart an old cave fusor that was in the possession of Kent Farnsworth. Note the beers. Gene had to have beer if you wanted information.

In a private Bain image, we seen the engineering team. Eadie Heaston was an assembler of smaller components in vacuum systems and was on loan as needed to assist the Farnsworth effort. We see Freddie Haak at the tube spot welder doing some fine work welding.

The last two photos are captioned and were taken on my last visit to Fort Wayne. A tremendous amount of information was given to Paul and Myself along with images and documents from Steve. Steve would keep in touch via snail mail sending me a number of his photos. Recent attempt to contact Steve failed as the number was no longer in service and I fear the last member of the team outside of Bob Hirsch is no longer with us. Steve never went on line or social media.

Richard Hull
Attachments
Pontiac Street 1999.lbl.jpg
Genes Beer.jpg
Eadie Heaston.lbl.jpg
2001 visit paul coffee.jpg
2001 visit Hull and Meeks.jpg
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
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

Leland Palmer
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2014 6:40 pm
Real name: Leland Palmer

Re: Farnsworth ITT history - a bit more

Post by Leland Palmer » Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:51 pm

Oh, thank you, Richard.

About the transparent ion gun components incident:

There are transparent alumina ceramics. Could opaque alumina insulation parts turn transparent when exposed to heat and radiation?

It sounds like you are talking about something more weird than that, to spook experienced people like Meeks and Hirsch.

I'll just have to wait for your book to find our more about the transparent ion gun incident. When you publish, I'll be one of your first customers.

Leland Palmer
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2014 6:40 pm
Real name: Leland Palmer

Re: Farnsworth ITT history - a bit more

Post by Leland Palmer » Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:08 pm

Microwave sintering of transparent alumina:

https://www.mri.psu.edu/sites/default/f ... ch/068.pdf

User avatar
Richard Hull
Site Admin
Posts: 10899
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2001 1:44 pm
Real name: Richard Hull

Re: Farnsworth ITT history - a bit more

Post by Richard Hull » Sat Aug 11, 2018 6:34 am

All metal, insulators, etc..... The entire guns became transparent, only the red ion beams inside were seen. They did not stay transparent when turned off. Happened on only two single occasions in the 6 years they used multiple guns. Totally non-repeatable.

Richard Hull
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
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

Post Reply