Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Pete Hammar, February 3, 1999

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:00 - Discussion of recording law

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Partial Transcript: The grant proposal to the NSF, um, you know I had to do a protocol for interviewing because I was interviewing human subjects.

Segment Synopsis: Schmidt Horning and Hammar discuss laws regarding recording. They also discuss the human subjects protection protocol that was required for her dissertation.

Keywords: Ampex Electric Corporation; Ampex corporation; Archive; Dictaphone; Dictation machine; Foot pedal; Hammar, Peter; Law; Laws; Lewinsky, Monica; National Science Foundation (NSF); North Dakota; Proposals; Protocol for human subjects; Recording; Restriction; Tripp, Linda; Washington (D.C.)

Subjects: Ampex Corporation; Audio equipment industry; Dictaphone Corp.; Dictating machines.; Dictation (Office practice); History of science and technology; Law.; Lewinsky, Monica S. (Monica Samille), 1973-; Music; North Dakota.; Record labels.; Sound recording industry; Sound recording industry--History; Sound recordings; Sound--Recording and reproducing; Sound--Recording and reproducing--History; Tripp, Linda; Washington (D.C.)

GPS: Washington (D.C.)
Map Coordinates: 38.904722, -77.016389
00:03:46 - Sel-Sync (selective synchronization)

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Partial Transcript: Okay, so, uh, where were we?

Segment Synopsis: Peter Hammer discusses the controversy surrounding the invention of Sel-Sync (selective synchronization). He also talks about the important components of a tape recorder and talks about the development of multi-track recording.

Keywords: 3 track; 3-track; 7 channel; 7-channel; 8 track; 8-track; Akron (Ohio); Ampex; Ampex 200; Ampex Electric Corporation; Ampex corporation; Ampex model 200; Ampex model 300; Armed Forces; Brush; Brush Development Company; Case Western Reserve University; Center channel; Channel; Clark, Mark; Crosby, Bing (Artist); Data recording; Dissertation; Eight track; Eight-track; Electronics; Ford, Mary; Heads, multi-track; Instrumentation; Lamination; Lindsay, Harold; Magnetic recording; Mahwah (N.J.); Multi-tracking; National Broadcasting Company (Artist); Paul, Les; Playback head; Record head; Recorders, data; Recorders, tape; Recorders, tape (models): Ampex 300 monophonic; Recorders, tape (models): Ampex 8-track; Recorders, tape (models): Ampex Model 200; Recorders, tape (models): Brush BK-401 "Soundmirror"; Recorders, tape (models): Model BK-401 Soundmirror; Recorders, tape (models): Soundmirror; Recording; Recording, multi-track; Second World War; Sel-Sync; Sel-Sync (selective synchronization); Selective Synchronization; Seven channel; Seven-channel; Snyder, Ross; Stable transport; Standard Tape Laboratory; Stereo; Stereophonic; Tape recorder; Three track; Three-track; Trains; Transport; World War II; World War Two

Subjects: Akron (Ohio); Ampex Corporation; Audio equipment industry; Case Western Reserve University; Clark, Mark W., 1964-; Crosby, Bing, 1903-1977.; Ford, Mary; Ford, Mary, 1924-1977; History of science and technology; Mahwah (N.J.); Music; National Broadcasting Company.; Paul, Les.; Record labels.; Snyder, Ross; Snyder, Ross, 1931-; Sound recording industry; Sound recording industry--History; Sound recordings; Sound--Recording and reproducing; Sound--Recording and reproducing--History; Stereophonic sound systems.; Trains.; United States--Armed forces.; World War, 1939-1945

GPS: Akron (Ohio)
Map Coordinates: 41.073056, -81.517778
00:16:55 - Oral history

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Partial Transcript: On what? A paper on what?

Segment Synopsis: Schmidt Horning and Hammar discuss the challenges posed by obtaining information through oral interviews.

Keywords: Ampex Electric Corporation; Ampex Museum; Ancient Greece; Ancient Greek; Details; Edison, Thomas; Greeks; Historian; History; History of the Common Man; Interview; Multi-tracking; Oral history; Paul, Les; Tainter, Charles Sumner; Training; Transcription; Writers

Subjects: Ampex Corporation; Audio equipment industry; Edison, Thomas A. (Thomas Alva), 1847-1931.; History of science and technology; History.; Music; Oral history.; Paul, Les.; Record labels.; Sound recording industry; Sound recording industry--History; Sound recordings; Sound--Recording and reproducing; Sound--Recording and reproducing--History; Tainter, Charles Sumner, 1854-1940

00:23:51 - Jack Mullin

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Partial Transcript: Speaking of which, is Jack Mullin still around?

Segment Synopsis: Hammar discusses Jack Mullin, a founder of the Ampex Electric Corporation who originally brought the magnetic tape recorder to the U.S. from Germany after World War II.

Keywords: Ampex; Ampex Electric Corporation; Ampex Instrumentation Recorder; Audio machines; Berlin (Germany); Broadcasting; Bunker; Clark, Mark; Data recording; Engel, Friedrich; Equalization; F├╝hrerbunker; Germany; Heart; Hitler, Adolf; Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE); Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Press; Instrumentation; Kilohertz; Land line; Lindsay, Harold; Magnetophone; Microcassette; Microcassettes; Mullin, Jack; Multi-tracking; Naval rocket test site; Navy rocket test site; Paul, Les; Point Mugu (Calif.); Programs, tape delay; Recorders, chart; Recorders, pen strip chart; Recorders, strip chart; Recorders, tape; Recorders, tape (models): Ampex 300 monophonic; Recording, data; Rocket test sites; Single channel data recorder; Snyder, Ross; Tape machine; Telecommunication; Telecommunications equipment; Test sites, rocket; Video camera

Subjects: Ampex Corporation; Audio equipment industry; Berlin (Germany); Bunkers (Fortification); Clark, Mark W., 1964-; Clark, Mark W., 1965-; Germany.; Heart.; History of science and technology; Hitler, Adolf, 1889-1945.; Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.; Magnétophone; Music; Paul, Les; Point Mugu State Park (Calif.); Record labels.; Snyder, Ross; Sound recording industry; Sound recording industry--History; Sound recordings; Sound--Recording and reproducing; Sound--Recording and reproducing--History

GPS: Berlin (Germany)
Map Coordinates: 52.516667, 13.383333
00:30:30 - Data recorders

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Partial Transcript: You know, and the--and, part of the thing to remember again is people mix up technology, innovation, with product introduction.

Segment Synopsis: Hammar discusses the history of data recorders, which started as a tool for the armed forces and eventually developed to be used by companies such as Ampex Electric Corporation and the Walt Disney Company.

Keywords: Ampex Electric Corporation; Ampex Museum; Ballads, Irish; Cinema engineering; Cinerama; Fantasia (Motion picture); Floppy discs; Frein, John "Doc"; Macintosh computers; Mullin, Jack; Recorders, Ampex; Recorders, computer; Recorders, data; Recorders, tape (models): Ampex 500; Recorders, tape (models): Ampex 800; Schindler, Paul; Snyder, Ross; Walt Disney Company

Subjects: Ampex Corporation; Audio equipment industry; Cinerama; Fantasia (Motion picture); History of science and technology; Music; Record labels.; Schindler, Paul; Snyder, Ross; Sound recording industry; Sound recording industry--History; Sound recordings; Sound--Recording and reproducing; Sound--Recording and reproducing--History

00:36:59 - Alexander Poniatoff

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Partial Transcript: He was doing--before he did Ampex, he was doing this, was it like, radar something? Before he got involved with Mullin and Crosby.

Segment Synopsis: Hammar discusses Alexander Poniatoff, one of the founders of the Ampex Electric Corporation.

Keywords: Alexander M. Poniatoff Experimental; Ampex; Ampex Electric Corporation; Athee, Skip; Dalmo-Victor; Dalmo-Victor Westinghouse Company; Generators; Lindsay, Harold; Moseley, Tomlinson; Motors; Mullin, Jack; Pacific Gas and Electric Company; Palmer, Bill; Poniatoff, Alexander; Radar, airborne; Ranger, Richard; Russia; Second World War; Shanghai Power; Stanford University; Stoltenhoff, Myron; Terman, Frederick; World War 2; World War II

Subjects: Ampex Corporation; Audio equipment industry; Dalmo Victor Management Association; History of science and technology; Lindsay, Harold Arthur, 1900-1969; Music; Pacific Gas and Electric Company.; Palmer, Bill; Ranger, Richard H.; Record labels.; Russia.; Sound recording industry; Sound recording industry--History; Sound recordings; Sound--Recording and reproducing; Sound--Recording and reproducing--History; Stanford University.; Terman, Frederick Emmons, 1900-1982; World War, 1939-1945

00:40:49 - Ampex special product division

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Partial Transcript: You know, the, the, uh, the model three hundred instrumentation series--

Segment Synopsis: Hammar discusses the special product division of the Ampex Electric Corporation, which was headed by Ross Snyder.

Keywords: Ampex; Ampex Electric Corporation; Bubbers, John; Hammar, Peter; Inventions; Joel, Irv; Joel, Irving; Journal of the Audio Engineering Society; Magnetic Reference Laboratories; McKnight, Jay; McKnight, John; Paul, Les; Sales Representatives; Sarser, David; Snyder, Ross; Special Product Division; Special Products; Stanford University

Subjects: Ampex Corporation; Audio Engineering Society; Audio equipment industry; History of science and technology; McKnight, John; Music; Paul, Les.; Record labels.; Snyder, Ross; Sound recording industry; Sound recording industry--History; Sound recordings; Sound--Recording and reproducing; Sound--Recording and reproducing--History

00:45:34 - Schmidt Horning's career as a historian

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Partial Transcript: That's kind of, you know--

Segment Synopsis: Hammar and Schmidt Horning discuss her future as a history professor and the difficulty that she has encountered while writing 'Chasing Sound.'

Keywords: Ancient Rome; Bruno, Frank; Columbia Records; Columbia Records, Inc.; Disc cutter; DuMont Television Network; Hammar, Peter; Historian; History; Information gathering; Kalamazoo College; Live recording; Music; New Jersey; Professor; Professors, music; Recording lathes; Recording, live; Scott, Howard; Show business; Teaching; Television; Voice of Firestone

Subjects: Ampex Corporation; Audio equipment industry; Columbia Records, Inc.; History of science and technology; History.; Kalamazoo College; Music; Music.; New Jersey; Professor.; Record labels.; Scott, Howard; Sound recording industry; Sound recording industry--History; Sound recordings; Sound--Recording and reproducing; Sound--Recording and reproducing--History; Television

00:49:42 - Engineers and producers in the New York area

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Partial Transcript: Um, well, I will, I will try, try John McKnight. That sounds like a good person.

Segment Synopsis: Hammar talks about engineers and producers in the New York area who would assist in Schmidt Horning's project.

Keywords: Age; Ampex Electric Corporation; Belgium; Copy editing; Death threats; Johns Hopkins University; McKnight, John; Mix Magazine; New York (N.Y.); New York Metropolitan Area; Ohio Academy of History; Patterson, George; Recording studios; Schwartz, David; Shifrin, Art; Stone, Chris; Technology; The Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound; Threats, death

Subjects: Ampex Corporation; Audio equipment industry; Belgium.; Death threats; History of science and technology; Johns Hopkins University; McKnight, John.; Music; New York (N.Y.); Ohio Academy of History; Peterson, George, 1924-; Record labels.; Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound; Schwartz, David, 1935- Schwartz, David, 1940-; Sound recording industry; Sound recording industry--History; Sound recordings; Sound studios.; Sound--Recording and reproducing; Sound--Recording and reproducing--History; Stone, Chris; Technology

GPS: New York (N.Y.)
Map Coordinates: 40.7127, -74.0059