Discussion:
Remembering Al Bagley
(too old to reply)
Tom Van Baak
2018-07-17 06:32:53 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Some of you met, worked for, or at least know of Al Bagley. He was one of the early guys at hp and very involved with time & frequency.

(1) Here is recent news via https://www.seti.org/remembering-al-bagley
"
Al Bagley, one of the transformational engineers in Hewlett-Packard's early days and a long-time member of the SETI Institute's Board of Trustees, passed away on 24 June at the age of 94.

At the SETI Institute, Bagley was known as a generally taciturn and occasionally flinty board member with a deep background in technical innovation and management. A graduate of Caltech and Stanford, Al had decades of experience solving problems in the pressure cooker world of high-tech - experience that prompted insightful comments on the development of equipment for the Allen Telescope Array, an instrument that was being planned and constructed during his Board tenure.

Al (known to colleagues as "Bags") was one of the handful of HP pioneers who established the company's impressive reputation for solidly-built measuring equipment during its first few decades, eventually heading up what became known as the Frequency and Time Division. The cesium atomic clock developed under Bagley's leadership became the forerunner to equipment that proved the tenets of Special Relativity and also made applications such as GPS feasible. Without doubt, Al was part of the team that ushered in Hewlett-Packard's Golden Age.

Bagley's presence on the SETI Institute's Board was part of a small parade of H-P luminaries who guided the research organization in its formative years. Al was an exceptional talent and singular personality - one that all who knew him will miss.
"
-----

(2) Here are some hp journal articles by Al Bagley that I remember:

"The High-Speed Frequency Counter - A New Solution to Old Problems", 1951
http://www.hpl.hp.com/hpjournal/pdfs/IssuePDFs/1951-01.pdf

"A New Performance of the "Flying Clock" Experiment", 1964
http://www.hpl.hp.com/hpjournal/pdfs/IssuePDFs/1964-07.pdf

----

(3) Here's a very recent, detailed, delightful article that any hp test equipment user or time nut should read:

"MY LONG AND SATISFYING CAREER AT HEWLETT-PACKARD", by Alan Bagley, 2014
http://hpmemoryproject.org/timeline/alan_bagley/career_00.htm

which is summarized here:

"Our Finest Hour," the Cesium Atomic Clock, circa 1964
http://hpmemoryproject.org/news/flying_clock/celebration_01.htm

In his HP Memoir chapter titled "Our Finest Hour," the Cesium Atomic Clock, circa 1964, Alan Bagley, manager of the HP Time-Frequency Division during more than 25 years, recalls:

"That's a takeoff on the Winston Churchill WWII pronouncement, but the technology which led HP to dominate the world of time keeping was based on our best product to that time, literally our finest and most accurate hour. By using the atomic resonance of the element Cesium, we created a time standard based on atomic physics, and not the resonance of a quartz crystal. This product was also in line with our stated product and business strategy of providing extremely precise RF signals.

Using this standard "Atomic Clock," our promotional department created a well-publicized world tour, which was dubbed the "Flying Clock." The chair-sized instrument usually occupied a first class airline seat, with standby power supplied from the baby bottle warmer outlet in the galley. The idea was to visit global standards labs including our U.S. National Standard at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C. Then further comparisons were made at Swiss Observatory in Neuchatel. The clock was designed to maintain accuracy for 3000 years within only one second of error, a truly remarkable leap ahead for time keeping. Just in time for the Apollo Moon mission which required precise timing to carry out the critical navigation and communications.

The HP line of Cesium standards came to completely dominate the standards world, with most large and aerospace companies buying their own resident standard. And for decades, as the communications technology moved to digital formats, the transmitters and receivers were required to be synchronized to a very precise scale. This has become even more critical as the technology moved to fiber optics which exploit data rates in the 10 giga-bit region and higher."

----

(4) See also:

"In 1964, Cutler and his colleague Al Bagley succeeded, inventing the HP5060A Cesium Beam Clock"
http://lemelson.mit.edu/resources/leonard-s-cutler

"A Modern Solid-State Portable Cesium Beam Frequency Standard", 1964
https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/1536488/

"Hydrogen Maser and Cesium Beam Tube Frequency Standards Comparison", 1965
https://aip.scitation.org/doi/10.1063/1.1728235

Comments by David Packard about Al Bagley, 1981
http://www.hpl.hp.com/hpjournal/pdfs/IssuePDFs/1981-06.pdf

"A Conversation with GPS and Technology Pioneer Charlie Trimble", 2016
http://www.xyht.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/CharlieTrimbleOnline.pdf

"Time flies ... especially at Hewlett-Packard", 1964
http://hparchive.com/measure_magazine/HP-Measure-1964-07.pdf

Cover photos like that and stories of traveling clocks played a role in the creation of the time-nuts list as well as Project GREAT.

/tvb


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Jeremy Nichols
2018-07-17 14:07:31 UTC
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Raw Message
I am sorry to read of the death of Al Bagley, for whom I worked at HP in
the 1970s, my first job after finishing school, at the Santa Clara plant,
Division 02, the old Frequency and Time Division. Those were good times,
when we were young and could do anything. Thanks, Tom, for providing this
history lesson.

Jeremy Nichols
Santa Rosa, Cal.
Post by Tom Van Baak
Some of you met, worked for, or at least know of Al Bagley. He was one of
the early guys at hp and very involved with time & frequency.
(1) Here is recent news via https://www.seti.org/remembering-al-bagley
"
Al Bagley, one of the transformational engineers in Hewlett-Packard's
early days and a long-time member of the SETI Institute's Board of
Trustees, passed away on 24 June at the age of 94.
At the SETI Institute, Bagley was known as a generally taciturn and
occasionally flinty board member with a deep background in technical
innovation and management. A graduate of Caltech and Stanford, Al had
decades of experience solving problems in the pressure cooker world of
high-tech - experience that prompted insightful comments on the development
of equipment for the Allen Telescope Array, an instrument that was being
planned and constructed during his Board tenure.
Al (known to colleagues as "Bags") was one of the handful of HP pioneers
who established the company's impressive reputation for solidly-built
measuring equipment during its first few decades, eventually heading up
what became known as the Frequency and Time Division. The cesium atomic
clock developed under Bagley's leadership became the forerunner to
equipment that proved the tenets of Special Relativity and also made
applications such as GPS feasible. Without doubt, Al was part of the team
that ushered in Hewlett-Packard's Golden Age.
Bagley's presence on the SETI Institute's Board was part of a small parade
of H-P luminaries who guided the research organization in its formative
years. Al was an exceptional talent and singular personality - one that
all who knew him will miss.
"
-----
"The High-Speed Frequency Counter - A New Solution to Old Problems", 1951
http://www.hpl.hp.com/hpjournal/pdfs/IssuePDFs/1951-01.pdf
"A New Performance of the "Flying Clock" Experiment", 1964
http://www.hpl.hp.com/hpjournal/pdfs/IssuePDFs/1964-07.pdf
----
(3) Here's a very recent, detailed, delightful article that any hp test
"MY LONG AND SATISFYING CAREER AT HEWLETT-PACKARD", by Alan Bagley, 2014
http://hpmemoryproject.org/timeline/alan_bagley/career_00.htm
"Our Finest Hour," the Cesium Atomic Clock, circa 1964
http://hpmemoryproject.org/news/flying_clock/celebration_01.htm
In his HP Memoir chapter titled "Our Finest Hour," the Cesium Atomic
Clock, circa 1964, Alan Bagley, manager of the HP Time-Frequency Division
"That's a takeoff on the Winston Churchill WWII pronouncement, but the
technology which led HP to dominate the world of time keeping was based on
our best product to that time, literally our finest and most accurate hour.
By using the atomic resonance of the element Cesium, we created a time
standard based on atomic physics, and not the resonance of a quartz
crystal. This product was also in line with our stated product and business
strategy of providing extremely precise RF signals.
Using this standard "Atomic Clock," our promotional department created a
well-publicized world tour, which was dubbed the "Flying Clock." The
chair-sized instrument usually occupied a first class airline seat, with
standby power supplied from the baby bottle warmer outlet in the galley.
The idea was to visit global standards labs including our U.S. National
Standard at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C. Then further
comparisons were made at Swiss Observatory in Neuchatel. The clock was
designed to maintain accuracy for 3000 years within only one second of
error, a truly remarkable leap ahead for time keeping. Just in time for the
Apollo Moon mission which required precise timing to carry out the critical
navigation and communications.
The HP line of Cesium standards came to completely dominate the standards
world, with most large and aerospace companies buying their own resident
standard. And for decades, as the communications technology moved to
digital formats, the transmitters and receivers were required to be
synchronized to a very precise scale. This has become even more critical as
the technology moved to fiber optics which exploit data rates in the 10
giga-bit region and higher."
----
"In 1964, Cutler and his colleague Al Bagley succeeded, inventing the
HP5060A Cesium Beam Clock"
http://lemelson.mit.edu/resources/leonard-s-cutler
"A Modern Solid-State Portable Cesium Beam Frequency Standard", 1964
https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/1536488/
"Hydrogen Maser and Cesium Beam Tube Frequency Standards Comparison", 1965
https://aip.scitation.org/doi/10.1063/1.1728235
Comments by David Packard about Al Bagley, 1981
http://www.hpl.hp.com/hpjournal/pdfs/IssuePDFs/1981-06.pdf
"A Conversation with GPS and Technology Pioneer Charlie Trimble", 2016
http://www.xyht.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/CharlieTrimbleOnline.pdf
"Time flies ... especially at Hewlett-Packard", 1964
http://hparchive.com/measure_magazine/HP-Measure-1964-07.pdf
Cover photos like that and stories of traveling clocks played a role in
the creation of the time-nuts list as well as Project GREAT.
/tvb
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