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Joel 137

Joel 137



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Published by: j. jolly on Nov 11, 2008
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An Interview Conducted byWilliam AsprayIEEE History Center February 4
and February 18
, 1992Interview # 137For theIEEE History Center The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.andRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Copyright Statement
 This manuscript is being made available for research purposes only. All literary rights in themanuscript, including the right to publish, are reserved to the IEEE History Center. No part of the manuscript may be quoted for publication without the written permission of the Director of IEEE History Center.Request for permission to quote for publication should be addressed to the IEEE History Center Oral History Program, Rutgers - the State University, 39 Union Street, New Brunswick, NJ08901-8538 USA. It should include identification of the specific passages to be quoted,anticipated use of the passages, and identification of the user.It is recommended that this oral history be cited as follows:Amos Joel, Electrical Engineer, an oral history conducted in 1992 by William Aspray, IEEEHistory Center, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA.
Amos Joel
Interviewed By:
William Aspray
South Orange, New Jersey
February 4
and February 18
, 1992ASPRAY: This is the 4th of February 1992 in South Orange, New Jersey. An interview withAmos Joel. The interviewer is William Aspray. Let's begin by having you tell meabout your early life. First of all, when were you born?JOEL: I was born March 12, 1918.ASPRAY: In where?JOEL: In Philadelphia.ASPRAY: In Philadelphia. Mmmm hmmm. And where did you stand in the number of children in your family?JOEL: I'm an only child.ASPRAY: An only child. Mmmm hmmm.JOEL: An only child, so that was it. And I lived in Philadelphia for three years or so.My father worked out of Philadelphia. And we moved to Atlantic City after that.ASPRAY: What did your father do?JOEL: He was a traveling salesman. He sold wholesale menswear. And the company thathe worked for manufactured in Philadelphia. So he went on the road regularly.And it was just as easy for him, even the times when he was home, for him tocommute to Atlantic City from Philadelphia, so we moved to Atlantic City.ASPRAY: Did your mother work also?JOEL: No. She worked before she married, but not afterward.ASPRAY: And did your father keep that job during most of your...?
JOEL: He kept it up until 1929. He didn't lose it because of the Depression. But he madea job move at that time, which wasn't the best time to make it. But he made it in'29, and we moved to New York at that time, into the city.ASPRAY: All right. And what did he do then?JOEL: He worked for his uncle--my great-uncle--who was the president of a companycalled A. Solk, which is a haberdashery company. I don't know if you've ever heard of it.ASPRAY: I know the company.JOEL: You know the company? A. Solk is Amos Solk, so that's where the Amos comesfrom.ASPRAY: I see.JOEL: And so he went to work for his uncle and stayed on and became an executive vice president of Solk just before he retired. That's why we moved to New York.ASPRAY: I see. And tell me about your early life. What were your interests?JOEL: Well, that ties in with my professional career because, you know, I was alwaysinterested as far back as I can remember as a kid with things mechanical andelectrical. I used to really enjoy electric trains and erector sets and all kinds of stuff and crystal sets at that time. And in radio. And I played around with all thatsort of thing and always sort of curious as to how they all worked. And liked tocreate things.ASPRAY: Was this an interest of your parents?JOEL: No, they had no interest along this line at all.ASPRAY: Did they encourage or discourage you?2

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