Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Archives Center Home  |  Collections Index

 

EDMUND A. LAPORT COLLECTION, 
ca. 1920-1950 
#16

(.66 cu. ft.: 2 DB)

by Robert S. Harding, 1983

Biography

Six months after graduation from Concord, New Hampshire High School in 1920, Edmund A. LaPort obtained a commercial first grade radio operator's license from the Department of Commerce in Chicago. The Autumn of 1921 found him as a radio operator at KDKF in New York City. However, due to lack of funds this station closed shortly after he arrived. In December of 1921, he moved to the New York Service Department of Westinghouse installing radio receivers.

On January 2, 1923 he joined General Electric and was made laboratory assistant to I.F. Byrnes, who was in charge of low-power transmitter design. However, LaPort decided he wanted to be a forest ranger and left in July of 1923 and headed back to the woods of New Hampshire. In early 1924 LaPort began working in Montana as a forest ranger. Within a very short time, however, he realized that he was more interested in radio. Before the year was out, he returned to Westinghouse where he worked largely on high power transmitters until the Spring of 1933. On one assignment he traveled to Peking, China where he helped build three short-wave broadcasting stations.

The depression proved difficult for fledgling radio companies with many going out of business shortly after opening up. LaPort worked for one of these unfortunate firms before settling in at Wired Radio, Inc. in Newark, New Jersey. Here he gained invaluable experience helping to develop equipment for commercial program transmission over power distribution systems.

In May of 1936 he joined RCA in Camden, New Jersey where he headed up the formation of their first high-power transmitter operation. He stayed with RCA until he retired in 1967. In December of 1938 he moved to Montreal where he helped RCA Victor Co., Ltd. start the development and manufacture of military and professional equipment. He organized engineering and manufacturing facilities and trained personnel. He also took a role in leading the company in developing aviaton navigational equipment.

In July, 1944 he returned to the United States to become chief engineer of the newly formed RCA International Division. Over the next ten years he traveled widely, undertaking many important field construction projects, and consulted with other governments in communications, broadcasting, aviation, and marine matters.

Edmund A. LaPort was a director of broadcast engineering for the Radio Corporation of America. From 1954 until 1967 he worked with others in a corporate level engineering consulting group to coordinate work in the many RCA plants in all aspects of communications. He authored, Radio Antenna Engineering, which was published by McGraw-Hill in 1952.

Scope and Content

This collection, assembled by LaPort, consists of about 300 photo prints of antennas and broadcast installations. Mr. LaPort's original order for these photo prints has been maintained. His extensive captions for these photo prints can be found in the individual folders. A Second series contains three articles by LaPort on aspects of radio and an autobiographical essay.

Provenance

Transferred from the Division of Electricity 4/13/83

Container List

Box Folder

SERIES 1: PHOTOGRAPHS, 1923-1947

1 1 U.S. Navy Type MB Spotting Set, 1925
  2 (2) 500 Watt & (1) 1000 Watt transmitters for installation in China, 1928
  3 TV, TW, TX Radio Telegraph Transmitters, 1925-27
  4 RE, RF, RG Radio Receivers, 1925
  5 Miscellaneous Radio & Audio Equipment
  6 RCA Type 50-A, May-June, 1927
  7 RCA 50KW HF & AM Type 50F, 1940's
  8 Cone-of-Silence Transmitter and Antenna, 1940-1942.
  9 RCAF-AT 3 Transmitter, 1939
  10 RCA CW-1, 4 gc Microwave Relay, 1947
  11 U.S. Navey Model TZ Transmitter, 1926
  12 RCA 50-B 50 KW Broadcast Transmitter, 1929
  13 Westinghouse Plant, Home Receiver Production, 1926
  14 Westinghouse Automatic HF Telephone System for Carrier-Current Communication Over Utility Power Lines, 1925
  15 RCA 100 KW AM Broadcast Transmitter Type 100 D for Norway, 1937
  16 RCA TE-260A Telegraph Transmitter and TE-343 20-30 KW Transmitter, 1942-1943
  17 RCA 75-MC Transportable Cone-of-Silence Transmitter, 1940-1942
  18 RCA 500-KW AM Transmitter installed at Hornby, England - Called "Aspedistra", 1936-1937
  19 Broadcast Station Speech Input Equipment, 1928
  20 Station 2XAR (WJZ) 30 KW on 760 KC at Bound Brook, NJ, 1926
  21 Westinghouse Aircraft Radio Communication Equipment Sold to Royal Japanese Navy, 1927
  22 U.S. Army Signal Corps BC-137 Receiver, 1926
  23 -Westinghouse 200W 2000-3000 KC Telegraph Transmitter, 1928
-Westinghouse 20 KW HF Model T-7 Transmitter, Modulator, and Amplifier, 1927
  24 U.S. Army BC-127 Mobile Telephone-telegraph Transmitter 250-400 W at 150 to 350 KC, 1923
  25 Station Photographs 1924 - 1925 ERA Antennas, Equipment, and Possible Later Model Amplifier, 1924 - 1925
  26 Westinghouse 200 W CW and MCW 200 to 500 KC Shipboard Model, 1926
  27 RCA Victor (Montreal) Type TE-147 50-80 KW Telegraph Transmitter, n.d.
  28 Westinghouse, high power, low frequency Transmitter, ca. 1926-1927
  29 Turnstile Antennas, n.d.
  30 Wide Band Television Antenna development stages at RCA Laboratories, Rocky Point, NY, n.d.
  31 Electronic production photos at RCA Victor Company, Ltd., Montreal, 1942
  32 Royal Canadian Air Force AT-12 HF & LF Radio Equipment, 1943
  33 RCA SSB-1, 60 Watt HF single-sideband complete communication system
  34&35 Radiomarine Corporation of America
  36 High Frequency Broadcast Monitoring Equipment, Vatican Radio, 2949
  37 Pacific Communication Program
  38 NBC, Miscellaneous, 1930's-1940's
  39 RCA ET-4332; RCA ET-4336 Telegraph Transmitters
  40 RCA Communications, Inc.
  41 Royal Canadian Air Force GT-24 5 kw Transmitter
  42 U.S. Navy Type TAH 5 kw low frequency Telegraph Transmitter
  43 500 Watt 150/200 kc Telegraph Transmitter TE 237, 1941
  44 U.S. Navy TAK Shipboard Radio Telegraph Transmitter, 1929-1930
  45 Wired Radio Inc. supressed carrier single sideband Exciter
  46 200 watt LF Radio Telegraph Transmitter, 1925
  47 NBC 50 KW Broadcasting Station WEAF (Later WNBC)
  48 Navy Transmitter, possibly TBQ, 1932
  49 10 KW Low-Frequency Transmitter, 1926-1927
  50 CTR-140 VHF Radio Relay Equipment
  51 Pre 1955 RCA Test & Measuring Equipment
  52 WCFL of the Chicago Federation of Labor, Navy Pier, Chicago, 1931
  53 Phasing and Impedence-matching Networks for Broadcast Directive Antennas
  54 Inspector's Wavemeter, 270-550 KC, 1926
  55 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Broadcast Studio Control and Switching System, 1941
  56 RCA 250 watt & 5000 watt AM Broadcast Transmitters, ca. 1944
  57 Production of Electronic Equipment, RCA Camden Plant, during WWII
  58 Developmental low-power HF Radio Transmitter, 1940
  59 Schmidt Optical System Control Console & RCA Large-Screen Home Television, 1940s
  60 Fixed-Frequency Receivers for Airport Traffic Control, Canadian Department of Transportation, 1940;  Airport Receiver Console
  61 RCA 15 watt Hailing System, Royal Canadian Navy, 1942
  62 RCA Type PM-45 Portable Sound Film Recording Equipment, 1943
  63 U.S. Navy TBH Radio Telegraph Transmitter
  64 40,000 watt Broadcast Transmitter, Khobarsk, 1927-1928
  65 Photo album of Finnish Transmitters

SERIES 2: LAPORT ARTICLES
66 - "Notes on Radio Instrumentation"

- "Modulation Systems for Amplitude Modulation"

- "Technical Evolution of American Broadcast Transmitters"

  67 "Brief Outline of Career of Edmund A. LaPort in Radio Engineering" (autobiographical)
 

Robert S. Harding,  April, 1983, revised July, 1994

TOP

E-mail: archivescenter@si.edu
Revised: December 29, 2000