Keller, Arthur

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b. 18 August 1901 New York City, New York, USA d. 1983
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American engineer and developer of telephone switching equipment who was instrumental in the development of electromechanical recording and stereo techniques.
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He obtained a BSc in electrical engineering at Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York, in 1923 and an MSc from Yale University, and he did postgraduate work at Columbia University. Most of the time he was also on the staff of the Bell Telephone Laboratories. The Bell Laboratories and its predecessors had a long tradition in research in speech and hearing, and in a team of researchers under H.C. Harrison, Keller developed a number of definite improvements in electrical pick-ups, gold-sputtering for matrix work and electrical disc recording equipment. From 1931 onwards the team at Bell Labs developed disc recording for moving pictures and entered into collaboration with Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra concerning transmission and recording of high-fidelity sound over wires, and stereo techniques. Keller developed a stereo recording system for disc records independently of A.D. Blumlein that was used experimentally in the Bell Labs during the 1930s. During the Second World War Keller was in a team developing sonar (sound navigation and ranging) for the US Navy. After the war he concentrated on switching equipment for telephone exchanges and developed a miniature relay. In 1966 he retired from the Bell Laboratories, where he had been Director of several departments, ending as Director of the Switching Apparatus Laboratory. After retirement he was a consultant internationally, concerning electromechanical devices in particular. When, in 1980, the Bell Laboratories decided to issue LP re-recordings of a number of the experimental records made during the 1930s, Keller was brought in from retirement to supervise the project and decide on the selections.
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Bibliography
Keller was inventor or co-inventor of forty patents, including: US patent no. 2,114,471 (the principles of stereo disc recording); US patent no. 2,612,586 (tape guides with air lubrication); US patent no. 3,366,901 (a miniature crossbar switch).
Apart from a large number of highly technical papers, Keller also wrote the article "Phonograph" in the 1950 and 1957 editions of Encyclopaedia Britannica.
1986, Reflections of a Stereo Pioneer, San Francisco: San Francisco Press (an honest, personal account).
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Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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