Electronics Laboratory



Lab  Tales


Early Lab History by Cal Sheckler


12/24/19xx, Holiday Song (Glory Glory)


Tale of holiday cheer complements of Tom Bray


The Schenectady Haircut complements of Jan Engel

Tale of holiday cheer complements of Tom Bray: At some period during my tenure at the E-Lab, Dr. Syed Razi worked in the Optoelectronics and Solid State Devices Subsection, developing, as I recall, PbSnTe infrared detectors. Syed did not drink alcohol, but took quite a few airline trips. Those were the days that the airlines passed out small sample bottles of liquor, so he kept them. Each year at Christmas, Syed would contribute his collection- perhaps 10-20 bottles - to our Christmas punchbowl. Someone else would usually add some of the Chemistry Lab's pure alcohol as well. Fruit punch and a large piece of dry ice completed this festive punch, with copious amounts of "fog" drifting over the mixture. As Bob mentioned, the container (punchbowl) was a large ceramic bowl, which looked like a piece of lab equipment. This concoction provided fuel for several - if not most - of the E-Lab Carolers!

The Schenectady Haircut complements of Jan Engel: Another story like you share after a couple of glasses of wine in a group that is trying to recall the "good" old times, when things were done differently than maybe today. Coming to think of this, there are  probably several such stories we old-timers could recall. For instance, back in 1951, Paul Jordan was very much concerned that the people in his group were not keeping sufficiently close contact with developments at the Schenectady Research Laboratory. In those days,  there was no NY Thruway and going to Schenectady involved a long and boring train ride on the New York Central. Frustrated by our lack of enthusiasm to visit the Research Lab more frequently, he imposed a new rule at a group meeting. From that day on, all of us were limited to use only a Schenectady barber to have our hair cut. In this way, he could easily tell when any of us had not visited the Research Lab for over six weeks. Of course, in those days, we not only had hair, but it tended to be much shorter than today.


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This page last updated on 11/06/2007