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 Andrew Alford

Andrew Alford

Death 25 Jan 1992 (aged 87)
Winchester, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA
Burial Unknown, Specifically: Currently Researching
Memorial ID 106453244 · View Source
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Inventor, FM Antennas, Pioneer in Microwave Technology.
Born in Samara, Imperial Russia.

Andrew Alford, a pioneer in microwave technology who invented or built antennas still used in radio, sea navigation and in instrument landing systems for aircraft, died of heart failure Saturday at Winchester Hospital. He was 87 and lived in Winchester. In its citation accompanying an honorary doctorate in 1975, Ohio University said, ‘‘No one person has contributed more to air safety than Andrew Alford.''

His inventions, for which he held 180 patents, include LORAN (long-range navigation), a system used by ships, the Alford loop or VOR (very high frequency omni range), a system used by ham radio operators, and the instrument landing system, designed 50 years ago. He was inducted into the National Invention Hall of Fame in 1983.

Mr. Alford in 1948 founded Alford Manufacturing Co. of Woburn, which built master FM antenna systems on the Empire State Building in New York and on the John Hancock Tower in Chicago. Alford Manufacturing was acquired by Teleplex Inc. in 1991.

Mr. Alford came to the United States after his parents were killed in the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. He graduated from the University of California in 1924.

After graduating from the University of California in 1924 with an A.B., studying physics and astronomy, he worked in the New York laboratories of MacKay Radio and Telegraph Co. and International Telephone & Telegraph Co. during the 1930s. He also received the honorary title of D.S. from Ohio University in 1975.

During World War II, at Harvard University's Radio Research Laboratory, Mr. Alford worked on such electronic countermeasures as the jamming of enemy radars.

He was the division head of Direction Finder and Antenna Division, ITT, from 1943 to 1945; was head, Air Navigation Lab, International Telegraph Development Corporation, 1938-41; was with Mackay Radio and Telegraph Company, 1934-41; did engineering work for Fox Film Corporation, 1929-31; and was on the sound lab staff at California Institute of Technology, 1927-28.

He was survived by his wife, Helen (Glaser) and a nephew, David Ellington of Vermont.

A memorial service was planned.

SSDI records show that Andrew Alford (SS# issued in NY) was born 5 Aug 1904, last residence Winchester, Middlesex Co., MA.



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  • Created by: R.C.
  • Added: 10 Mar 2013
  • Find A Grave Memorial 106453244
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Andrew Alford (5 Aug 1904–25 Jan 1992), Find A Grave Memorial no. 106453244, ; Maintained by R.C. (contributor 47303570) Unknown, who reports a Currently Researching.