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Document Details


Title: John G. Campbell
Document type: Oral history
Accessibility: Free Only
Repository: Cable Center. Barco Library. Special Collections
Collection: Cable Center Oral History Collection
Description: John Campbell built one of the first cable systems in the country, in Mineral Wells, Texas, in the early 1950s and founded one of the most important manufacturers of hardware, CAS Manufacturing, later TOCOM. Campbell was born in 1926 in North Dakota and moved with his family to Texas. After a stint in the military and graduation from Clifton Junior College in Clifton, TX, he went to work as a projectionist in a local theater in Clifton and worked on the side repairing radios. After reading an article about the cable system in Lansford, PA, he decided to build a system in Texas and chose nearby Mineral Wells, a town of about 12,000 some 90 miles form Dallas. In his oral history Campbell describes the process of wining city approval for the project, building the early equipment for the system and signing up subscribes. He designed and built much of the equipment, particularly the amplifiers, himself and was soon selling to other operators. In 1964 he won the cable franchise for Austin, TX< one of the most lucrative franchises left in the country at that time. Campbell was a co-founder of the In the 1970s his equipment manufacturing business, renamed TOCOM, took off as it developed two-way interactive systems that allowed such advanced services as home security and instant pay per view. The system was adopted by many of the cable operating companies that bid for major city franchises in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Campbell sold the business to General Instrument Corp. in 1984. His oral history deals with many of the technical and engineering issues that cable operators confronted from 1950-1984 and includes his recollections of many of the key players in the Texas cable industry during that time.
URL: http://www.cablecenter.org/education/library/oralHistoryDetails.cfm?id=213
Original Language: English
Time span: Not indicated ... to 1986 (Year of interview)
Speaker: Campbell, John G., 1926-
Speaker gender: Male
Speaker date of birth: 28-Dec-1926
Speaker place of birth: Grace City, ND; North Dakota; United States; North America
Speaker race: White
Age at speaking: 60
Document date: May-1986
Interviewer: Dudley, Robert
Locations discussed: North America; United States
Topics discussed - ASP terms: Broadcasting; Cable television--United States; North America; Oral history; Public broadcasting; Television; Television programs; United States
Topics discussed - Other terms: Cable administrators
ASP release: 2005-06
Document code: OHI0022696-24096