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Document Details


Title: George F. Gardner
Document type: Oral history
Accessibility: Free Only
Repository: Cable Center. Barco Library. Special Collections
Collection: Cable Center Oral History Collection
Description: George Gardner built one of the first cable systems, in Lewistown, PA, in 1951 and remained active in the industry for more than 40 years as a cable operator, equipment supplier and consulting engineer. Born in Alexandria, PA, in 1924, Gardner graduated from Penn State University with a degree in mechanical engineering. After college he got a job with Sylvania Electronic Products Co. making tubes for television sets. When he heard about the success of the cable system in Lansford PA, he decided to build one in Lewistown. His oral history recounts some of the difficulties he faced, including the shortage of equipment during the Korean War. At one point he had to use surplus cable that had been used to tether balloons as a substitute for strand cable. Gardner also details the transition from single-channel to multiple-channel cable systems. Gardner also helped systems convert from the use of vacuum tubes to solid state technology during the 1970s and adapt to satellite transmissions in the late 1970s. Gardner was also the founder of the equipment supply company later known as TV Cable Supply Co. of Hershey, PA. Among the stories he tells is one about the battle for the system in Reading, PA, where rival cable companies attempted to build systems simultaneously during the mid 1960s. Gardner sold his system in Lewistown in 1962 to Cox Cable but bought another in Carlisle, PA, very soon after. By the early 1990s he owned systems in Pennsylvania, Mississippi, West Virginia and Arizona.
URL: http://www.cablecenter.org/education/library/oralHistoryDetails.cfm?id=226
Original Language: English
Time span: Not indicated ... to 1992 (Year of interview)
Speaker: Gardner, George F., 1924-
Speaker gender: Male
Speaker date of birth: 16-Jun-1924
Speaker place of birth: Alexandria, PA; Pennsylvania; United States; North America
Age at speaking: 68
Document location: State College, PA
Document date: 14-Aug-1992
Interviewer: Smith, E. Stratford, 1916-
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: OHI0022731-24137