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Document Details


Title: Chester Irwin Lappen
Local code: OH 252
Document type: Oral history
Accessibility: Free Only
Repository: University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Charles Babbage Institute
Collection: Charles Babbage Institute Oral History Program
Description: After briefly describing his educational background and activities prior to the 1950s, Lappen discusses his association with Telemeter, Telemeter Magnetics, and DataProducts. Through his work with Mitchell, Silberberg and Knupp, Lappen became involved in the management of Telemeter, a Paramount company that developed a precursor to pay and cable TV. He discusses Telemeter's research and development work including: pay TV; a development contract with the Bank of America for a check sorter; a machine for language translation; the construction of ERMA for the Bank of America. Lappen describes the separation of Telemeter Magnetics which manufactured core memories for computer companies from the pay TV operation. He discusses the growth of Telemeter Magnetics and the addition of disk files, buffers, and line printers to their product line. Lappen describes the decision by Paramount to sell Telemeter Magnetics to Ampex and recalls the decision by Erv Tomash, Bill Drake and Lappen to found DataProducts in 1962. He describes the initial capitalization of DataProducts and Cliff Helms' development of a line printer superior to any on the market. Lappen concludes the interview with an assessment of the innovations made by DataProducts and the challenges associated with forming a high technology company.
Extent: 42 pages
URL: http://www.cbi.umn.edu/oh/pdf.phtml?id=176
Original Language: English
Time span: Not indicated ... to 1993 (Year of interview)
Speaker: Lappen, Chester Irwin
Speaker gender: Male
Speaker occupation: Electrical engineer
Document location: Los Angeles, CA
Document date: 10-Jun-1993
Interviewer: Norberg, Arthur L.
Locations discussed: North America; United States
Topics discussed - ASP terms: Computer software; Electric engineering; Engineering; Information technology; North America; Oral history; Software engineering; United States
Topics discussed - Other terms: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
ASP release: 2005-06
Document code: OHI0023989-25533