From: Frank Snow12 May 2009
To: Mr. Joe Sousa
K2W at PhilbrickArchive dot org
Subject: Memories of Philbrick Components Use.
I am 83 years old and have an appreciative memory of using the Philbrick components in my first job as an Electrical Engineer at Wright Aero Division (Curtiss-Wright) located in Wood-Ridge, New Jersey in 1949.
Part of my task was to serve as an "apprentice" to a Mr. Doug Elliott who had a set of Philbrick units and was working under an Air Force contract to investigate their applicability to the design of a missile ram jet engine pneumatic fuel/air ratio control system.
One of my first assignments was to learn how to use the components to solve a step-input transient control response problem out of the Ahrendt & Taplin text called "Servomechanism Practice". To my satisfied surprise (remember, I was just the "Sorcerers' Apprentice" regarding these magic Philbrick components) I got the right answer. Oh yes, I now recall my early difficulty in determining the "scale factors" to be set into the devices in order to arrive at the correct numerical solution.
As a result of having a healthy engineer's curiosity regarding just how the components worked, I got an early and good education regarding the design support value of analog simulation.
Regards - Frank Snow