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Frank A. Perkins Papers Edit




  • 1950-2017 (Creation)


  • 11 Cubic Feet (Whole)
    35 archival document boxes, mixed width: 2.5" (12 boxes) and 5" (23 boxes)
  • 27.4 Gigabytes (Whole)

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  • Abstract

    The multimedia items collected and donated by Frank Perkins focus on the administrative, historical, social, and technical operations of Radiation, Inc. (1950-1967), an engineering company based in Melbourne, FL, that focused on communications electronics.

  • Accruals

    There are no future expected accruals.

  • Arrangement

    The folders are arranged by series, subseries, and then chronologically by year. At the series level, the items have been sorted by format, followed by topical subseries (when applicable). When a folder contains a range of years, they are then arranged chronologically according to the earliest year listed on the folder. The boxes have been divided into four (4) series, with or without subseries as applicable:

    • Series 1: Documents (Boxes 1-18)
      • Subseries A: Personal
      • Subseries B: Administrative
      • Subseries C: Financial
      • Subseries D: Historical
      • Subseries E: Technical

    • Series 2: Publications (Boxes 19-33)
      • Subseries A: Administrative
      • Subseries B: Historical
      • Subseries C: Technical

    • Series 3: Photographs (Box 34)
      • Subseries A: Administrative
      • Subseries B: Social
      • Subseries C: Technical

    • Series 4: Digital Media (Box 35)

  • Biographical / Historical

    Frank A. Perkins (1929-2017) served in the U.S. Army as an engineering instructor (missile guidance systems) after graduating from Georgia Tech in 1951. After working briefly as a young project engineer, he joined Radiation, Inc. in 1959 and was quickly put to work developing components that would become part of radio, satellite, and eventually even telecom and modem technologies that are now used on a daily basis. As the company grew in both reputation and capabilities, his career expanded as well—Perkins stayed with Radiation/Harris through the merger until his retirement in 1988. This collection of his papers reflects the exciting and intense demands of the era when engineers began crossing the lines between analog and digital equipment.

    After Mr. Perkins retired in 1988, he spent the majority of his time travelling the globe and fly fishing. During this time he was also instrumental in arranging the Radiation Old Timers, a community group of Radiation employees. The research and efforts that Mr. Perkins put into promoting the Old Timers’ Reunions and developing the online retrospective, Radiwiki, laid the foundation for what eventually became the Radiation, Inc. Archives. His keen intuition of historical value—particularly in regards to electrical and electronic developments—lead to his curation of documents and publications, which he entrusted to the archives at Florida Tech.

    Radiation, Inc. was founded by Homer Denius and George Shaw in 1950. The company was first located in an old Naval building at the Melbourne Airport. Facilities were later added in Palm Bay, FL and Orlando, FL, as well as major expansions in the Melbourne area.

    During their active years, Radiation, Inc. developed equipment and fulfilled orders for many secret and classified projects for organizations such as Bell Telephone Laboratories, NASA, Ford Motor Company, and the Department of Defense. Many of these projects have been declassified over the years as developments progressed, allowing for their inclusion in the collection. Their engineers focused on developing radio telemetry systems, digital data acquisition systems, and tracking antennas for usages including meteorology, surveillance, and guidance. Some prominent Radiation, Inc. projects include Boeing’s Minuteman Missile, NASA’s Apollo and Gemini missions, Project Nimbus, and early satellite and multiplexing equipment.

  • Conditions Governing Access

    There are no restrictions to access.

  • Conditions Governing Use

    Photocopies, photographs, and scans of items in this collection may be made by users or by library staff on behalf of users for the following purposes: personal, research, scholarly, educational, and other nonprofit use. It is the responsibility of the user to abide by any and all applicable copyright laws in their use of material from the Harry P. Weber University Archives and Special Collections. Florida Tech is not responsible for any copyright infringement resulting from improper use of research copies or scans created by or provided to users.

  • Preferred Citation

    “Item, date.” Frank A. Perkins Papers, SC-RAD006. Harry P. Weber University Archives and Special Collections, Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, FL.

  • Related Materials

    Similar materials may also be held in other collections within the Radiation, Inc. Archives:

  • Scope and Contents

    The Frank A. Perkins papers consist of textual, photographic, and digital materials from c.1950-2017 that relate to Radiation, Inc.’s administrative, historical, social, marketing, and technical activities. The collection consists of 35 letter-sized document boxes total, including approximately 230 folders, 1 box of photographs, and 1 box for digital media.

    Mr. Perkins provided copious notes to assist in estimating dates by “epochs” or similar projects. Although efforts were made to keep like projects together, it is clear that at any given time, Frank was working on multiple teams. Particularly in the technical subseries, reference codes are added when available to assist in efficiently describing folder contents. These codes are simple abbreviations of the major projects in Frank’s collection, and include the following:

    • BS – Bit Synchronizer
    • DC/EC – Digital Compression/Error Correction
    • FMC – Ford Motor Co. [Data Logging]
    • MBM – Mixed Band Modulation
    • PCM – Pulse Code Modulation (Boeing’s Minuteman)
    • R&R – Radicon and/or Radiplex, and derivatives
    • RAC – Redundant Area Coding
    • S-Band – Satellite band
    • SATEC – Semi-Automated Technical Control
    • VAST – Versatile Avionics Shop Tester
    • Zeus – Nike Zeus (Dept. of Defense)
    • Additional Helpful Notations:
      • RFP – Request for Proposal (External Customer Request)
      • RFQ – Request for Quote
      • RI- Radiation Internal (tracking number for Radiation submissions on a proposal)

  • Language of Materials