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Frank A. Perkins Papers

 Collection
Identifier: SC-RAD006

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)

Dates

  • 1950-2017

Creator

Language of Materials

English

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.

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

Extent

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

27.4 Gigabytes : 13 Discs

Overview

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.

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

Accruals

There are no future expected accruals.

Related Materials

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

Title
Collection Guide of the Frank A. Perkins Papers
Status
In Progress
Author
C. DeSimone
Date
October 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Contact:
307 Evans Library
Florida Institute of Technology
150 West University Blvd.
Melbourne FL 32901-6975 USA
(321) 674-8571
(321) 724-2559 (Fax)