Oral History Transcript — Dr. Harvey Hubbard
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Harvey Hubbard; February 24, 2008
Topics discussed include: Harvey Hubbard's association with the Acoustical Society of America, family background, his time at the University of Vermont majoring in electrical engineering, his work in the corona lab at the Westinghouse Company, his time at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and his published works.
Sparrow:Weíre at 955 Harpersville Road, Apt. 2053, in Newport News, Virginia in the United States. Itís about 3:20 pm and Iím going to interview Harvey Hubbard for the Acoustical Society of America Technical Committees on Noise and Physical Acoustics. They want some background information, just what your current address is. Could you go ahead and just give that, please?
Hubbard:Yes, itís 955 Harpersville Road, Apartment 2053, Newport News, Virginia, 23601. Our current telephone number is (757)-0926-4295.
Sparrow:They would like me to ask who your present employer is. Do you have a present employer?
Hubbard: No, I retired from my career in acoustics on February 29th in 1980. I worked as a consultant for about 12 years after that. Then I was fully retired and have remained so.
Sparrow:The Acoustical Society of America is sponsoring this, and theyíd like to ask some ASA questions if thatís okay. Do you recall what year you joined the ASA?
Hubbard:I donít have that right on the tip of my tongue, but it was about 60 years ago.
Sparrow:When you joined, do you recall roughly how old you were and what you would have been doing at the time?
Hubbard:Yes, I was about 27 years old more or less. My first Acoustical Society meeting attendance was at San Diego. I gave a paper on propeller noise with a couple of my associates. I met at that meeting a lot of people that I had read about and considered famous. I was really surprised that they were so accessible to a young person like myself with very little experience. Some names came to mind when I was thinking about this. People like Tony Embleton from Canada, Lou Sutherland from Boeing, Bob Lee from G.E., Leo Beranek from BBN, Cyril Harris from Columbia, Henning Von Gierke from the Air Force, Dick Bolt from BBN, Bob Leonard from UCLA, Karl Kryter and Ken Eldred from BBN. I have had contact with some of them through the years.
Sparrow:Thatís great. Could you just summarize why you wanted to join the ASA?
Hubbard:I think I joined right away as soon as I got back home. The meeting format offered opportunities for meeting people with similar interests and backgrounds, and for discussions on topics of mutual concern. It also provided opportunities for informal discussions with persons working in different but related scientific fields like measurement and structural acoustics.
My fields of particular interest at that time were aircraft noise, generation, propagation and effects; and structural acoustics and vibration. I never worked seriously in the animal acoustics area, but as a hobby Iíve kept track of it for a number of years.
Sparrow:So you were active with those particular areas. Iím curious, in the ASA once you got involved, did you hold any positions? You donít currently hold any positions, but Iím sure you did at one point.
Hubbard:Yes, I was elected a Fellow in 1963. I organized several special sessions in aircraft related noise. I organized the first Norfolk, VA meeting of the Society. I served on the Executive Council in the 1975 to í78 time period. I was president for 1989 and 1990. They awarded me the silver medal in noise in 1978. I was also an associate editor of JASA for Patents for a few years.
Sparrow:JASA is the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, and there is a section in that journal for Patent Reviews.
Thatís great. If you look back at the ASA meetings you attended, are there any particular ASA meetings that sort of stand out as being either special or humorous or something that really comes to mind?
Hubbard:I knew you were going to ask that question and Iíve given it quite a bit of though. I just didnít come up with anything.
Sparrow:Thatís okay. I know that when you received your silver medal, that was in Honolulu?
Hubbard:That was at the first Hawaii meeting of the Society. Of course, at work, we always joked around about an official trip to Hawaii. It took me about four or five years to get to the West Coast on an official trip. When the Hawaii opportunity came it was very welcome, I can assure you.
Sparrow:Are there any ASA members that you met that particularly influenced your future, sort of early on in your career perhaps?
Hubbard:Well, I mentioned a number of names there. Some of those people I worked very closely with for various reasons. Lou Sutherland was very helpful to me in many of the things we were working on. We were working on buildings being excited by aircraft noise and sonic booms, and the associated response of people in buildings. Bob Lee was in the engine noise reduction business. We were very interested in any engine developments that would affect the noise. Leo Beranek I guess is my all-time favorite. I took his two-week course early in my career up at MIT, and that was really wonderful. I enjoyed that, and I got introduced to a lot of things that people did for a living in acoustics, that I didnít know anything about. I collaborated with John Houbolt in writing a chapter for The Harris and Crede Shock and Vibration Handbook, vibrations induced by acoustic waves. Cyril Harris was fair, and he obviously knew how to get things done. I did quite a bit of traveling with Dick Cook. I went, among other places, to Hungary with him and he was my roommate there. He was a very interesting and experienced person. Henning Von Gierke was a lifelong friend and one of the greatest contributors I know in acoustics. Bob Leonard invited me out to his home and helped me run his trampoline, which was also a lot of fun. Karl Kryter and Ken Eldred are people that Iíve worked with a lot, because Karl and I were on many of the same committees. I remember Ken Eldred for being able to stay up all night and work, which was something I never could do. He was a hard worker and accomplished a lot.
Sparrow:No, thatís great. Thanks. Is there anything you want to say about the Societyís past, present, and future?
Hubbard:Well, during my term of duty, one of the big things we had to accomplish was to get our search committee organized and find an Executive Secretary for the Society. Charles Schmid finally got the job. That was during my tenure. I guess heís still there and still happy and doing a good job.
Sparrow:Heís still there, and maybe in a couple of years heíll retire. [Charles Schmid was the first Executive Director of the ASA.]
Hubbard:Significant current developments were the assignment of expanded duties, responsibilities, and resources to the technical committees of the society, and evaluations of the income sources which led to the subsequent establishment of the Acoustical Society Foundation, an organization that could accept and invest money donations.
Sparrow:Thatís great. Those things definitely paid off.
Hubbard:And we also had some informal meetings to get reports from the technical committee people who thought that they ought to have a bigger say in how the meetings were organized and presented. I think out of that came money for prizes for students and a lot of little things here and there that have made a difference.
Sparrow:Thatís great. So besides the Acoustical Society, what other professional organizations do you or have you belonged to?
Hubbard:I was an Associate Fellow of the Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, served on its Technical Committee on AeroAcoustics (1973-74) and edited the two volume book on AeroAcoustics of Flight Vehicles, Theory and Practice. I was a charter member of the institute of noise control engineering (INCE), served on the INCE Board of Directors in 1972-73, on the Board of Examiners in 1974 and as President in 1979.
Sparrow:Youíre active with that?
Hubbard:I am basically retired from active work in noise control. But just this week I was pleased to receive, by mail, a notice that the INCE Board of Directors had elected me to Fellowship status in recognition of past contributions.
Sparrow:While still available.
Hubbard:And these are the two volumes of the Aero Acoustics of flight vehicles. They hired me after I went into the consulting business to do this job, and I spent parts of five years on it.
Sparrow:The Aeroacoustics of Flight Vehicles, right?
Hubbard:Right. The USAF gave to the Acoustical Society, on request, the galleys and whatever else was needed to do an additional printing, which is now available from the American Institute of Physics. They have the required publication facilities. This copy came from them, and it was from the third printing of 1,000 copies. They have been selling them over several years, and Iím happy to report that theyíve gotten their money back. [Please note the book is done in green and gold, the school colors of the University of Vermont.]
Sparrow:Thatís great. Incidentally, I have a copy of that. I know about it, itís great.
Hubbard:The Society of Automotive Engineers, A-21 Committee, played a big part in bringing all involved parties together. They provided a unique forum for swapping information, especially with the foreign carriers and manufacturers. Organizations like BBN and Stanford Research, were represented, as well as, airport management and city government people. Iím really proud of this approach to solving the aircraft community noise problems around airports. Itís dangerous to say the problems have all been solved, but they have certainly been worked on hard and a lot of progress has been made. Much of the Basic research and methodology is in place for the future and will apply equally well to advance design airplanes and systems.
Hubbard:On my flight from Fairbanks to International Falls there were two small playful children — the first I had seen for two years. I couldnít help but be emotional about it, and I realized how much I missed my family.
Thereís one other thing I probably should mention. During the initial organization of NASA, which happened around 1959, money became available for centers of excellence in Aero Acoustics. North Carolina State University, Penn State University, and George Washington University were involved. I donít know whatís left of the original agreement of the organization, but they operated for a number of years, and brought in many graduate students and supported a range of NASA Aero Acoustics research.
Sparrow:Thatís great, thanks. One of the other things they want me to ask is have you provided other oral history interviews for other organizations?
Hubbard:I never have participated in any other oral histories.
Sparrow:Okay. All right, so thatís really helpful, and Iím sure some of the ASA things will come up along the way. They want me at this point to ask a little bit about some of your early years. So when and where were you born?
Hubbard:I was born on the 17th of June in 1921 in a place called Swanton, Vermont. My family lived on the Circle J Ranch. We had Circle J brass emblems for the bridles of the horses and the halters of the cows. We raised purebred Guernsey cattle and we sold Golden Guernsey milk products. We competed in cattle shows up in the New England and Northern New York State area. At one time we had a world production record for the Guernsey cattle breed by one of our princess line cows. One of my early big deals was leading a prize cow in the animal parade at the state Fair past the grand stand and then a sleeping overnight with the cattle. On the down side, I got lice in my hair and my mother picked them out with a fine comb.
My dad and his two brothers ran the ranch, and they lived a cowboy-like existence. They each had their own saddles and horses, and there were neighborhood competitions for speed and skills. My mother was a Canadian. She worked as a clerical worker at the Sun Life Insurance Company in Montreal before marriage. Our ranch was in Swanton Center about five miles from each of three different villages, Swanton, St. Albans and High Gate Falls.
Winters were kind of tough. We had a lot of cold weather; and some blizzard conditions. I went to one-room schoolhouses at two different locations. One teacher heard all the recitations, and of course so could most of the students. An alert student could benefit from hearing all of the various lessons. I ended up skipping two grades in school, which seemed like a good deal at the time but when I got to high school I was two years younger than others in my class. That had its drawbacks, socially and in sports.
One problem about having a ranch in that area of the world is that we had to bring the cattle indoors for about four months of the year, and that meant a lot of work feeding and cleaning and so forth. In order to compete in the world record competitions, you had to milk three times a day. Normally a dairy is milked twice a day; but if you milk three times a day instead of two you get more milk. We had a fulltime herdsman and he took care of the bookkeeping and the conditioning of the cattle. He went to the fairs and all of that.
The source of drinking water for the animals was a large flowing spring. For over a 200 year period there has not been a known flow stoppage.
Sparrow:So when you were growing up you just stayed in Vermont, you didnít move around?
No. We had a dairy operation which was confining. We were about a mile from the nearest neighbor. There were plenty of boys from the neighborhood. We played baseball when the weather was good. We did ice skating in the wintertime. Barrel jumping was a contest that we all competed in. Actually, it was quite a lot of fun and nobody ever got hurt doing it. Horseshoe pitching was the big thing along with horseback riding, of course. We went to movies on Saturday night. The re was almost always a Western with Tom Mixs, Ken Maynard, Roy Rogers, or Gene Autry. Later on it was John Wayne. Incidentally, one of my real thrills in life was meeting John, during a visit to the San Diego Marina where he kept his boat, a converted mine sweeper. Of course Shirley Temple and Bing Crosby were also popular in those days. The neighbors got together for card parties and picnics in the good weather. One of the special things we had as a treat was homemade ice cream and another was homemade lemonade.
Foliage tours were popular then and still are. I have always looked forward to the maple foliage in the fall. The foliage can really be spectacular. In the early spring we had maple sugaring, and everybody loves that. Itís hard work, but after a tough winter it was exciting to get out and tap trees and see the sap run and run the boiler with the steam coming up. My father and my uncle went together on it. One of them had some trees and the other had more trees and the evaporator. I did my share of gathering the sap. That was my contribution. It was a big social time. The neighbors would drift in just to make sure that the new crop of syrup was still as good as the old ones. It always was, but it needed to be checked.
Sparrow:So your parents were both involved with the ranch, pretty much?
Hubbard:My mother did quite a lot of cooking and canning of fruits and vegetables. We always had a big garden and my jobs were mainly harvesting and preparing. Garden produce would come in during the harvest season, and thatís when we had the most hired hands. Iíd help her with that: pick it, peel it, clean it, and chop it up as required. The period of June through September was harvest time for the farm crops and my fatherís busiest time of the year. Children on vacation from school were expected to help.
Sparrow:Now, how would you describe yourself at that age?
Hubbard:I really liked my parents and I liked what they were doing; I wanted to help them so I chipped in and did whatever we had to do. My favorite time on the ranch was harvest time. Iím still a harvester at heart and not a planter or a cultivator. I love to harvest. Actually it has shown up in what Iíve done technically because I like to write the reports better than I like to do any other portion of the research project.
Sparrow:So when you were a youngster, what did you envision that you would be doing later in life? What did you want to be when you grew up?
Hubbard:Somewhere along the way I got the idea that I wanted to be an engineer. I was trying to think back as to why that was, and I guess I had the notion that engineers solved problems. If anybody had a problem and it got solved, an engineer probably did it. He might have had a lot of advice and help and so forth, but anyway he was in the picture. It seemed like a good way to earn a living. My father wanted me to be a rancher. I loved growing and harvesting but did not like caring for the animals.
Sparrow:So before college and so forth, what were your hobbies or special interests or things like that?
Hubbard:In high school my favorite topics were math, English, and history. Spelling was probably my best subject. In one room schools, spelling bees were popular ways to involve all the students in competition. I frequently won the spelling bee.
Sparrow:You liked helping your parents and things like that, thatís great. So when you were in high school you said you enjoyed the math, English, and history, were there any other special activities or special events you recall from that time?
Hubbard:Well, I guess I told you I got to high school two years early. Socially that was bad. While the other kids were playing basketball and baseball, I was a little bit small so I had to take whatever I could get. About the only thing I ever really competed on was the track team. I was the high jumper. I did a lot of fence jumping on the farm, but I never had much success in the meets. We used to play horseshoes a lot. Every day we had about an hour for lunch. We ate in 30 minutes and played horseshoes the rest of the time. To this day Iím a pretty good player. As a matter of fact, you already met my wife Sadie. Sheís a horseshoe pitcher, and I met her when I got to this area and we had formed a mixed doubles team. Iím proud that we went a whole year without losing a single game.
Sparrow:If you look back on that time, was there any individual person or other people who had a strong influence on you at that time? Teachers orÖ?
Well, my mother knew I was going to go to college — never doubted it; it was a given. We just worked toward it. I think my father was hoping Iíd take over the ranch. There were a lot of things I loved about it, but one thing I didnít like and was crucial, was animals. To doctor them and care for them and keep them happy does not excite me. If you would give me a tractor to drive I would have loved it. I would run the combines and the hay balers and that stuff. Iím pretty sure that my father was disappointed, but I think it eventually worked out fine for both of us.
Sparrow:We agree. Okay, letís move on then to your college years if thatís okay. Can you tell me where you first went to college and what was your major?
Hubbard:Well, I went to the University of Vermont and majored in electrical engineering. I was fortunate to get a full academic scholarship, and that set the course for me with World War II in the offing. I joined ROTC because they paid a few pennies a day, and I needed a few pennies. I worked as a janitor for two hours weekdays and four hours on weekends for a couple of years. I waited on tables and performed scullery duties at one of the frat houses for a year and got room and board. Manual labor jobs paid 30 cents per hour and I filled in empty time slots with those. I ended up with an engineering degree, as the Honor Graduate in Military Science and Tactics, and with all my bills paid.
Sparrow:You were able to make ends meet, thatís great.
Hubbard:As an Honor Graduate I was given a chance to apply for a regular Army commission. I didnít strive for a Military career so I declined. After graduation I went to the Westinghouse Company in east Pittsburgh to work in their corona lab. I was there for two months and then I went into the Army Signal Corps. I had gone to Westinghouse, so I would have some job possibilities after the war.
Sparrow:Weíll come to that in a minute. I want to go back a bit. What made you choose the University of Vermont, was it the scholarship?
Hubbard:Yes. The possibility of using my full academic scholarship was very attractive to me at that time. I really had no other options.
Sparrow:What led you to choose electrical engineering then?
Hubbard:I didnít agonize over the decision knowing that it would be simple to change majors after the first year. I never seriously considered changing because I liked my courses and fortunately acoustics followed nicely the electrical engineering course work.
Sparrow:Did you change your major or did you just stay with it?
Hubbard:No. I stayed with it.
Sparrow:So did you belong to any special clubs or have any school activities that you recall?
Hubbard:It was like being at home — there was work to be done, everywhere. I wanted to get good marks and had to earn some money. My folks took me to freshman orientation. There were about 300 people like myself coming into the freshman class. The person running the meeting said to each of us, ďLook around. Two out of three of those faces wonít be here at graduation.Ē That shocked me. I couldnít believe that they would do that to us, but I decided that I wasnít going to be one of the losers. We were both right! There wasnít much time for extra-curricular activities, but I served as chairman of the Local Chapter of AIEE and was elected to Champlain Sabers Honor Society.
Sparrow:There you go! [Laughter]
Hubbard:I must say that at the University of Virginia, where we went later on with our son Tom, they essentially told the freshmen theyíd all graduate, that they were known to be capable and they would have enough extra help if they needed it to graduate. I donít know what they do at Penn State.
Sparrow:Thereís a different perspective. I think certainly at the graduate level, once theyíre admitted we try to shepherd them through as best as we can. Iím curious about your college days, if there is any particular person or teacher that stands out in mind?
Hubbard:Oh, Professor Butterfield was our English teacher, and he really opened my eyes on English. The first assignment was to write my autobiography. The second one was to read and critique some Shakespeare play that had about 150 pages. He got my attention. He made us work hard. I went into his English class not worrying a bit; but after a couple of sessions in there, I was really worried!
Sparrow:Sounds like he made you work.
Hubbard:The University of Vermont had a fairly good winter intercollegiate sports program. We had big meets there. As volunteers in the outing club, one of the things that we did was to condition the slopes in the ski jump area. They needed a lot of help with us kids carrying baskets of snow and that sort of thing. Thatís one way I spent some time. With the janitorial work, there wasnít much time off.
Sparrow:Right, you were busy. At that time, while you were in college, did you have any inspirational models, anyone who stands out that was an inspiration to you?
Hubbard:Well, I thought about that quite a bit. There was one student who belonged to the fraternity where I did my work. He was a football player, just kind of an average-sized guy, he wasnít big, but he played in the line. Because of the shortage of people for the team, he played both defense and offense. One day after a game, I saw him sitting on the Frat house steps just crying his eyes out. Heíd been beaten to a pulp. I learned that he played again the next week. The message for me was that there were people working harder than I was and suffering more as well.
Sparrow:He hung in there. At that time, for example, you probably didnít have a lot of free time, but did you ever participate in any rallies or protests or causes?
Hubbard:No, there wasnít much of that stuff going on that I remember. Not like there is today.
Sparrow:Looking back, would you go to the same college, take the same major and do if you had to do it over again?
Hubbard:Well, I would have no big reason not to. Itís a better school now I think than when I went there. It seems to get good ratings right down the line. Theyíre trying to better serve the needs of Vermont students. One difficulty for technical people is the lack of jobs within the state.
Sparrow:Letís move on. So at some point did you go for any graduate training or get a masters degree?
Hubbard:When I came here I worked for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) and then that became NASA (The National Aeronautics and Space Administration). I hadnít been here any time before they were talking to me about a jet noise research assignment and I didnít know anything about jets or aerodynamics. I enrolled at the University of Virginia, extension school. They had night school, two-hour Graduate level courses at one of the high schools. I took four different courses in aerodynamics, including compressible flow. I passed those, and I had forgotten all about it because of what you were saying earlier, the work comes along and you need to do it. It would be nice to go to school, but youíve got to do the work. I was certainly ill advised to just drop that, but I never got my degree. I still have the course certificates, and Iím sure I could have gone on and worked it in somehow, but at that time I just wasnít highly motivated to do that; there were so many other interesting things that I let it go. I think my supervisors should have given me better advice. If I had a second chance I would try to complete the work for the degree.
Sparrow:That was in the late 1940s or early 1950s?
Sparrow:When you took these classes, how were you supported? Was that something you paid for or Langley did?
Hubbard:The NACA paid for them. They brought the instructors down from Charlottesville, or they were on the NACA staff, I forget which. I also went to the University of Alabama for a short course on aerodynamic noise and likewise to the University of Missouri for two courses on aerodynamic noise. Then I was able to enroll at MIT for Beranekís short course on noise control.
Sparrow:Did you ever go to that one?
Hubbard:Yes and it was one of the best learning experiences I ever had.
Sparrow:As far as I know heís still teaching. But there must be hundreds of his graduates around.
Hubbard:Thereís no doubt about that and Leo has performed a great service by reaching so many people and making noise control so interesting.
Sparrow:Okay, well that helps me. And the courses were from the University of Virginia because thatís what was available, I guess?
Hubbard:Now there are locally available courses from University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, and George Washington University and probably others as well.
Sparrow:Old Dominion, there are a number of schools that they interact with.
Hubbard:Yes, my son Tom, who is a Professor of Pediatrics at Eastern, VA. Medical School is involved at Old Dominion University with engineers on a medical simulation project.
Sparrow:At any point did you ever teach any courses? Did you ever do any teaching or anything?
Hubbard:No. I never aspired to do that. The closest thing I came to it was when the first seven astronauts were here. As part of their preparation for interviews with the press, they wanted to have a broad knowledge of special things like acoustics and others, so I got to give a couple of lectures to them. John Glenn was one of the first groups of Astronauts, and he made some personal contacts with me. At one time he held the cross-country speed record in a Navy airplane. He would fly at high altitude, get low on fuel and come down to a lower altitude, refuel, and go up higher again. I think they refueled at least twice, maybe three times. He let me borrow his flight log. He had the plan sketched on cardboard and he folded it up like an accordion so he could slip it into his shirt pocket. It was about 4 inches square. He let me borrow it to see if we could correlate his actual flight position with any sonic boom complaints we had from the newspapers along his ground track. When he came down to subsonic speeds, refueled, and then accelerated in climb he usually made observable booms. When he got up to a high altitude his booms would not normally reach the ground. From looking at this flight log we knew about where they would be observed.
Sparrow:Interesting! That makes sense now the way you explain it. I hadnít even thought of that. So that time when you were actually giving those lectures or whatever, that would have been probably early 1960s or somewhere in that time frame?
Hubbard:It wouldnít be far off. It occurred not long before John Glennís solo orbit of the earth.
Sparrow:Oh itís okay. Donít worry, Iím just curious. So the other thing you did is you spent some time in the military. Can you tell us a little bit about what branch you were in and how long did you serve and so forth?
Hubbard:I started out as a second LT in the infantry and was transferred to the signal corps because of being an engineer. They sent me to radar school at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, then I went to Drew Field, Florida, for information center training. My first overseas assignment was in the North Pacific Theater at an information center on Umnak Island. The radars in operation could track aircraft out to about 150 miles and surface craft to about 50 miles. We performed the double functions of long range early warning against air attack and search and rescue for friendly forces. There were a half dozen radars sitting along the Aleutian Island chain. They would report their tracking data to the information center where it would be displayed and identified on a room size plotting board. Based on the information displayed, sorties would be launched by army air corps personnel against intruder aircraft or ships or for search and rescue. My specific duties as a First Lieutenant were to command a company strength remotely located radar station, and to report directly to an Army Air Corps Captain on matters of mission and command.
The existence of many schools of large marine mammals in the target areas made it sometimes difficult to identify targets.
Sparrow:Well that helps me understand. So when you were in the military, what were your specific duties? What did you do?
Hubbard:Each individual remote radar site was set up so there were radar operations personnel, plant maintenance, communications and perimeter defense each site was designed and supplied to enable it to operate for 30 days without relief. When not in command of a particular site I would visit other detachment sites as a liaison person to work out mutual problems of communications, personnel and supply.
Sparrow:It was in the Air Force. Was it called the Army Air Corps at that time?
Hubbard:Yes, I was in the Army Air Corps and retired later on into the Air Force Reserves as a Lt. Colonel.
Sparrow:Okay. You did your military training at Ft. Monmouth, New Jersey. Is there anything else about your military service that you feel had some significance on your future?
Hubbard:No. I was so anxious to get an engineering job that I wouldíve done anything. Thatís about it.
Sparrow:Okay, but that helps me understand it.
Hubbard:I had no desire for a military career.
Sparrow:So, when you got out of the military, was that the time when the war was ending or what happened with it?
Hubbard:Well, I was on Amchitka Island, and there was a chance for one person to go on R&R back to the States, and my name was drawn out of a hat. I had never won any lottery or drawing up until that time. So I packed my bags and started home. On the way home I passed through New York City, stayed overnight and prepared for breakfast with friends, and lo and behold, itís VE Day! Talk about a celebration! It was unbelievable. And there was happiness everywhere!
Sparrow:So you were in New York on VE Day?
Hubbard:I was in New York on that unforgettable day. Then I went on R&R to Atlantic City, N.J. and the NACA had a recruiting station up there. They were offering military officers with engineering degrees and sufficient overseas time immediate employment if they wanted it. If they were in the service and wanted to get out, they could have immediate employment down here at a government lab, and be separated later from their military service. That looked so good to me that it was like getting a scholarship to college. Otherwise I might have to spend a year or two waiting for separation. I had enough separation points to get out, to get separated, but not to have the priority to be ahead of a whole bunch of people in the queue line. I said, ďThatís for me.Ē I came down here and the first day I worked here I had my military uniform on. After about a year or so I was separated from the service and got on the payroll here.
Sparrow:Wow, thatís a great story. Thanks. Is there anything else about your military service that you want to mention?
Hubbard:I donít think so.
Sparrow:Did you attend any technical, business, or trade schools?
Sparrow:Did you ever take any correspondence courses?
A correspondence course is kind of like getting a degree from a distance or something like that where you take courses on your own, and send the work back in or whatever. Some people have done that.
It sounds like weíve gotten you to Hampton, Virginia now. So NACA was your first place of employment after the military then?
Hubbard:For the record, I should tell you that I worked at Westinghouse for two months after graduation and before I went into the service. That was like an engineer in training job. As a result of that I was issued a patent for a flame quenching circuit breaker. You know, a circuit breaker has a stationary part and a movable part. And when they just about clear each other thereís a flame generated sometimes, particularly in a DC circuit. So the problem is to get rid of the flame for reasons of safety. What my invention involved was coating some of these members with a sublimation material in a solid form, and as it heated up due to the flame in proximity, it would quickly go to a gas without going through a liquid state, and it would quench the flame. Thatís the only patent I was ever awarded.
Sparrow:But thatís still a good story. You show that with your hands, them sort of interweaving and then moving away from each other like that.
Hubbard:I remember it well, because during part of the experiments that I did I accidentally burned the hair off one of my arms.
Sparrow:Iím sure you remember it!
Hubbard:Well, I think this is significant. The people that work at NASA and NACA like to get patents, and I can understand that. My personal interest was not at all in patents, but in reports, research reports. Iíve always thought that one of the things that I could do best was to explain to somebody else what I understood about something. Not everybody can do that, because I worked with some people who couldnít. But anyway, thatís my main interest.
When I started working with associates on their patents, the patent lawyer seemed to have just the opposite view: make it as incomprehensible as possible, confusing, so that rather than trying to be crystal clear about how the thing works, be kind of fuzzy about it because then itíll cover more possibilities. I probably havenít said it quite right, but thatís my interpretation of it. My son, Tom, a pediatrician, is collaborating with mechanical engineers at Old Dominion University in Norfolk in the field of medical simulation. Heís really excited because he just got his first patent issued.
Sparrow:Oh wow, thatís great. Well, back to Langley. So when you arrived, what was your first title, what was your first job function and title? Do you recall at all?
Hubbard:No. We didnít have titles. At first, I just helped with some things that my supervisor, Arthur A. Regier was doing. He was a branch head, and I think that he didnít expect I was going to stay there very long. He had had a bad experience with a military person earlier who had come and had analyzed some of the management procedures, and had given a bad report. He thought at first that I might be another one of those spies. But we soon got to be awfully good friends, and I have a lot of respect for him. He was a Swiss engineer who worked in the oil fields before he came to NACA. He was a very interesting person.
Sparrow:What were you actually helping with? What was he working on?
Hubbard:We were doing panel flutter tests in a wind tunnel. I was using a blow down supersonic wind tunnel to try to excite flutter in skin surfaces, like on a missile. I told you about John Wayne earlier. Another one of my real treats was to meet Werner Von Braun. I hadnít been at the lab very long before Werner made a visit, and skin flutter was a phenomenon on the V2 rocket that they were concerned about, and they hadnít been able to document it, and eventually fix it. So I remember that Mr. Regier, my Branch Head was sitting there, and Werner had described this problem. And he said, ďWeíd put some people out in the target area with high powered glasses watching the missiles come in hoping to see visually whether the skin was wrinkling,Ē and whatever. My branch head said to Werner, ďItís kind of dangerous duty isnít it to be right at the target?Ē Werner said, ďNo. We never hit the target.Ē
Sparrow:But he was that confident, too.
Hubbard:Very positive. Werner had a good sense of humor, obviously.
Sparrow:Thatís great. At that time was there anyone you worked with or met at Langley that sort of fostered your later career, influenced you?
Hubbard:Well, Mr. Regier was my branch head, and I had a lot of respect for him. Heís the only one I knew who did any acoustics before I came to Langley. At a place like NACA and NASA, you get very few problems handed to you. You usually decide what you ought to be doing and sell the idea to management. I think thatís the way to do it. Somebody was asking me not too long ago about being given problems, and I couldnít remember anyone ever giving me a problem. But I did work with him on panel flutter. We actually made a panel flutter, the first one in captivity that we knew of in our blow down wind tunnel. Panel flutter was a design consideration on U.S. missiles but never a serious problem.
Sparrow:Thatís great. So at some point you were promoted or something like that. What happened at that point?
Hubbard:I eventually got to be a branch head at about the time that NACA became NASA. That was a wonderful time here. There were a lot of good ideas, and if you had one you knew that somebody would be right there to help you get started.
Sparrow:Can you tell me a little bit about when you were at that point? Were there any special accomplishments or projects that you recall, and could tell us a little bit about?
Hubbard:Well, we were involved in sonic boom research, mainly with the Air Force, because they had to pay the bills for resulting damages. At the same time there was much interest in a possible supersonic civilian transport and the sonic boom was known to be a serious consideration in its proposed operations.
Sparrow:When did that get going, by the way, roughly? That was in the í50s?
Hubbard:Yes, late í50s . And we were trying to figure out what the problem was. Somewhere I picked up a little phrase (author unknown), and I put it on my chalkboard. How did that go? ďClear away the under-brush of confusion, and define the areas of ignorance.Ē I thought that was pretty sharp. I left it on my chalkboard, for a long time. And really thatís what we were trying to do. For instance, there was a hot shot at one of the aircraft companies who was making pronouncements that you could fly high enough so there wouldnít be any sonic boom. Well, that was grist for our mill.
As part of that, I had a trip out to Edwards to meet with some Air Force people and to see if we could get them to fly at extreme altitude for some measurements. We heard that they could do it. But what we didnít know was that it was top secret. So I stepped into a hornetís nest.
Sparrow:For a legitimate reason.
Hubbard:Yes. I donít need to go into that anymore, although I think itís probably unclassified by now. We were proposing to use theÖB-58 the supersonic bomber? The proposal was to accelerate to supersonic speed, fly a loop maneuver and measurements would be attempted at extreme altitude. We have since concluded that you never could fly supersonically withoutÖcreating an observable sonic boom.
Hubbard:Yes. I mean you can do some crazy things like looping and turning so you can weaken the waves, but you canít get rid of them. Each wave behaves in concept like a big rubber band. The air force operations people were very generous to us. On a number of occasions we asked for particular flights that were outside their operational boundaries. They were willing to try something new, knowing that they might benefit as well.
Sparrow:Well, that was a good story and a good project, because again, weíre still working with that stuff now. Some things havenít changed. When you were working on the sonic boom project, were there other special individuals that you recall were also working on it with you who made a big contribution as well?
Hubbard:Dominic Maglieri is one person who I have the greatest respect for. Heís been a good friend and a very valuable associate for many, many years.
Sparrow:He still is?
Hubbard:Heís got one of the best memories of any person Iíve ever known. Once he learns something, he canít forget it. I tell him and his friends that heís the only internationally known scientist I know who is recognized by his first name rather than his family name.
Sparrow:Thatís great. Iíve met him, and I may even see him in the near future again.
Hubbard:Well, he and I had some good days together. The Air Force was very accommodating to us. They knew we had some good ideas, and they wanted to be part of any flight testing that might follow. They invested a lot of resources, flying resources to help us out, but it was mutual. I mean we were helping them at the same time. And the pilots loved to do sonic boom work, because they could fly the airplane in a different mode than they ever had before. For instance, we wanted them to fly supersonically in a circle. Thereís very little reason for ever flying supersonically in a circle, but we wanted it, for scientific reasons, and they were happy to do it. They also flew supersonically down to about 20 feet off the ground for us out at Indian Springs. That was really exciting.
Sparrow:Indian Springs, Test Range where was that?
Hubbard:Itís near Las Vegas, just down the road from Edwards AFB. Yeah, John Stack was my big boss here. I told him I was having a little trouble getting to see the Air Force people and to coordinate with them, and he said, ďWell, you out rank them, so just tell them to come at a certain time at a certain place.Ē Well, Dominic and I were there, and this pilot comes in, to confer with us. He introduced himself as Colonel Tyng, U. S. Air Force. We found out later that he was the second-most decorated pilot in the Air Force. He was assigned out at Edwards AFB. He reports in ready for business. He had a big knife about that long stuck right in his left boot.
Sparrow:Thatís about like eight or ten inches long?
Hubbard:Oh, yes. In their survival training they are trained to kill and eat snakes, if necessary. He looked tough. He made a presence when he came in, but he was a gentleman too. And Dominic remembers him well. We eventually got him and some of the people in his wing to fly down to very low altitudes; to test some criteria for damage, to building elements such as windows.
The Air Force had casual interest in the sonic boom as a weapons possibility. Imagine an enemy city in the north. Itís real cold and all the windows are closed. Low altitude supersonic flights could be made over the target area to damage large numbers of windows. Wouldnít that be a useful thing to do?Ē I donít believe that it is still a serious consideration.
Sparrow:No. And this, by the way, continues to come up, that sort of thing.
Hubbard:We were just trying to figure out what kind of loading it would take to break the windows, and if that would require a specially designed flight vehicle for which the design, building, and operational costs were prohibitive.
Sparrow:Yes, with the financial aspect of it.
Well, I want to come back to a couple of these questions a little later, but there are some other questions they want us to get through, so I want to do that as well. So when you were getting close to retiring, the first retirement as the branch chief or whatever, Iím just curious are there any special accomplishments that youíre particularly proud of that were done by your group?
Hubbard:Yes. Weíve talked about a lot of interesting things, but this problem of landing and takeoff noise involving commercial airlines, took a serious turn in the early 60ís when the first fan engines were introduced. Many of the affected people lived close to the airport, the planes fly night and day, and they fly pretty close to the ground. And they fly around the world, so itís not just a problem here, itís a problem everywhere. And on top of that, the airplanes are getting bigger, the engines are getting more powerful, and the problem could get a lot worse. That was a really critical problem, and we were heavily involved in it. We spent a lot of our resources to respond in a timely manner and to lead a national effort.
The critical need was a noise reduction feature that could be demonstrated to be effective for reduction of fan noise components and could be flown safely and economically. After consultation with the engine manufactures, the air framers, the airline operators and the FAA, a plan was proposed by NASA Langley to do flight demonstration of candidate nacelle modifications. This resulted in NASA Langley contracts with Douglas and Boeing Aircrafts Co., to modify both a 707 and a DC-8 airplane with engine nacelle acoustic treatments designed to meet target noise levels on the ground. This multimillion dollar project was highly successful because it demonstrated that new technology noise reduction treatments in both the inlets and fan discharge ducts could be flown safely on the aircraft and could produce predictable noise levels on the ground.
We sponsored a special technical conference with worldwide participation to make known a validated noise control technology that could be applied also to future aircraft designs. Because of substantial cost sharing by the companies involved the total cost for this project was estimated to be about $50m.
The implications for worldwide noise reductions and improved air service are enormous. The availability of this technology for future aircraft designs will enhance 24-hour scheduling of air traffic, worldwide, and the accommodation of larger and /or more numerous aircraft on established routes. It will also allow new airports to be located closer to population areas and for existing airports to expand. All new commercial and executive fan powered aircraft, to be successful, will incorporate the basic acoustic design principles referred to herein.
Sparrow:But that is a big thing in the works, subsonic noise around airports is still, you know, and people are active within NASA and the FAA and the IGAO [ICAO is the International Civil Aircraft Organization], the international folks still continue to work these problems constantly.
Hubbard:I think the problem is pretty well framed in, and you know what the inputs are, so you can get the appropriate people and/or organizations working on the various parts of it.
Before leaving the problem of airport community noise we should be aware of the diverse groups who can be affected and who also may be a part of the solution. In airport community noise there are such players as airplane and airport designers, builders and operators, technical societies such as ASA, ASME and SAE. Government agencies such as NASA, FAA, EPA, and City Planners. The development of useable standards is obviously of great importance for effective communications.
The reason that I am so proud of our accomplishments is that we were leaders at the time of a critical problem. We marshaled together significant players, convinced them that their part was important and got them to commit significant resources. We ended up solving a critical problem and laying the ground work for facing up to other similar problems that may arise in the future.
Sparrow:So when you left, do you remember what your title was?
Hubbard:I was Assistant Chief of the Acoustics Division.
Sparrow:Did you just decide it was time to retire? Did you sort of get the feeling one day or why did you step down at that point?
Hubbard:When I think back, I wonder if I made a good decision, but actually it seems to have worked out fine. Because just about the time that I was ready to do something else I had finished the editing of the two volume book titled ďAeroacoustics of Flight Vehicles, Theory and PracticeĒ, and I needed some time off. Itís not that those book people were hard to work with; they did a good job. But there are a lot of details to chase around and that always take time and effort.
Sparrow:Absolutely. Thatís a pretty large volume here.
Hubbard:And there was an opportunity to work on the noise control of wind turbines. Wind turbines are really interesting. Theyíre more in the news all the time because you hear a lot of politicians glibly say, ďWell, weíll go to wind power.Ē They donít know what theyíre getting in to. Itís just unfortunate that wind turbines like to be where people are.
Sparrow:So youíve got a source close to where people are.
Sparrow:So when you I guess retired in, you said 1980.
Sparrow:And then thatís one of the things, wind turbines is one of the things you then worked on.
Hubbard:Yes. I worked on those for about 10 years, and enjoyed it immensely. So itís always fun to get into a new area, I think. The first part of it where you clear away the underbrush of confusion is a thrilling part.
To work with us for short periods of time, weíve had graduate students come. Theyíve got a specialty piece of work they want to concentrate on. They do a nice job on that piece of work, but you frequently donít know how that relates to whatís already been done elsewhere. The other thing I had written on my chalkboard was the idea of connecting. If youíve got an island of information, itís worth a whole lot more if youíve got it connected somehow to the mainland. Somebody needs to figure out what it adds to the total picture, and the person best able is the one who developed the island because heís should have everything sorted out. Anyway, after seeing this, it occurred to me that you really need to connect the islands to the mainland. So you start out with a new area to work in, and you clear away the underbrush, then you start working on the islands. There are a lot of islands out there, but the more you work, the more they come together.
Sparrow:Thatís great. So when you were working on the wind turbine problem, were there any individuals you worked with particularly on that?
Hubbard:I worked with Dr. Kevin Shephard. I think heís a really great researcher. He is a clever experimentalist, a hard worker, is well grounded in theoretical concepts and gets along very well with coworkers.
Sparrow:So was there anything about wind turbines? Were there any special accomplishments about that that you could tell me a little bit about? I mean you got some of the underbrush cleared away, right?
Hubbard:Yes. I donít know whoís doing the work these days, but the fact that the politicians are talking about wind turbines means theyíre going to be looked at in more detail.
Hubbard:I think the idea of widespread use of wind turbines for power generation is very attractive. But we didnít wrap up the required research by any means. We did however, clear away a lot of the confusion and set it up for more focused research; especially the interactions with established communities.
Sparrow:Thatís great. Though I think people are still working that problem, and will continue to for sometime, because a lot of people are looking at wind because of global energy concerns. So thatís still the case.
Iíll go on with some of the formal questions I have here then, if thatís okay. Did you ever write a book or had something published? I know about the aero-acoustic in flight vehicles, but other things?
Hubbard:Yes. I dabbled in it. I wrote a handbook chapter with John Houbolt. Does the name Houbolt mean anything to you?
Sparrow:The name is familiar.
Hubbard:Houbolt is the person who figured out how to travel to the moon, land on it and return safely to earth in the most efficient way.
Sparrow:Oh, wow! So he was a NASA person as well, right?
Hubbard:Yes. That is a Cyril Harris book there, and represents my first experience in technical publishing.
Sparrow:This is Chapter 48, Vibration Induced by Acoustic Waves in the Shock and Vibration Handbook by Cyril Harris and Charles Creed, and that was published by McGraw Hill in 1961.
Hubbard:And Kevin and I did this wind turbine acoustics chapter for the wind turbine handbook.
Sparrow:So Wind Turbine Technology, David Spera editor. This is Chapter 7, Wind Turbine Acoustics authored by Harvey Hubbard and Kevin P. Sheppard. And the book was Wind Turbine Technology, Fundamental Concepts of Wind Turbine Engineering. This was published by ASME Press in 1994, thatís the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
Hubbard:I must tell you that the thing I like most about research is writing the reports. Itís kind of a selfish viewpoint, but I like to finish up something. I get a real charge out of that. And thatís what it takes, I guess, to finish some things. My Branch Head, Mr. Regier, and my co-worker, Bill Lassiter and I did three chapters in Richardsonís book Technical Aspects of Sound. It was about 50 years ago and we covered the status of noise from propellers, jets and other aerodynamic sources.
Sparrow:Thatís great. This was Elsevier Publishing Company, published in 1957. I can see the couple of chapters that you all were involved with. Thatís great. Thank you.
Hubbard:And Iíve published about a hundred papers in the NASA/NACA series, and about 30 journal articles of one kind or another, mostly in JASA, though not entirely.
Sparrow:You also were either editor or co-editor for the proceedings for the sonic boomÖ
Hubbard:The Acoustical Society Symposium, yeah. Herb Ribner worked on that with me. Did you ever know Herb?
Sparrow:I believe I met him once. So, letís talk about some fun things then. What is your present marital status?
Hubbard:Now I can show you my pictures. Youíve met my wife. Sheís from Georgia. Her father had a big farm down there.
Sparrow:And her name is?
Hubbard:Sadie. We have a great family, and we have a lot of fun with them. [Shows pictures] This is Ruth, one of my granddaughters, and she is in China right now, in her second year. Sheís teaching conversational English to Chinese students at SIAS University in Henan Province. Sadie and I had our 60th Wedding anniversary about two months ago.
Sparrow:So this is your sixtieth wedding anniversary. Fantastic.
Hubbard:And thatís us. Here are the four kids and their spouses.
Sparrow:Do I recall correctly, you have two sons and two daughters?
Hubbard:Yes. This is Tom, the oldest. He was in the charter class at Eastern Virginia Medical School. Heís a pediatrician, and works at Kings Daughters Hospital in Norfolk. He also works at EVMS and was made a full professor about 10 years ago. He also has a law degree. On one of his sabbaticals he enrolled at William and Mary Law School, and commuted. At the time he got his law degree, there were 96 people in the country that had dual degrees, medical and law. Heís married to Christy Hamlin who is a pedodontist and has her own practice. They donít have any children of their own but they serve children all the time. Tom runs the ambulatory clinic at Kings Daughters Hospital, and heís got a working relationship down at ODU in the engineering department, where theyíre working together on medical simulators.
Susanís right there. She went to the University of Oklahoma and studied Occupational Therapy. Sheís married to John Lasater, an Urologist. Theyíve got two daughters, Morgan and Gentry. Morgan is a graduate of the University of North Carolina and is in the third year medical school there. Gentry has just won a full four-year scholarship from Vanderbilt where she is studying music and pre-dental. She excelled in the violin and has played as a guest soloist with a number of symphony orchestras. As a high school swimmer she was high up in the North Carolina backstroke rankings.
This is our youngest daughter, Pamela. Sheís married to Maury Middleton, Assistant Dean and Associate Professor at Thomas Nelson Community College. They have two daughters. Rachel is studying Church history in a Masters program at Regent University in Virginia Beach. Pamela and Maury are getting ready to go back to Thailand where theyíve already spent 10 years as Christian missionaries. Ruth, a Virginia Tech graduate, is in her second year of teaching conversational English to Chinese students at SIAS University in Henan Province, China.
Walter is a music engineer. Heís is our youngest child and is married to a CPA. Theyíve got two daughters, Christina and Casey. Christina is going to Flagler University in Florida, and is studying interior design. Casey is still in high school, but she wants to go into architecture.
And hereís our family, all of them together. Iím the patriarch of my whole family now. These are only a part of my clan. Iíve got over a hundred people that are blood relatives in about a hundred mile wide band south of the Canadian border, mostly in Vermont.
Sparrow:What a beautiful family. Thatís great.
Hubbard:Sadie and I are really proud of our family and their accomplishments. We love each other and have fun at our family gatherings which occur on special occasions, such as, holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, etc. We have good cooks and good meals.
Sparrow:Well, let me bring it back to Sadie just for a minute, if you donít mind. When did you and she meet?
Hubbard:We met at NACA. She had been here a couple of years already, when I came in. We got together at church social functions and playing horse-shoes, and that was it.
Sparrow:Where did you get married?
Hubbard:Here, in Hampton at the First Presbyterian Church.
Sparrow:Do you remember roughly when that was?
Hubbard:Oh, yes, that was in 1947, the sixth of December.
Sparrow:You told me a little bit about your children. Anything additional you want to mention? Anything else that stands out?
Hubbard:Well, we wanted them all to go to college, and that has happened. We are hoping that our six granddaughters will also be college graduates.
Sparrow:So far it looks like everything has worked out.
Hubbard:Yes. So weíll see about that. Anyway, thatís one of our goals. The other goal we had as a family was to spend quality time in every state in the union, and mainly because of the Acoustical Society and their meeting schedules weíve done that. And it really was worthwhile.
Sparrow:Thatís great. Also, I have some questions here about personal interests and things like that. What is your favorite form of entertainment?
Hubbard:That varies with age. Well, Iíve played a lot of golf, and I like that. As a family, we play board games when we get together. We play cards a lot. Cards are kind of nice because you can play them indoors, and without a lot of equipment.
Sparrow:Theyíre very portable.
Hubbard:Iím very much interested in family history, and I've been working on it part time for 20 or 30 years. Iíve got a file drawer full of things that relate to it.
Hubbard:Genealogy, yes. I had hoped to write a history book. I donít see that happening, because my eyesight is going by the board and timeís running out. And I find that if you pursue it seriously, itís helpful to be able to travel. My family is centered in New England. New England is popular for family historians. Every library that has anything at all has family history centers. Itís really a joy to go up there and go around to these places because they treat you like a king. I mean they want you to come back and all that. So weíve enjoyed that part of it.
Sparrow:So they have some other questions. Do you have any favorite authors or books that stand out?
Hubbard:I like autobiographies, Ben Franklin is a favorite and John Adams. I like Civil War history. But my ability to read is going down pretty fast. My reading acuity goes up and down, and I have to squint and stuff, so itís not easy anymore.
Sparrow:How about movie stars or movies, anything that youíve always really enjoyed?
Hubbard:Frankly, neither of us really enjoy movies anymore. Theyíre not the kind of movies that we like, most of them. I used to love movies, but we hardly ever go now.
Sparrow:How about music or singers or anything like that? It doesnít have to be just recent, but I mean things that really stood out that you really enjoyed over the years.
Hubbard:Well, the community little theater is something that weíve supported ever since weíve been married. And thatís pretty neat because a lot of people that we know are involved.
Sparrow:Is that here in Newport News?
Hubbard:Yes, of course. Christopher Newport University now has their big concert hall. They brag about the acoustics as being the best in the world. That may not be true but much effort has gone into the facility and its acoustics. We can go to that once in a while, but going out at night is not any picnic anymore. Iíve given up driving pretty much. Sadie is a good driver.
Sparrow:Good, any favorite television programs? Anything that youÖ
Hubbard:Yes, we like sports. I like baseball, football and basketball, and she likes basketball because she used to play on her high school team. When she first came here to NACA, they also had a girlsí basketball league.
We watch the British comedies, and around holiday time there are always good musical programs. Weíve got a Grand person who produces music down in Newbern, N.C. Thatís the granddaughter who has won many honors and weíve got many of her recordings, so we enjoy those. I must say that this organization that we live in here, the Chesapeake Retirement Home works real hard to keep us occupied with all sorts of things, band concerts and dance exhibitions and vocalists, you name it, and they try to get them to come here.
Sparrow:So are you a fan of any particular sports team?
Hubbard:Yes, and I get a lot of slack. Iím a Yankee fan, and that always gets somebody in the family upset. In fact, I have a lot of Red Sox fans in my family. But my reason is a legitimate one. When I was going to one of these one-room schoolhouses, there was a farmer who had a big car, and he carried the school kids to school and back. And when heíd come to pick us up about 3:30 P.M., he would already have listened to the Yankee ball game for that day, because they were broadcast on the radio. And it was during the time that Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig were both playing. He knew I liked baseball, so heíd tell me how the game went that day. Most of the time, the games werenít over yet, because they probably started around 1:00. Anyway, heíd tell me how many home runs had been hit and all that, and I got into it. Later when I was down at Fort Monmouth, I could go to New York City on the train and sometimes go to Yankee Stadium. That was a nice way to spend a little time.
Sparrow:So you could actually go there.
Hubbard:Yes, free of charge and I saw Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Whitey Ford, and Yogi Berra, and I had all their uniform numbers memorized.
Sparrow:Those were great times.
Hubbard:And during the time when I was working on the ranch back home, we had what they called summer baseball, and college kids would play on teams up there. St. Albans had a team, and they had Snuffy Stirnweiss and a guy named Tompkins, who were the double play combination for the University of North Carolina baseball team. They both came up there and played. Snuffy won the batting title one year in the American League. Then later on he was drowned in a subway accident.
Sparrow:I did not know that. But I can see why youíre a loyal fan. Thatís great.
Hubbard:Well, itís something to do.
Sparrow:Well, all of us, yes, any favorite art or artists or anything like that?
Hubbard:Oh, yeah. See this picture? That was done by Fred Gibson, who is a popular local artist. Heís dead now, but he had a really good reputation for watercolor. Thatís a watercolor. And he worked for me in acoustics. Frankly, his painting was a lot better than his acoustics in my estimation. Anyway, when I retired, they got this original painting for me, and thereís quite a story behind that. Fred was working with a consignment organization where heíd paint a picture that could be duplicated, and maybe theyíd make a hundred or more copies, and theyíd sell the copies. Then maybe he would do another one for them. Anyway, he was working on this one, and whoever he was working for wasnít quite satisfied with what he had done and insisted on changes. Fred got tired of that, and he just said, ďWell, to heck with it.Ē And he had this picture left over. Thatís a Vermont scene in sugaring with the tank and the buckets and trees. Of course the house wasnít there originally, so for my retirement he ghosted in the house. Now that house has quite a history. Itís the Circle J. Ranch House, 17 rooms, and half of it was brought rolling on logs from about a quarter of a while away, way back many years ago. Itís a fourth or fifth generation house, and they rolled it on logs with ox teams who pulled it over and attached it on that end. So anyway, Fred was always my favorite, and now even more so since Iíve got something really special of his.
Sparrow:Itís beautiful, too. Do you have any favorite quotes? You mentioned the one thing you wrote on your board, but any other favorite quotes?
Hubbard:Not really. Iíve never been big on that. I donít know why I latched onto that except that I believe it.
Sparrow:So today, what are your hobbies? You said you do some genealogy. What else do you like to do?
Hubbard:We make short trips, because my long trip driving days are over. Sadie is a good driver. Some of our kids live close by, so we can visit back and forth. One lives in Florida, which makes it very difficult to visit.
Sparrow:They also have a question here, what are your future plans?
Hubbard:Well, Iíve got one. Iíd like to live to see a great grandchild. All Iíve got to do is hang on.
Sparrow:Yeah, just keep hanging on. Thatís great. So for this interview Iíve sort of gone through the list of questions and things like that. Are there any other specific things that youíd like to just add? Anything that you think would be good for future people to know about?
Hubbard:I thought about that after reading your letter, of course I didnít know what we were going to cover here. I think weíve covered about everything I can think of, and time is going by, and youíve got other things to do. I appreciate you coming, and itís been kind of fun actually.
Sparrow:Itís a pleasure for me. For example, I mean I had no idea that you got to meet John Wayne, for example. I mean thatís great.
Hubbard:I saw Mickey Mantle out in California one time in a restaurant, but it wasnít convenient to meet him.
Sparrow:Thatís great. Well, maybe for now we can close this up. Let me again say thank you on behalf of the Acoustical Society. Again, youíve made many contributions, and thanks for letting us put this interview down. We appreciate your help with that.
Hubbard:Well, I guess Iíve learned a few things about myself even that Iíd forgotten. But Iíd like to read some of the others that youíve done, now that weíve got acquainted.
Sparrow:Yes. All those things are actually available. The American Institute of Physics has a History of Physics Center, and they have a lot of these things all there.
Hubbard:How many do you think they have?
Sparrow:They have all across areas of physics, they have a couple thousand from people and sometimes theyíre able to get people, and then occasionally something sudden, a medical problem, you know, theyíre not able to get some of the interviews theyíd like to get. But they do have a large number. Well, anyway, Iím going to turn the tape off now, but again, say thanks so much.
Hubbard:Well, thank you for coming.