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Reminiscences of Paul F. Godley, 1951

Creator: Godley, Paul F.
Project: Radio pioneers project.
(see all project interviews)
Phys. Desc. :Transcript: 21 pages Sound recording: 1 sound tape reel
Location: Columbia Center for Oral History
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Biographical Note

Paul F. Godley (1889 - 1973) was born on September 25, 1899 in Garden City, Kansas and is the youngest of three children born to his father, Reverend Albert Godley of the Union Congregational church, and Ora Pearce Godley. The family, originally from New Jersey, moved frequently due to his father's work. Godley attended the University of Illinois and Defiance University in Defiance, Ohio. After college, he worked as a railroad telegrapher and dispatcher. In 1921 Godley tested trans-Atlantic shortwave signals, the forerunner of radio telegraph and telephone communications, for American Radio League in Scotland. Between from 1926 and 1963 Godley operated a consulting radio engineering company in Upper Montclair, New Jersey. He worked with Giglielmo Marconi, Lee DeForest, Edwin, H. Armstrong and Michael Pupin on wireless and radio improvements. In 1967 he received the De Forest Audion Award from the Veteran Wireless Operators

Scope and Contents

In this interview with Ernest Hill, Paul Godley discusses his family's lineage on both parents' sides, his relationship with father, time spent with brother, interest in communications and college experience. Godley describes his home life and the need to move frequently due to his father's fundraising work for the church. Godley delves into his first interest in communications when he was about five years old when telephone lines were installed near his home. He explains how he learned to telegraph as a result of "tinkering" he and his brother did with equipment on the farm. After receiving a telegraph machine, Godley taught himself to setup a line and Morse code. Godley describes his awareness of Marconi's accomplishments, which inspired him to pursue his interest, and the professors at Defiance College who supported his work and expanded his professional network. Godley discusses his experience on the denominational college campus. He describes summer employment and fill-in work on the telegraph that he did as an undergraduate. Godley also discusses how he became further interested in communications and communications problems, including wireless communications

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