00:12:17 - 00:17:19 Typical Day
Typical day, writing and tests, change in industry standards, use of electronics in data measurement, obsolete methods, academic nature of the lab, combing fibers and recycling materials
Right. So did you have a typical day while you were in the Lab? Did you have a typical day while you were here or did you spend most of your time in the Lab doing tests, or writing?
Well yeah basically some of each. We had equipment set up in the packaging laboratory which is down near the highway here. I was able to get a big vibration machine on which we could test full-size pallets and did quite a bit of work on that and demonstrations to convince the industry that they needed to change their ways.
So was there a specific moment when the industry understood and decided to change?
Oh yes, yes with due time why they had a turnover and basically they accepted as being reasonable what we were presenting to them and so they have basically widely accepted it now.
Was there one company that first started to accept the new standards and then other followed?
Well no not so much as a company, but as the industry technical organization adopted things, yeah. Of course at the same time I was promoting the use of electronics in data measurement. That was one of the things that disturbed me most when I got to FPL, finding that many of the methods they were using for collecting their data and information were rather obsolete and in some cases perhaps not quite as accurate as they'd like them to be, pretty much a matter of measuring was a telescope and taking readings by eye and then recording down; it was a long cumbersome process and I had questions about the accuracy we get that way. In fact, from my background with electronics, television, and service, why I was somewhat dismayed by the lack of calibration shall we say, of much of the lab measuring equipment. So while the Lab led everyone else in the investigation of wood and wood products, some of their results were not maybe quite as accurate as they might have been or could have been but they were still ahead of everybody else. On a comparative basis the Lab did well but it was in a time when they needed to be shaken up and move into the new era.
Were they supportive of your suggestions to move towards---
You mean within the Lab?
Oh not particularly. That would be one of my criticisms of the Lab as an institution that was basically too academic. You would sit at your desk and you would write reports and the technicians would do the experiments, you were not supposed to do too much on the test floor yourself you know, because you were a professional. Well I didn't think that way. But later on I was moved up into the wood engineering department and I had some effect on the measurement systems that they used in wood engineering also. But it was a time when electronics were coming into common use and they proved to be a much more accurate, efficient way of recording data. Those were really the two major aspects of my career here at the Lab including the recycling aspect of course, which fit right in with it because as you put reused fibers into the corrugated boxes you would natural suppose that maybe they were not quite as strong as virgin fibers so we did numerable tests to establish that and direct them as to how they should combine the fibers in order to get the best structural characteristics of them.