In Memoriam

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In Memoriam Archive

C. Alan Smith ’42

Curtiss Alan Smith ’42, May 30, 2000, in San Diego. After graduation from Reed, he worked in the radiation lab at MIT, researching and developing radar systems and navigation techniques. During World War II he installed the first microwave radar systems in Panama for the defense of the Canal. After the war, he attended the University of Pittsburgh, where he met and married his wife, Bette. He worked for the naval research lab in Washington, D.C., for several years and then relocated to California. After working briefly for the Naval Air Test Center at Point Mugu, he joined Atomics International Division of North American Aviation, later Rockwell, where he stayed 25 years. In 1960 he took a four-year leave of absence to earn a master’s degree in physics and work on a doctorate at the University of Oregon. In 1968 he joined Ampex Corporation, where he worked on magnetic recording discs, and in 1970 he started his own business, Davis-Smith Corporation, which manufactured magnetic recording heads. He later sold the company and started another, Aid Land Sea, Inc., buying, repairing, and selling scientific instruments. He was also a consultant in applied physics until his death. His interest in antique radios led him to help start the Southern California Antique Radio Society in 1976. Survivors include his wife, 2 daughters, 4 sons, and 11 grandchildren. The family has suggested donations in his name to Reed College.

Appeared in Reed magazine: November 2000

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