California Audiovisual Preservation Project (CAVPP)
Series of interviews of Douglas M. Perham, the creator of the Perham Collection of Early Electronics, recorded at his New Almaden Museum in June and July 1963 by Erv Rasmussen. Perham was an early wireless experimenter and radio broadcaster, and a life-long collector. The Perham Collection parallels Perham’s career and documents early electronics in the West, particularly the Santa Clara Valley, from the early 1900s to 1960. Perham was Federal Telegraph Company’s first American employee (1909) and later worked for many local firms, including Federal, Heintz and Kaufman, Dalmo Victor, Ampex and Varian Associates. An abstract of the interview was created in the late 1960s and reveals that Perham discussed the history of electronics in the U.S. and Pacific Coast, his life story, the story of Federal Telegraph Co., Lee de Forest's audion tube discovery in Palo Alto, and early electronics companies in the Bay Area. He also walks through his museum with Rasmussen, giving details of the collected equipment and archival material. Perham's collection was the basis for the Foothill Electronics Museum in Los Altos Hills, and later was donated to History San Jose in 2003. Part 1 was recorded on June 7, 1963. Rasmussen talks about early wireless history in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties before introducing Perham. Perham recounts his childhood and his early work with Federal Telegraph Company in Palo Alto (Calif.). They discuss Lee de Forest and Marconi before entering an extended discussion about Charles “Doc” Herrold and the National Radio and Telephone Company of San Francisco. This includes a very brief interview with Terry Hansen, one of Doc Herrold’s original students. In Part 2, Perham talks about the items in his Herrold exhibit case (Sheet 4 of his inventory), before moving on to the Poulsen arc, and further discussion of National Telephone and Radio Company, Marconi and Doc Herrold. The first part of the recording ends with an inventory of his Colin B. Kennedy artif
part 1: part 2: part 3: part 4: