Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History
Power, Harold J., 1892-1969
|Harold J. Power (1892-1969), E1914, organized the American Radio and Research Corporation or AMRAD, which set up one of the first two broadcasting stations in America and was the first to broadcast on a daily schedule.
Power was born on July 19, 1892, in Everett, Massachusetts. While still in high school, Power developed a strong interest in radio and broadcasting, and worked on numerous ships as a radio operator during his time off. Once at Tufts, Power studied under many of its most eminent scholars, including Professor Hooper of the Department of Electrical Engineering. To pay for his education, Power worked summers as the wireless operator on the liner Saint Louis, and later on J.P. Morgan's yacht "Corsair." After graduating from the School of Engineering in 1914, Power attended graduate school at Harvard University for one year before organizing the American Radio and Research Corporation, or AMRAD. Power negotiated with Tufts and acquired land on the Boston Avenue hillside to build a radio tower and broadcasting station. With financial backing from his old boss J.P. Morgan, Power constructed a 304-foot tower and an accompanying laboratory building on the Tufts hillside. This station was one of the first broadcasting stations in the country, and after a few months in operation, became the first station to broadcast on a daily schedule.
During World War One, Power began developing products specifically for military use. He designed and manufactured large numbers of transmitters and receivers for the Army, and worked on an electromagnet accepted by the U.S. Navy as the only detector capable of locating a submerged submarine lying idle. AMRAD also pioneered the development of simplified radio receivers and broadcasting service equipment.
After World War I, Power, in order to expand his business, bought more land and built an AMRAD manufacturing plant. This building later became the Hooper Electrical Engineering Laboratories, and is now known as Halligan Hall.
In 1930, Power merged AMRAD with Motorola, and sold all the local AMRAD land and facilities to Tufts. In 1948, Power became President and Treasurer of Power's Condenser and Electronics, and there he pioneered development of A.C. electrolytic capacities. Power retired in 1958, having spent forty-three years working with radio and electronics. He died in New Jersey on May 10, 1969.