Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A bit of personal history.

This is part of an elaborate apparatus and I do not know what it's function was but it looked so fascinating I saved it in memory of my father.

A picture of John Zadori working at Hughes Aircraft Company.
Circa late 1950's

This is off topic but important to me. Today would have been my father's 98th birthday. John Zadori was born on September 28th, 1912 in Budapest, Hungary. He was an educated man and had a lifelong love of his profession. He became a "glass engineer" a scientific glass blower. He was fascinated with glass all the way up to his 80's when he died.

As I was remembering his birthday this morning I had the television on and happen to have CNN channel playing. Not really watching it just sort of having it in the background as I was preparing for my busy days activities. But something got my attention, they mentioned Lasik eye surgery.

This reminded me that my father actually made the first laser built. Dr. Theodore Maiman invented it but my father was the glass blower/engineer who actually made the instrument. When we first came to this country none of us spoke English and both my mother and father were in their mid 40's. To start from nothing must have been quite daunting for them. Although they were so very happy to get out of Communist Hungary and land in Los Angeles the details were just incidental.

The first job my father had was working at a church as the custodian. He swept the church and cleaned and did menial labor while my mother got jobs as a cleaning lady. Neither ever complained or ever regretted coming to America. However my father had a unique skill and he ached to work in his profession. Six months after we arrived here in January of 1957 Howard Hughes heard about my father and his glass blowing & engineering capabilities. Howard found my father and promptly hired him. My father actually had met Howard Hughes. I remember my father telling us that Howard Hughes used to come by and watch him work. So today I will spend the day remembering my father "Happy Birthday Papa".

Theodore Maiman is famous for inventing the first functioning laser in the world in 1960. He has been called “the father of the electro-optics industry,” but Maiman considers himself a scientist and an engineer, with research interests in electro-optics, lasers, displays, and aerodynamics. In addition to his patent on the first working laser, the ruby laser, Maiman also holds patents on masers, laser displays, optical scanning, and laser modulation.

Maiman was born in 1927 in Los Angeles, California. Interested in technology at an early age, he worked for a time as a radio and appliance repairman. In part, Maiman’s later academic pursuits were inspired by his father, an electronics engineer and an inventor.

Maiman began his academic studies at the University of Colorado and earned a B.S. degree in engineering physics in 1949. Two years later he attended Stanford University and obtained a master’s degree in electrical engineering and then a doctorate in physics in 1955.

In 1960 Maiman invented the first functioning laser in the world while working at Hughes Aircraft Company.


Anonymous said...

Ana, thank you for sharing such wonderful memories. How fortunate you are to have had such determined and loving parents. Anxious to see you in a couple weeks.....K Voigtman

Steve said...

What a nice remembrance.

It looks like your father was both an engineer and an artist. That glass is beautiful to look at.

Ellen Bloom said...

Wow! What a wonderful legacy you have! Your father sounds like a brilliant scientist and artist. Now, I know where you get your smarts from!

tece said...

Ana, I always enjoy hearing your family history. It is so fascinating.

Joanne said...

What an amazing story. I hope that you'll post more like this. You have a unique family history. Happy Birthday, Ana's dad! boldog sz├╝let├ęsnapot (I hope that's right).

ChelleC said...

Ana, what an amazing story about your Father. What a way to honor him. Your love for him shines through in your post.

Anonymous said...

Your family is also similar to mine as both of our parents left everything to start a new life as political refugees. My father also began his life here as a janitor and then put four of us through college.

I love your blog and hope to see you soon at the next GLASG meeting. Still waiting for my pocket wheel...