Friday, December 26, 2014

Theodore Gurney, Aeronautical Engineer

(Link to Soundcloud File)
Theodore Gurney was one of my grandfather's younger brothers. He lived from 1908 to 2001. I sketched him in Rhode Island back in 1997.

Press the orange play button to hear him tell how his father doubted that airplanes would ever be commercially viable.

(Link to Soundcloud file)
Uncle Ted worked as an engineer for Pratt and Whitney in their aircraft engine division, and he helped Igor Sikorsky on flying boats and early helicopters. In this clip, he talks about what it was like to fly on giant airships during the golden age.
Previously: Sir Goldsworthy Gurney


James Gurney said...

Any of you who subscribed to comments from previous posts may have gotten spammed with robot spam from a user named Oakleyses. Sorry for the bother in your inbox.

It's the worst spam blast the blog has ever gotten, and I had to remove hundreds of spammy comments from old posts. I've changed the settings so that comments on posts older than 14 days have to be moderated, and I notified Google. So hopefully there won't be any more like that.

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

I love the voice of the person who introduces this segment - is it the same person who reads the Dinotopia pieces?


krystal said...

This is SO awesome! Who could have predicted the future? Actually, someone was saying just the other day that the men a few hundred years ago could have predicted the future 50 years ahead, and so could the ones a few generations ago, but we cannot really predict the future even 50 years ahead of us because it is changing so rapidly. Few could have predicted the Internet, computers and wireless technology the way it is a part of everything today. It's truly incredible. Btw, I hope you've seen the Imitation Game! I LOVED that movie; it was my favourite this year (and I LOVE Benedict C as Turing!). A couple of my friends are actually heading to Silicon Valley next year to do a road trip and visit some of their museums. Should be awesome!
What's interesting is how data is going to permeate our lives (already has), with the wearable devices, etc. Materials that store data memory and the Internet of Things. It's the perfect merger of art and science, as well as business and tech!

Amanda said...

If your uncle worked on the early helicopters, I really have to wonder if he may have worked with my father. Dad was an electrical engineer, and worked for Bell Helicopter when they were bringing out the first helicopters. His first assignment had him spending the better part of a year working on top of Mt. Washington, taking advantage of its foul weather to figure out how to get helicopter blades to de-ice themselves so they would not ice up and cause the chopper to crash every time you tried to fly them in cold wet weather. Even though he'd served in England during WWII, for a boy raised in the Virginia mountains, Mt. Washington was quite an experience; he talked about that for the rest of his life.