Academic journal article Air Power History

George Owen Squier: U.S. Army Major General, Inventor, Aviation Pioneer, Founder of Muzak

Academic journal article Air Power History

George Owen Squier: U.S. Army Major General, Inventor, Aviation Pioneer, Founder of Muzak

Article excerpt

George Owen Squier: U.S. Army Major General, Inventor, Aviation Pioneer, Founder of Muzak. By Paul W. Clark and Laurence A. Lyons. Jefferson NC: McFarland & Company, 2014. Photographs. Appendices. Bibliography. Notes. Index. Pp. 292. $39.95 ISBN-10: 0786476354

Whenever we make a phone call or find ourselves in an environment filled with background music, these ever-present elements in our life are thanks to George Owen Squier (pronounced "square"). He invented telephone signal multiplexing, which permits multiple transmissions on a single line, and devised the system that could provide piped-in music on demand to any location, including elevators.

This biography covers the full sweep of his military career as Chief Signal Officer of the United States Army, which included overseeing the effort to provide the United States, as well as its allies, with American-manufactured airplanes and engines during World War I. Simultaneously he was organizing engineers, scientists, and corporations in an effort to develop and supply the American forces going off to war with the most modern communications equipment yet designed.

The book's arc spans Squier's early years as a cadet at West Point, to his academic achievements at Johns Hopkins University (receiving his doctorate in electrical engineering), and through his life-defining career in the United States Army.

Of particular relevance to those of us interested in aviation history are his efforts to acquire aircraft for the Army. …

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