Ralph Batcher


Ralph Batcher
Dysart, IA, USA
Associated organizations
Decatur Manufacturing Company, Allen D. Cardwell Company, RETMA
Fields of study


Ralph R. Batcher (IRE: J, 1916; Associate, 1918; Member, 1922; Senior Member, 1943; and Fellow, 1950) was born in Dysart, Iowa, on 7 June 1897. He received the B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Iowa State College, Ames, in 1920 (now Iowa State University).

While a radio amateur (starting in 1909), Batcher organized, in 1915, an early broadcasting service in the middle west which sent daily weather and crop reports from station 9YI. During World War I, he became a Radio Inspector at the Port of New York, and also taught at the Marconi Institute and Signal Corps classes at the College of the City of New York. In 1920, Batcher became a circuit design engineer on machine switching systems at the Western Electric Company in Manhattan, New York City, New York. In 1924, he joined A. H. Grebe and Company, Long Island, New York, as receiver designer and a consultant to their broadcasting stations WAHG, WBOQ, and WABC. He invented the SLF variable condenser while working at Grebe and Co.

In 1928, Batcher helped organize and served as an officer of the Decatur Manufacturing Company, in Brooklyn, New York, manufacturers of radio speakers. In 1935, he joined the Allen D. Cardwell Company, Brooklyn, New York, as a consultant, and later became director of engineering until 1944, when he became consultant on the publications of the Caldwell-Clement Corporation, New York, New York, on the magazines Electronic Industries, Electronic Instrumentation, and Tele-tech.

While working at Cardwell, Batcher developed a number of printed circuit applications and the use of plated circuits fro electronic assemblies. He also designed a completely automatic production calibrator for military frequency meters that "read" the dials at more than 100 readings per minute and printed the calibration books automatically. This calibrator saved many hundred "man-years" of calibrator's time during the production interval.

In 1950, Batcher became chief engineer of the RETMA (Radio Electronics Television Manufacturers Association; later its name changed to Electronic Industries Association), where he managed their Data Bureau in charge of tube registrations and more than 100 technical committees dealing with system and product standardization work. He was a consultant to the Joint Electron Tube Engineering Council (JETEC), and a consultant to the U.S. Department of Defense Advisory Group on Reliable Electronic Equipment (AGREE). In 1962, he provided consulting services to manufacturers on product design and production problems, and automatic control.

Batcher was a Fellow of the IRE and of the Radio Club of America, a member of Tau Beta Pi, and a registered engineer in the State of New York. He was chairman of the board of directors of the 1954 National Electronics Conference. From 1954 to 1957, he served as chairman of the IRE Professional Group on Production Techniques. He was also active on many IRE committees, including the Annual Review Committee (chairman, 1949-1954), Public Relations (chairman, 1950-1951), Board of Editors, Meetings and Papers, and Standards, Symbols, and Television. From 1951-1952, he served as IRE representative to the American Standards Association (ASA) Sectional Committee (C16) on Radio (Secretary, 1952).