Oregon State University Libraries and Press

John Garman Oral History Interview, July 30, 1979

Oregon State University
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JL: Why don't we start with when you were born and where?

JG: I was born in Urbana, Illinois in 1896. I have a few pictures of the old place but it has, I think, it has been torn down since. My folks were all Illinois people. Very few of them ever went anywhere else except on trips. But dad wanted to come west and he came west. He took architecture at the University of Illinois and now I'm glad I have a grandson who has just got his master's degree in architecture with the University of California Berkeley. He's just finished up and is going to work for my son-in-law down there who 00:01:00needs lots of architecture because he builds many big groups of apartments. He builds two, three, four hundred in a group and so he's decided to work with the company.

JL: I see. What...

JG: So I'm glad that he's done it and he's quite interested in his granddad. My father who was architect and who built around Portland for many years.

JL: How did he happen to come west?

JG: I don't know. I was last time I was east I talked to his brother, my uncle, uncle Ike. Isaac Garman and he said, "He should have stayed around here. He could have been building buildings for the university." He said, "But he wanted to go west and by George he went west!" (Chuckle) That's the way he put it. (Chuckle) Yes, he did various things out here.


JL: Do you know was your mother did you mother want to come also? Was it...

JG: She was from here. I think he had been out here and they'd met here or something in Portland. But she she was born in Portland and grew up in Portland.

JL: What was her name?

JG: May Shockley. SHOCKLEY.

JL: And they...

JG: She had three sisters and a brother. They're all gone. She's gone, of course. She was born in '65. 1965 and dad in '61, So they're all gone.

JL: And when did they get married?

JG: I don't remember that date but I think it's in the records where I can find it and I can look it up.


JL: O.K.

JG: Yes, I'm sure I can.

JL: How many brothers and sisters did you have?

JG: I had one sister. That was all. She was seven years older than I. Born in '89 and she's been gone quite awhile. In fact, she's been gone since 1932, and her daughter has passed on now. She had one daughter.

JL: My gosh. What was your sister's name?

JG: Gladys Lillian Garman, So you came your what year did your family decide that they would move out to the west? Oh, it must have been about 19 [unintelligible] or 1898, I'd say. Within a year of that anyway. And they went directly to Portland.

JL: What do you remember about that?

JG: Well, I was only a couple years old then. I don't just don't remember anything. As to that. But they lived at Forest Grove for some time and I remember when I got big enough to remember much of anything after they had moved into Portland and my dad and my sister on Sundays would pack up their lunch and take their bicycles on the electric train, the interurban train, and go out to Forest Grove and ride around the country all day. (Chuckle) And get on an interurban and come back to Portland. In the evening. That was a favorite pastime.

JG: Oh.

JL: I remember too sometimes we used to go down early Sunday morning and get on a riverboat. The old T.J. Potter, for instance. A side wheeler and they'd make a trip down the Willamette to the Columbia and on up the Columbia to the Cascade Locks area and we'd have dinner on board and there was, oh, dancing and everybody brought lots of food along. Those were pretty nice trips. Yes, the Potter...

JL: How was that a common common excursion that families...

JG: Yes.

JL: ...would take?

JG: Yes. Whole families went on those. Those were common affairs for whole families. Lots of kids and lots of grownups and, yes, those were favorite ways of spending Sundays.

JL: So your father and mother and your sister and yourself came west...

JG: Yes.

JL: ...in 189 [unintelligible]?

JG: Just about in '98. As far as I know now.

JL: Then what happened.

JG: They settled down at Forest Grove and oh a few years later moved into Portland. And then he started building. He designed some houses that seemed popular and he built houses in Portland for many years after that.

JL: How did he get interested in architecture? Had he had the training back in Illinois?

JG: Well, I don't know, how did you say how I got interested in it?

JL: No. He got interested?

JG: No. I don't know why he got interested in architecture. But people that go to universities usually get interested in something. (Chuckle) And he came after he got here he did some woodworking with nice woods. I remember he went to the Pullman shops in Washington, at one time, and did some special woodwork for some of their private cars for, oh, the "big bugs" in the east owned private railway cars, you know, they rode around in. They just set then out where they wanted them to be and next train hooked on and hauled them on to where they wanted to go and they had their own cars their railway cars. They looked a lot like our lounge cars and observation cars but they had their own private cars and they were all fitted up for sleeping and eating and everything. You don't hear of them much anymore but they did...

JL: He went up to Washington to make these cars?


JG: The Pullman Company shops were somewhere in Washington. I believe at Pullman, Washington and he worked there a long time.

JL: Well, how did he establish a reputation in Portland?

JG: I don't know. He just got busy in designing I remember him fitting up the living room with great big drawing boards and rolls of drawings and plans and then he'd when I got big enough, maybe, eight or nine years old I used to do some inking in for him after he had penciled everything in.

JL: What did that involve?

JG: Well, you make those big drawings of front elevations and side elevations 00:05:00and each floor and roof and everything for a house. You draw it on a good size scale. A house might be that long and then but you did that...

JL: About two feet long.

JG: ...was all in pencil. Then when you're satisfied you had things about right you inked over the pencil marks and then erased.

JL: I see. Is that called a blueprint?

JG: No. Blueprints were copies made from the plans. Oh, if you wanted to make blueprints for the details, later you worked on you drew on a what they called tracing cloth, a thin sort of varnished very fine grained linen cloth that you could be, oh, it was almost as transparent as the window but you couldn't see anything through it. But, blueprints were prints made by light going through those like most all photographs. I made blueprints for the campus here for years when I worked up there in the old administration building. I made blueprints of plans and drawings and new roads and streets and 00:06:00drainage systems and buildings. I guess lot of them on file are some I made because I worked for them for several years while I was going to school.

JL: My gosh. Well, but, before I get to that let's continue on with your father. Had he had some friend that that was a architect or how did he set up...

JG: Not that I know of but early in the business, I know, he took on a partner and it was Garman and MacVicor. I want to hash it over with Robert MacVicor's sometime and see if it's any relative of his.

JL: Oh.

JG: But, MacVicor didn't do the architecture part. He more or less ran the building part and, well, I remember him sawing with a handsaw sawing off boards all day long. That's the way people worked in those days. MacVicor did a lot of the work.

JL: When did he set up his business? His partnership?

JG: Oh, probably around 1920 or more. The business got pretty poor in as much as it got to where practically nobody in it could make anything except by cutting corners and doing poor work and cheap work and charging for work they didn't do and dad wouldn't do that. He just quit it.

JL: Well, what had he done between the years 1898 and 1920 then?

JG: He built houses mostly. Mostly residences.

JL: Oh so he didn't have a corporation then?

JG: No. No, he never was a corporation. He built the William Woodcraft Building in Portland across the street from the Portland library. That was torn down last few years but that was one good size building he built.

JL: What else did he build in Portland?

JG: Well, he was construction foreman on the Elks Building down, oh, where it was about 5th or 6th and Stark or Oak, along there somewhere he was construction foreman on that building. I remember that. But, he quit the building finally. He had some, trouble... He was batching somewhere for a few days out at some job and he tried to heat a can of canned beans on a burner of some kind and he hadn't, he thought he'd loosened the lid, and just laid it on top. But, apparently it was tight and when it got hot and he pried the lid off it all blew out in his face and that ruined his vision so far as architectural was concerned. He couldn't see well enough after that where the careful drawing 00:07:00and so forth.

JL: You mean the beans exploded into his face?

JG: Yes.

JL: Oh.

JG: The lid was sticking. It swelled, I guess, and stuck and then pressure 00:08:00built up and when that pressure was released why the water all turned to steam right away and it blew out in his face. But, I know that damaged his vision considerably.

JL: Do you know about when that was?

JG: I was a little kid. I remember I had been up to Seattle to visit an aunt and uncle up there and I must have been, oh, maybe 10 or 12 years old. I don't remember just when but when I came back there he was with I think he was bandaged over one eye yet and had some trouble with the other one. So, he didn't get where he could see well after that. I know he liked to read and he did lots of reading but he always had a big [unintelligible] with a big magnifier when he was reading. Finally after mother died she was 80 so she died about 1945, why, he moved down here and he was here in Corvallis tell he died in, I think, 1955 at 94.

JL: My gosh.

JG: Two more months and he'd have been 95.

JL: That is remarkable. Well, now was your mother did your mother also work in the architecture shop or what did she do?

JG: No, she didn't do any of that. She just looked after us. Not many women did work at anything in those early days. They practically all have jobs now. But, in those day they didn't.

JL: What kind of things occupied her time?

JG: My time?

JL: Her time?

JG: Well, she played piano and she like- to sing and I remember there was always quite a stack of music. You got people didn't buy records in those days, 00:09:00they bought sheet music. Sheets so wide, so long, you know. Two, three, four, five pages with pretty pictures on the front and different kinds of songs and things in them. People ganged up around a piano and someone played piano and everyone sang. That was common entertainment in those days.

JL: What kind of an education did she have?

JG: High school. Portland high school. And I heard the, who was it, someone was mentioning a news in Portland last night they mentioned something on Glisan St. again. Well, that burned her up because she went to school with the Glisans and the Burnsides and the Ankeny's and those other people. But, somehow people have changed that over from Glisan to Gleason. Now, everyone calls it Gleason.

J:: Oh, no.

JG: I'm going to ask the mayor, if I see him sometime, just who changed it and why.

JL: (Chuckle)

JG: It's spelled GLISAN. Just like it's pronounced. But now it's called Gleason.

JL: I wonder how also.

JG: In the early days, well, when I was in high school there, oh, 13, 14, 15 I used to play in a little orchestra, played clarinet, that met every week and we just played for fun. Occasionally we played for somebody's wedding or, oh, cornerstone or something but we met at different places and we usually met way out in north Portland and I'd get on the streetcar and go downtown and transfer to the 3rd St. line and going north on 3rd St. the conductor called out the streets. Well, Morrison, Alder, Washington, Ash, Ankeny, Burnside, Couch, Davis, Everett, Flanders, Glisan, Hoyt, Irving, right on down. There was no GLEASON in those days! He always called them out and if he'd said them wrong there would have been trouble.

JL: (Chuckle)

JG: But, they didn't.

JL: (Chuckle)

JG: And I remembered from that. Dad built the Illinois exhibit at the Lewis and Clark Fair. There were three or four buildings there. He built those and I still have a passbook with some tickets in it and his picture he had used to get in the grounds. Of course, they worked there for a year or more getting ready for the fair. So he built the Illinois exhibit and I remember that exhibit too. They had quite a few receptions for famous people in those Illinois buildings and I remember being at one of the receptions. Of course, 1905 I was eight that summer and they have big tall Negro men come around with a tray, you know, with various kinds of cookies and different refreshments on and he'd always come way down with it to me, I 'd take one, I'd be afraid to take two.

JL: (Chuckle)

JG: But they had the atmosphere just right there. In those days they gave away lots of samples and I remember distinctly the beginning of shredded wheat. That's a favorite breakfast yet here but this started about then and they...

JL: In 1905?

JG: Yes. They had a booth there and they soaked wheat for overnight, at least, in water and then they put it in a press and pressed it hard and it came out through tiny holes in a metal plate in long thin strings, you know, and that was collected on a long tray and then they were sort of grouped, they were damp and soft, sort of grouped and marked along with a knife handle into these little biscuits and then they were baked as usual and then they'd set them out on the 00:10:00counter, one in a little dish with cream and sugar there if you wanted to use it and people stood around and ate those samples and they were very good.

JL: What exhibit was this that this was in?

JG: At the Lewis and Clark Exposition in Portland in 1905.

JL: Right. Was that in some particular building or some Nabisco...

JG: I don't remember what building but they had lots of industrial exhibits of different kinds there. And there were lots of samples of various kinds of things passed out.

JL: Ohhh. Nabisco sells shredded wheat doesn't it?

JG: I don't know but I remember it changed. It took place some years after 00:11:00that, somebody got quite a little money for it. They pointed out that, of course, it was shredded wheat biscuits at that time and there were certain freight weights on foods, prepared foods. Well, they told them change the name. Make it shredded wheat then you can sell it as processed grain and the freight weights were way lower and they did and they saved many thousands of dollars a year. (Laughter)

JL: Oh, my gosh.

JG: Just on that.

JL: What else do you remember about the Lewis and Clark Exposition?

JG: Oh, not much. The usual things. Pretty lights here and there and they had quite a lake, Giles Lake I think they called it. It had been a kind of a shallow, muddy lake there but it was dredged out and cleaned up and there were little boats on it and buildings along the sides and, I remember mainly, reflections of colored lights in the lake. Reflections in the water. Very pretty.

JL: What kind of entertainment did they have?


JG: Well, that's what I remember as entertainment. You walked around and saw things. Oh, I remember one thing too. The Galveston flood in Galveston, Texas had destroyed a lot of property and had killed a lot of people just a few years before that and they sent up a so called panorama of that flood. You got your ticket and you went into what looked like a railway car and you sat down in the seats and beside you there were windows and you looked out and there you could see a, well, what was sort of a replica of main street in Galveston and then the lights dimmed down and you could see flashes, for the lightning and thunder rolled and rain came down in great torrents and they more or less Illustrated that Galveston flood. I don't know what caused it whether it was a hurricane came ashore there or what but that will be in the records in the late 1890's. But that panorama as they called It was quite an interesting thing. That whole car would just fill up with people and you stood there and watched all those changes and they had wheels under the car and they were running on 00:13:00wheels that turned to make the sounds and the vibration. You'd just swear you were sitting in a railway car going along the tracks. Of course, in those days they were rougher than they are now and they didn't have roller bearings, but it would go clickety-click from the rails, you know, as you went over each rail joint. But, those kinds of things they had rigged up. They had, I think, there was some kind of a roller coaster. I know there was roller skating and I liked to roller skate and I skated there and later out at the Oaks. They had a big skating rink but people weren't as hard to entertain then as they are now. You got to do, oh, you got to smash cars and put on shows and shoot dynamite. People are harder to entertain and they've got to be entertained. People used 00:14:00to be able to entertain themselves to quite an extent, but not anymore. They've got to spend so much of their time look how they crowd into these theaters with so much other stuff to do in this world. But, there you are. (Chuckle)

JL: What kind of rides did they have there?

JG: Kind of what?

JL: Rides?

JG: Rides? Well, the streetcars covered the city.

JL: No, I mean like a merry-go-round or any kind of other...

JG: Oh, there were merry-go-rounds. My grandmother, granddad and the family lived on what's now Broadway, it used to be Seventh Street between Clay and Market that's just diagonally across from the old Lincoln High School which they built there. That block was bare at that time except it had some big tall fir trees and my mother used to remark she'd been up to the top of every one of them. (Chuckle) And they used to set up circus's and merry-go-rounds and various shows like that on that block just within a block of us. I was over at grandmothers quite a bit of the time and I'd go over and ride on merry-go-rounds.

JL: But at the exposition they didn't have any kind of these rides these kind of rides then?

JG: Oh, there wasn't anything like they have out by the Columbia Bridge there at Jansen but there were smaller ones yes.


JL: Hmm. How did you father happen to have built the Illinois Building?

JG: Well, he was from Illinois and he knew the people back there and I don't know how it happened but, I guess, relatives back there got in touch with him when the need came up to have an Illinois exhibit at the at Portland. Anyhow, he did it.

JL: Um hmm. So when was he building Pullman Cars?

JG: '73 (Whispered)... It seems to me that he was out here sometime before I was born and, I think, he was working there at Pullman in the 1880's.

JL: Oh.

JG: And was back and forth. I don't have all that history but I'm sure he was at Pullman's in the 1880's because he made he picked up a nice table walnut table and inlaid the top, a beautiful job of it, and he finally when he was here when he was about 90 he said, "I ought to date these things" and he turned it over and put his name and 1884 on the bottom. So he did it and he did that at the Pullman Works where he had access to little scraps of many kinds of woods, Holly and Amaranth and Ebony and many things and he inlaid a table for my daughter and there's one I have now that will go to my boy someday and that one is going to my other daughter. So, he did odd things. Oh, oh, let me get something he did. Wait, wait, wait. (Whispered)

JL: You mentioned that your grandparents lived in Portland also. What did your grandfather do?

JG: He died a long time, ago but as I remember It he had a trucking business. He had a barn right there near the house on Broadway and some big wagons and the stables were, oh, six or eight horses in it and I played around the barn quite a bit. But, everything all around Portland, of course, was hauled in big wagons by horses in those days.

JL: What did he haul?

JG: Whatever was to be hauled, I suppose, grain and furniture and lumber and heaven knows, what all. Everything that is hauled today was probably hauled then.

JL: He had his own company then ?

JG: Yes, he it was his own business.

JL: What was the name of it? Do you know?

JG: I don't know. I never heard. I don't think people bothered putting names much in those days except Smith does hauling. Something that way. Call him if you need some hauling.

JL: What was your grandfather's name?

JG: Amos Schockley. He was run over by a train in Portland downtown in 1912 and I have, I don't know, I had his watch was given to me at that time and I think I gave that to a cousin who is in Michigan, somewhere.

JL: What kind of things did you do with your grandparents in Portland?

JG: Well, granddad got early in the game he got a phonograph, so big square you know, the round top and handle on top and a lot of these cylinder records and he used to come out to the house Sundays or sometimes we weren't busy and play some 00:16:00records. I was quite interested in the phonograph and when I got a little older I remember scraping out they were a little tapered inside and you pushed one into a slightly tapered metal cylinder. Well, I turned one around and scraped the other end bigger to where I could put it on wrong end too. But, of course, it played backward and that was the most interesting thing to listen to. (Laughter)

JL: What kind of music did you listen to?

JG: Well, there was. I remember one [unintelligible] big long number entitled The 00:17:00Heavens Are Telling. I don't remember any more than that. I remember The Liberty March. He had quite a few records that were, oh, very serious and comic stories that people told. People told stories but finally they got to record them on phonograph records and stories of, oh, I remember one...

JL: I just had to watch it. O.K. go ahead.

JG: They announced the numbers right on the records and I remember one, I forget the name of the piece but they the announcement ended by Ada Jones and Len Spencer, Edison Record. They always put that in if Edison made the records. But, the announcement was always right on the record.

JL: Oh, that's interesting. So you did your whole family sit around and listen 00:18:00to the phonograph records?

JG: Yes, and then the whole family ganged up around the piano to sing and such were interesting things in those days.

JL: What kind of thing did you what interests did you have as a child growing up in Portland?

JG: I liked to dig mushrooms for one thing and after a rain I went all around over the hills, they are all built sol did now and dug mushrooms. We ate lots of mushrooms.

JL: How were you sure they weren't poison?

JG: I stuck to certain varieties that I could distinguish from the book. Of course, after I got down here I got more familiar with mushrooms and when they planted those trees they have along Monroe, along the lower campus, they brought those all in from the Arboretum out here and planted them they brought in lots of mushrooms and I used to pick various kinds there among those. They've petered out there now but they brought in lots of mushrooms for us with the trees, I guess, because we used to get quite a few kinds of there.

JL: How did you get interested in looking for mushrooms?

JG: I liked them. They were good. Mother used to occasionally buy some in the stores but I found that if I just took an ordinary fork and went out I just, a table fork, I'd go around and pry them loose and I'd get it out and dust the dirt off at the end of the root and so forth and she'd finish cleaning them and cookie them. But, we liked mushrooms and we liked various kinds of greens. This lambsquarter, so called, it's just a common weed now, in the country now, 00:19:00they were good. Even dandelion greens were popular then. Dandelion greens with some bacon. It was a mighty good dish.

JL: That was common among other families also?

JG: Yes, oh, yes. People didn't have to get everything at a store. Mother baked bread about once a week for the week and now they put bread out on a counter and, goodness if it isn't bought that day why they have to put it back and sell it as stale bread or something. Heavens! But she baked once a week.

JL: Did you spend more time with your mother or your father?

JG: Well, mother mostly, I guess, because he was usually busy. He tried to keep things growing and seeing different people and buying supplies and hauling 00:20:00lumber here and there where he was building and various things. He was pretty busy. He put in longer time than the ones that worked for him. (Chuckle) I remember grandmother too doing what other grandmothers did then. At the table when we were all there she'd hold up a loaf of bread right here and...

JL: In her arms, yes?

JG: ...slice off, cutting toward her, slice it off before she sliced it off though she'd pick up another knife and butter it then she sliced if off and picked it up with the knife and her thumb and passed it around clear to the next one.

JL: Good Heavens?

JG: Then she'd go around. That's the way it was done. You didn't buy sliced bread. They didn't have it.

JL: And she'd hold it she'd hold it between her arm and chest.

JG: She just held it here a long loaf, you see, and cut off a slice and (Chuckle) that's the way that was done.

JL: They didn't consider it unsanitary in those days?

JG: No, we all had napkin rings then too. When you get through you rolled your napkin up and put it in a sort of a little filigreed silver ring to keep it rolled up tell the next meal. Yes, those were common things. I went to the Clinton Kelly Grade School there in Portland. Yes, we had quite a school there. Big kids and little kids and now they can't let the big kids and the little kids on the same campus. It would be terrible.

JL: What kinds of things did you do with your father?

JG: Well, I rode around on bicycles. We bicycled around quite a lot. We did quite a little hiking, walking around. We'd go out on the streetcar line somewhere out toward the end of the line and there's open country beyond then. The streetcars went as far as there were houses, you see, and we'd hike around 00:21:00through the country and see, oh, various plants and flowers and little animals and those things.

JL: You father was very interested in nature?

JG: Yes, he was. Yes, we didn't kill things. We looked at them.

JL: Was there any problem in carrying your bicycle on the streetcar or the train?

JG: Not if you got on the interurban and some of them had sort of a combination baggage and passenger car and you could put your bicycle up in the baggage car in the baggage part.

JL: What kind of bike could stand the rocky, the gravel dirt roads?


JG: Well, made ones. I don't think many of the present ones would but they were sturdy enough. I never had trouble with a bicycle going bad. Some of them were heavy though. I remember dad's very early one. It was solid metal rods, not tubing's they have now so they were quite heavy (chuckle) and you always had a pump along and some patching material because when a tire went God why you had to take it off and patch it and pump it up to go on. (Chuckle)

JL: Was that common?

JG: Yes, oh, yes. Most everybody had a little clamp on the vertical column there that held a long slim tubular pump along with it. Oh, yes, you didn't go any where without the bicycle tire repair materials.

JL: Was your family did they discuss politics?

JG: Oh, I suppose they did. I when I was small there wasn't much politics to discuss that I knew anything about and I try to avoid a lot of it now because a lot of it is just plain "bunk". It isn't even politics. Yes, there's things have changed. There used to be three papers in Portland. The Telegram and The Journal and The Portland News and when people got off work on their way home as they changed cars, they'd ride downtown on one car and then get a transfer and get on the car that took them home out to some other direction and they usually bought the three papers. You got the three papers for 5¢ then (Chuckle) and they usually got all three papers to read on the car on the way home, so forth. Yes, the News was 1¢ and the Journal was 1¢ and The Telegram was 2¢.

JL: My gosh, that's an awful lot of reading?

JG: (Chuckle) Well, they weren't great thick things like they are now and (Chuckle) and there weren't as many ads.

JL: I see.

JG: The late edition had the recent baseball scores and that's what so many scrambled for. Yes, the old baseball park way out at West 23rd and Vaughn was a long way from downtown Portland, but the streetcar went right to it and they'd cars would pull up there about the end of the game there would be six or seven or eight street- cars all lined up waiting to take the crowd back downtown.

JL: My gosh! Were they comfortable? (Pause) Streetcars?

JG: Yes, and in the summer we had the open cars. They didn't have sides on them. They were just they had the roof and the ends and the platforms and the controls and big long seats clear across, you see. You could get on either side or off either side and they were open and it was pretty stormy. They had 00:23:00to canvas tarps they would pull along the sides and fasten on some buttons to keep most of the rain off you but those were the common summer cars. Of course, for the winter why they had the windows they have now with separate seats and an aisle down the middle and windows, which you could open the windows too in those days and yell at somebody that you knew or whatever.

JL: Did you have horses yourself to get around?

JG: No. Mo, not tell we moved from there along about, oh, 1908 or '09, let's see, 1910, maybe we moved...we moved (Chuckle) near to a place near Albany, you know, what they have for Millersburg didn't used to be Millersburg it was another mile or so north and it was just a little freight shed on a platform 00:24:00where you could get onto a train or off and we moved out there but to get there as people did in those days we just took everything downtown put it on a boat and were hauled up there by boat. Dad got a wagon and horses and various farm equipment before we left Portland and put it all on the boat and hauled it up there. Then we loaded up the wagon and made a couple of trips to get things to our place at Millersburg and I went to school there, district 32, that's were I graduated from the eighth grade.

JL: Now I don't understand. You moved to Millersburg from Portland?

JG: Yes.

JL: What was this about Albany?

JG: Well, it was near Albany, Millersburg was a place just a little freight shed a place where a train would stop on flag if you flagged it and wanted to get on, the local trains would stop, the trough trains wouldn't of course, but it you wanted to go into Albany why you could go in on the train if you wanted to flag the train down. Such things as that.

JL: I see. Do you remember the first time you saw a car?

JG: I remember the first time I really got up close to one. I don't know, I suppose I was, I may have been four or five years old and friends of ours got an automobile and they lived on, oh, not far from grandmother's place on Columbia between 7th and 8th, of course, that would be between Broadway and Park now and they took us for a ride a few times just to show off the car. (Chuckle)

JL: Oh, boy.


JG: But, cars weren't common and when we got over here to Millersburg, I remember, one of the kids that went to school where I did he got a ride with some folks who just got a new car and they were making quite a ride and he rode six or seven miles with them and got off and walked back just to get to ride in a car. (Chuckle) A long walk like that. But...

JL: Oh boy, and you went to high school then in Portland also, is that correct?

JG: Yes, the Benson Polytechnic.

JL: Oh.

JG: Yes, that was a good school. We didn't have study periods to play in. We 00:26:00spent the school time doing school work.

JL: You mentioned last Saturday that you had were active in World War I? Can you tell me about that?

JG: Well, I was drafted here after I had put in my freshman year I started...

JL: Oh, you had already been at O.A.C., at that time?

JG: Yes. I was drafted in the fall of '18 and I was in, oh, six, seven months and I got out in the spring of '19.

JL: What happened during those months?

JG: Well, I'd had a year of R.O.T.C., Reserve Officer Training Corp here so when I reported to Portland to the military department down there at the Armory I was assigned a group of 22 recruits to sort of herd on the train and everywhere to get them to Camp Lewis, so whenever we got back on the train I called the role 00:27:00the role to see that they were still all present and so forth and we got to Camp Lewis and we were all assigned various companies there. But, I was put in a depot brigade where new recruits came in and as I'd had a year of Reserve Officer Training Corp here including the manual of arms and the marching's and all that why that's a job I got building new recruits teaching them to right and left face and about face and forward march and shoulder arms and such things. And after several months of that I commenced to ask the sergeant" Well, when do I get out of here?" They'd bring them in, you know, and train them all ship them overseas and finally he said, oh, we need you here. Well, I'd had enough of that, yelling commands there all day long in the dust and heat. (Chuckle) So I looked around and found a captain who was trying to get a military band started and they wouldn't let him organize his band until he had the whole 50 for a military band. So, I praised myself highly. I'd played clarinet here in. 00:28:00college bands so pretty quick I was transferred out of that kind of work into the band and that was a lot better going. I got the same pay as the top sergeant and they didn't have band instruments. So, us who had instruments at home sent and got them and had them sent to camp and we played our own instruments and we rented them to. the government at $6.50 per month per instrument. So, you got just the same for a great big base drum as you did for a piccolo. (Chuckle)

JL: This was at Fort Lewis?

JG: Yes, Camp Lewis in those days. I don't like that change to Fort. That's 00:29:00a pretty old term and it never was a fort. That was generally some kind of a building in which you defended yourself.

JL: So you were at Camp Lewis for six to seven months?

JG: Yes.

JL: And then you came back to school here?

JG: Yes, and I went on with the R.O.T.C. and completed it because that gave me a chance to be a real member of the band. If I hadn't continued in the R.O.T.C. I could just have been a kind of a sit in in the band but I was the student director for several years and when Captain Beard didn't he didn't go out much in the evening and when we went to basketball games and that way I directed them.

JL: Oh. Well, before we go on I didn't realize that you had already come to school at O.A.C. How did you decide to come to school here?

JG: Well, we had heard from some people that they had had engineering here and I wanted to take engineering.

JL: Why did you want to study engineering?

JG: Because I sort of liked the idea of what I'd read and seen about engineers and engineering and I always I liked to read and I've always done a lot of reading. Newspapers and books and whatever. I think I read more than the average person and I still do. I just decided I'd like to be an engineer.

JL: Was this encouraged by your parents? What did they want you to do?

JG: No, they didn't urge me either way. I could be what I wanted to do.

JL: He didn't, your father didn't want you to become an architect?

JG: He never said one way or the other what he wanted me to become. That was my business. No, I don't like what I've seen of the results of some people trying to force their kids to do things they want them to do and I wouldn't attempt to do that myself.

JL: Do you remember how you heard about O.A.C. at all?

JG: Well, to some extent through the newspapers and their mentioning the "Agies" that was what they called the team then. They came to Portland sometimes to put on games. I didn't go to the games but my uncle did. I had an uncle there, my mother's brother who taught wrestling and boxing at The University of Oregon and I heard...

JL: What was his name?

JG: Edgar Shockley.

JL: O.K.

JG: And I heard quite a little about athletics from him. I never was much of an athlete or cared much for it but he was and he was a pretty good one and I heard quite a lot about the schools and he mentioned, of course, the teams getting to make trips here and there, you know, to see the country and all that. He never mentioned that when they make a trip somewhere they just practically shut them up in a room and don't let them go or see anything or talk to anybody for fear they might be asked to throw the game or something. There seems to be an awful lot of that now. They don't dare let them mix with anyone where they go. They just go play the game and come back. I was surprised at that but I decided I'd like to be an engineer and when I went to Benson Polytechnic I took the electrical work and we did a lot of designing and building of electrical devices for the city then.

JL: What kind of school is Benson Polytech?

JG: It's a technical high school as you would call it. We spent less time on literature and art and music than the usual high school does and we spent more time on, well, I think I could qualify as a pretty good machinist when I got out of there and we had electrical construction labs. I did repairs and reconstruction of lots of damaged electrical equipment and there's always been call for people to do that. When I graduated there I got a good job right away whereas most of the kids that studied the art and literature they got a job pumping gasoline. Some such.

JL: How did you happen to go there?

JG: They taught what I wanted and what I thought I liked and I went over a few 00:30:00times and looked at the school.

JL: Was it a private school?

JG: I'm not sure whether it had been a private school in the early days or not. But it was a public school when I went to it. When I started to it it was called Portland Trade School, but by another year or two it had become the Benson Polytechnic School. A regular high school.

JL: You mentioned last Saturday about riding your bike down here. Can you tell me about that? (Chuckle)

JG: Well, two of us there used to do lots of bicycling. We bicycled up the Columbia Highway after they got it built to see the various falls and things. We'd take a lunch along and we'd practically bicycle all day long. Up to 00:31:00Horsetail Falls and those various places and Oneida Gorge and Multnomah and we'd make some pretty long trips so we liked to ride bicycles and we rode them around Portland. We'd ride on through Portland on up the west side up to Council Crest where you could see around over the country and see snow capped mountains, you know, and that and the Portland Zoo there was always an interesting place to go to and when we decided it was about time for college to start we ought to go down and take a look. So we just got on our bicycles and came down. I packed up a truck full of stuff and left it so the folks could ship it on down it I thought I'd stay here and we came down here and, hmm, on the way down we got to Salem the first day that was kind of a long trip and...

JL: I guess.

JG: ...we got there we were kind of tired. We had we did start early in the morning, you see, but day light like a long trip that should have been started. So it was practically dark when we got there...

JL: Where?

JG: ...and as we came into town we wondered where should we stop and we saw over across a fence here was a stack of hay. Well, pretty quiet around didn't see anyone, let's just go over and sleep there so we climbed over the fence and took our bicycles over the fence and went over by the hay and then spread out a little hay down and put our blankets on it and went to sleep and then in the morning, early in the morning, some fellow came and woke us up and he was a 00:32:00policeman or a watchman from the State Fair, It was nearly State Fair time and he'd seen us there in the morning and wondered what we were doing and said, "I'm putting you under arrest". And so we talked to him quite a while and told him where we were going and why so he finally turned us loose so the next day then we came on to Albany and then across to here. And it was pretty hot and by late afternoon we got here and we were pretty tired so we thought we'd go down to Eugene and take a look down there too but we never did. We figured we'd traveled enough, let's just go to school here.

JL: You didn't need any prior application to go here then?

JG: No.

JL: Your intention was if you liked it you'd stay? If you didn't you'd go back home?

JG: Yes, so we had to write down to Benson Polytechnic and have them send our credentials down saying we'd been there and graduated and so forth.

JL: This was in the summer of 1917?

JG: That was in the summer of '17.

JL: What were the roads like coming down on a bicycle?

JG: From Portland to Salem or almost to Salem or almost to Salem it was mainly plank roads, long planks you rode the length ways of the planks, oh, 3 x 12's 3 x 14's, they'd be two of them together to make it wide enough for a walk and they were pretty good to ride on. That made a good walk. Sometimes in town you'd come to where they had crosswalks. The boards went cross ways and they rattled and were noisy and rough but we liked those long planks. They were dandy to ride on but this side of Salem it got pretty bad because there weren't any walks any more and there were only gravel roads anywhere and by fall the gravel had pretty well cut up and it was mostly dust on top and loose rocks in the dust and we took some spills when we'd hit a rock and so forth but we made it and we're kind of glad we did looking back on it.

JL: What was the traffic like?

JG: What was what?

JL: The traffic like?

JG: Oh, not much traffic. There wasn't much traffic in those days. An occasional car would come along and you'd see an enormous dust cloud behind it so we'd get off the road on the side the dust was blowing away from and wait tell it had pretty well dissipated and then go on. Yes, they were just mainly mall open cars. Dust yes lots of dust.

JL: I don't understand these plank roadways. There were just two strips for the wheels?

JG: They were walks not roads.

JL: Walks.

JG: Cars went on the gravel on the gravel roads where it was graveled and but these were walks where people walked. Lots of people walked in those days. All around. They walked from one house to the next and they walked to the stores. They didn't jump in a car to go everywhere.

JL: Where did the highway come down?

JG: It came into Albany between the 1-5 and the river. It finally was made into highway 199 East, what we came, finally became 199 E it was just a county road in those days and we passed a just out of Albany a Jewish cemetery there, I remember and it had a big arch up over the entrance to it with the various Jewish symbols on it and it's still there and I've seen that cemetery there since but, of course, it's not on what's now the main road. It was on the river side of the little lake over there, now, what that Willamette Lake they call it. What do they call it. I think it Willamette Lake. But, there were mainly wagons. There was an occasional car and back in those days about every 00:33:0020th car was a steamer. Not a gasoline driven car.

JL: What's that?

JG: A car run by steam. Not by gasoline. They had boiler and kerosene flame and they heated and boiled water and ran a steam engine to run the car. Oh, yes they were something pretty good. They could do a pretty good job now. Later after I graduated I worked in Portland for the Stanley Steamer Agency and they furnished the car, nice big seven passenger car, to haul the mayor in the Rose Parade and such things as that. When there were special parades because the steamer would run along without making the slightest sound of any kind and people would listen and "buck" their ears and watch along and how can a car run so quiet. The gasoline cars all made quite a grinding racket but the steamers were a real nice car.

JL: What was your intention what did you want to do when you graduated? When you first came...

JG: I wanted to get a job and earn a few dollars because I was practically flat broke all the time and I did I got a job in an electrical repair agency down 00:34:00there, Skein Electric Works and I repaired electrical equipment. You see, all these motors and things that run most of devices that are run in factories and so forth go on the bum once-in-awhile and they've got to be repaired and that's kind of special work and I had gotten a pretty good idea of the work so I got busy on electrical repairing. I'm glad of that too because I got more money for that than kids got for, oh, pumping gasoline and waiting on tables and such things as most of them had to do and when I got down here I got a job with the electrical engineering department. I repaired and maintained equipment here.

JL: While you were a student?

JG: Yes. That helped me get through school. I didn't have any big grants and so forth from the government. We didn't have those things.

JL: You mentioned when you first arrived here they were moving the police station. Will you tell me about that?

JG: Yes, only it wasn't a police station. It was the depot and it was too far south. It was down at the south...

JL: O.K. Tell me again.

JG: Oh, going south there at the end of Sixth Street is where the depot was and I suppose it was considered to far from the center of town. Anyway they moved it up to its present location. And it was the Southern Pacific Depot for many years after that. It only became the Police Department much later.

JL: Tell me how it was moved?

JG: They jacked it up with many jacks where you turned the screw with a bar, you know, and push it up a little at a time. They had whole rows of these on great big timbers. They must have been 15" square or more. Enormous timbers and they went and lifted it up and then they got rollers under it and hooked on the 00:35:00end with a cable and just towed it along very slowly, you could hardly see it move and then they as they'd run off a roller they'd drag it around to the front and it'd roll onto it again. So they had a lot of rollers underneath and they were on planks and wedged up to make them level and they did a it took a long time. It took a I don't know how long but most every time I'd go downtown I'd see it moved a little farther along but that was a good job and...

JL: Was it longer than a week?

JG: Oh, I don't suppose they moved it in a week. I expect it was longer than that, but I don't have that. That might be in the article that you might look up because my partner that I came down from Portland with took some pictures. I wasn't a picture taker then, of the moving, and he wrote an article and it was 00:36:00published in Popular Mechanics that fall sometime. In the fall of 1917 you might find an illustrated article in Popular Mechanics. I'm sure it would be on file at the college library.

JL: What was the name of your friend?

JG: Richard Stanton and he took engineering too, I believe. I just don't recall quite what he took. That was a long time ago.

JL: How many horses and men did it take to move the station?

JG: Oh, just two horses. They capstan, so called, of sort of a vertical drum with a big timber out the top and then a long timber way down there or 30 feet 00:37:00long or more and a team hitched on that that just pulled it around in a circle. Turned the drum and wound up the cable. That was just a standard way of moving things, as they'd use a wench on a ship and as lots of people have little winches now on the front ends of their jeeps if you'll notice. There will be a little drum with a cable on there just for the same purpose of pulling things. Oh, they pulled it a few blocks, I suppose, and then moved the wench forward and unwound the cable again. It would take an awful big drum to hold enough to do it all in one bite but they moved it to where it is and with very little damage to it. I only remember seeing one crack, in a stone building put together with cement is not very flexible, and if bent very far it broke. But, they did a fine job of moving it.

JL: Did it always have a crowd watching? Was there always a crowd?

JG: Oh, I don't remember any crowd watching it. People walked by they'd glance up at it and go on. It was just it wasn't anything unusual or spectacular to move a building. You don't see crowds stand watching them move buildings now although they did move M.E. Woodcock's old house there on 5th across from the Courthouse, They did move that clear out of town. Way out north here, I saw them several times with that on the way but, well, people don't seem to stop and watch anything anymore. I remember in Portland, there was a wreck once in the railroad coming down in Sullivan's Gultch which is now where the Banfield Freeway is and they had wrecked part of a freight train and there were some cars of wheat spilled. Carloads of wheat and dad and I went out and looked there watched them righting cars and getting them back on the track and so forth. It was interesting to watch and we noticed that at the finish we were there one day when they were just cleaning it up that a lot of people had come out and were standing around there waiting and when they got about the last car out of 00:38:00the way and the track was runnable again people commenced filling their pockets with wheat and there they stood off at the sides and here came the first passenger train through and, of course, the people on the train knew there had been a wreck and they wanted to see what was going on so they put their windows down and leaned out the windows to look and they were all showered with wheat. (Laughter) They got back inside and dug wheat out of their eyes and shut their windows. That was quite a sight. But that was just common entertainment.

JL: When was that?

JG: Oh, that may have been as late as 1906 or '07, Yes, and now they are going to run a railroad a Portland to Gresham railroad down that gorge too. Goes up from downtown Portland on east.

JL: Who did you talk to when you first arrived at O.A.C.?

JG: I don't remember but we sort of walked around the campus and we didn't find anything anyone to talk to then. It was late afternoon, and everything was closed. I think next morning we looked around and found the registrar's office and people used to have an awful time with that word registrar. Register was what most people called it. Because registrar was a very uncommon word like brethren easy to say but we finally got to the registrar's office and, I think, 00:39:00Tennent, E.M, Tennent was registrar then and we talked to him or to some lady there I don't know which but we told her we were here and we want to go to school and we came from the Benson Polytechnic. Well, people from the Benson Polytechnic had had a pretty good reputation here and they still do, I notice. And so they told us what to do to send and get what information we needed and school wasn't starting school didn't start tell at least a week late that year because harvest was on and people were busy in harvest and they just didn't start the school when they'd expected to. I don't know what time of year it was maybe early in September but it couldn't have been later than the fifth or six but it would have started soon after that except people who were needed in 00:40:00the harvest and they just delayed the opening of the college here, at that time.

JL: What did you do in the meantime while you were waiting?

JG: Well, we didn't sit around and mope and we didn't go to a picture show. People didn't have to be entertained in those days. They could get along a few days at a time without having someone entertain them or direct them. I can't understand how it is now. Nobody people just die if they aren't entertained every minute. We found things to do, places to go, things to see. We were down along the river, paddled along on a log, I remember, for one thing and we just liked to look around and see the town see what was going on.


JL: What did you see?

JG: What did you say?

JL: What did you see?

JG: We saw Corvallis just as it was with the several blacksmith shops and several livery stables where you could rent horses and wagons or saddle horses and I don't remember buildings under construction at that time. There may have been but there were numerous stores here and we the storekeepers were always happy to talk a few minutes with you if you if they weren't busy and most of them weren't because this town was awfully quiet when school wasn't in operation. I think there were somewhere between 1,500 and 1,800 students, at that time, but when school was closed, why, the town was very quiet. We found a city library. They had the Portland paper so we could get the Portland news and other things and...

JL: How did the campus impress you?

JG: We liked the looks of it. There wasn't any pavement on the campus I don't think at that time but there was just a few buildings. They had some bleachers out where the ball games were held. There were, oh, I don't remember what buildings were here then but it's all on record here and there, but I do remember them planting elm trees in front of the library. First year I was here they were moving into the new library, the old college library was in the upstairs part of what they called what do they call it Benton Hall now? It used to be the administration building the one with the clock tower.

JL: Yes. Benton Hall.

JG: And they built an upstairs tramway way up in the air out upstairs windows in it and across and into upstairs windows in the library and they even had a cover over that all the way to keep rain off and they built a lot of tote boxes just the right size for a shelf of books and they'd take a shelf of books down and put it in the tote box with handles on the ends and they'd get that on a truck and truck it across to the library and put it in it's new place. That was a BIG job. But that was going on through the winter.

JL: My gosh.

JG: And, yes, we met something like that when we moved the physics department to out of where we were in Apperson Hall over to what was then the physics building 00:42:00and then we had to move again from there into the present Wenigar Hall but we used those same tote boxes. They were kept around, I guess, they're still around. They were used for a lot of moving on this campus. But, so many things would go in them and they were nicely built to load and to handle. Yes, that was...

JL: What was happening on the river during those early days?

JG: Quite a lot of boats came up and down here with cargo's. I know a fellow here, let's see, what's, his name. S.P. Babb who was local shipping agent for two shipping lines that ran steamers up to Corvallis when the water was high enough and shipped, oh, grain and household goods and lumber and wheat and supplies and vegetables and whatever up and down between here and Portland. This was as high as they generally went. When the water was pretty high they 00:43:00could go on away even to Eugene at very high water but that was seldom done but two lines at least had their upwind upriver terminals at Corvallis.

JL: Did you ever travel these steamers?

JG: Only that one time we moved from Portland to Albany. We got off at Albany, of course, at the dock there. You can't just get off anywhere because the banks, you'd have to get up the banks someway with your horses and wagons and things.

JL: What year did you move to Albany?

JG: I was trying to recall I think it must have been about 1908.

JL: Oh, I...

JG: ... '08 or '09,'07, '08, or '09.

JL: And then you moved back to Portland?

JG: The folks moved back to Portland, yes, let's see, we moved from Millersburg we moved into Albany and dad built several houses there and then we moved back to Portland about, well, about 1912 when I started at the Benson so I think we moved in the spring of 1912 back in Portland and he did some building after that but no more architecture. He couldn't see well enough.

JL: You weren't interested yourself in architecture or...

JG: No, it never interested me.

JL: Nor music as a profession then?

JG: No. I liked music and I liked to play it but I realized my own liabilities and lack of capabilities in music. I was just not dexterous enough with quick moving fingers and tongue and so forth to compete with those I knew I'd be competing with I wasn't so built. I liked to play, yes, and I played quite a lot. I played in several different outfits. I played in the Portland Letter Carriers Band at one time, I played in the Fireman's Band, I played in the Elks Band, I played in the Police Band. I used to go down to rehearsal Sunday morning at eleven o'clock down at the Police Station.

JL: Where was this? (Pause) Where...

JG: Those were back when I was in high school and just after it in maybe 16, 17, maybe 18 a little.

JL: I see.

JG: But I played in a lot of those things.

JL: So you came down here, on your bicycle, in 1917 and waited for the school to start in the fall and you were registered in electrical engineering?

JG: Yes, and graduated in it.

JL: Who were some of the professors that stand out in your mind in electrical engineering?

JG: Fred MacMillan was head of the department in later days. Earlier it was, oh the dickens, what's his name now? Gosh, I can't remember his name, but I think, the head of the electrical engineering department was the best lecturer I've ever listened to lectures from.

JL: Why is that?

JG: Because he did a good job. He did it very well. He lectured on electrical engineering, of course, and Sam Graf was the main person in 00:44:00mechanical engineering and we took quite a little work in mechanical engineering. Steam power and so forth.

JL: Well, who was an exceptional teacher did you say?

JG: I'm trying to recall his name. I don't recall everything and that was over 50 years ago. What was his name. Dearborn, R.H. Dearborn, DEARBORN. Yes, he was head of the department then.

JL: What kind of a man was he?

JG: Well, he was more a theorist to look at him than an engineer you might say, but of course, engineers aren't really engineers anymore. They used to do things but now they just work calculators and slide rules and such things, but he was more of a theorist. I never saw him repair or hook up anything in the labs there, but some of the others did. Then Nichols was my, I think, my first professor. He was my first professor in engineering, yes, he was in charge of the first laboratory work I had in electrical engineering.

JL: What kind of projects would you work on in these labs?

JG: Just what engineers were doing out in the field. We'd figure out what would be needed to do a certain job running an elevator. Running a drag line, doing various kinds of jobs and then we'd pick out and design the equipment needed for it as well as we could, then we'd pick out up to what we had on hand 00:45:00what we had there that was capable of doing the job as near like we wanted it, ideally as possible and then we hooked it up and made it work and do the work we had intended to do, however much and so forth.

JL: Can you remember any particular project that stands out in your mind?

JG: Yes, place was always improving and increasing and I spent quite a lot of time working for them there in building a switchboards and big switches and motor mounting platforms and connecting things up so they'd be ready to hook up and run student projects. Yes, I worked on a lot of stuff there due to my 00:46:00previous experience. I got a lot of experience in that at the Benson. We got more experience than talk down there and I just remember I have a son-in-law over in Arabia the rest of the time he came back early in the month but he's been there he'll be there until November and he's had an awful time getting engineers that can do anything. He needs engineers that can set up a project and make it work. And the last ones he had as failures were four very highly recommended electrical engineers from Japan and he found that they had not the slightest idea of how to hook up a 400 horse power electric motor or even how to put a belt on or how the to connect it to pump or how to make it work and they though were specialists in programming computers and they wanted to stay around until he got the job done and then they would program the computers to 00:47:00operate it. But (Chuckle) he shipped them out. (Chuckle) But there is so much of that going on. People that don't want to do anything. They just want to be important.

JL: Were there any women in electrical engineering during those first years?

JG: No.

JL: Why is that?

JG: Well, I can't say but women were just not registering in engineering in those days. They are now, in fact, I have a daughter a granddaughter who's registered up at Washington State for starting this fall for a what do they call it bio medical engineering.

JL: There weren't restrict [unintelligible]...

JG: And they are starting to put it on here now too. At least medical, er, bio engineering but I haven't had any contact with it. I want to get the catalogs and see what they have to say about it but I haven't yet. When I get up there at the office again I'll dig up a catalog and see what they say about it.

JL: They weren't restricted by anybody?

JG: Why no. Nobody was restricted but who wanted to. They didn't nobody wanted no women wanted to do engineering or take engineering courses. I remember later, why the dickens, it must have been 10 years or more after I graduated some girl did register in engineering here in electrical engineering and they had the news men down from Portland to make her picture around different electrical machinery and that as if she knew anything about it. She 00:48:00didn't finish graduate. She dropped out but that was more or less just something commie, at that time.

JL: Isn't that something. How times have changed.

JG: Women, well, women didn't get, at that time, any preparatory work for engineering They didn't get any, in fact, women didn't get any lab work in much of anything that I know of except sewing. (Chuckle)

JL: Do you remember Dr. Kerr?

JG: Yes, oh, yes. Yes, I knew him pretty well.

JL: How did you know him?

JG: Well, he came over to my labs over there a few times with, oh, family 00:49:00pictures and wondered if I could make copies out of them and fix them up. Some were in bad shape and I did such things for him a few times and...

JL: How and when did you get interested in photography?

JG: I got interested in it during my time in the military. My sidekicks then a fellow who since taught school at, oh, the dickens what's the name of that town now a town up, oh, about half way between here and Portland. I'll think of it later, I guess. Anyhow, he was interested in photography and as soon as I saw him getting out and setting up tripods and big cameras and equipment, why, I got interested and I'd go out with him sometimes when he'd set up to make pictures. I remember we went out one evening after revelry and we should have been in our bunks but we sneaked out and took a camera out to a little lake in camp there not far from our barracks and set the camp up set the camera up where we could 00:50:00see the moon rise, full moon, beyond the lake when it finally came up and when it was about moon rise, why, the camera there he opened the shutter and let it expose. Weak light, of course, and he let it run for half an hour or more and in the meantime the lake froze over. It was cold. So we got a very interesting picture. It showed the ice on the lake and the little marks in it. Also, it showed the nice sharp reflections of the trees in the lake, that wouldn't be reflected in ice.

JL: Hmm.

JG: And such things as that. I got interested and then when I got back in 00:51:00school I found there were some courses going on here in photography and I took some.

JL: Who were they taught by?

JG: R.W. Uphoff. U P H O F F. He taught photography in the physics department. He moved to Chicago finally and I don't know how he got along there but he wanted to go on in photography. Anyway, I got interested and when I went to Wisconsin at Madison, University of Wisconsin at Madison for graduate work I took some photography courses too, so when I was back here I got things going and taught some courses. He had taught a couple of courses and then when he left and then when I come back I took them over...

JL: So...

JG: ...and I extended it and I built it up and I got to doing photographic work for different college departments and we got that going as the Photographic 00:52:00Service Department as we called it. It's still operating. It's not in physics anymore, but it's...

JL: You started the photo service? (Pause) You helped start it then, yes?

JG: I helped start. I won't say I started it because people were doing some work for other departments, after hours and in holidays and things and just as a side issue and to give a service but we got it going finally to where people were paid for doing such work.

JL: Well, now when was this that Dr. Kerr brought his photographs to you?

JG: Oh, along in the early days. Probably in the '20's. I don't remember the dates but as I recall it he'd been president here for a long time when I arrived here but you can look...

JL: 1907.

JG: Yes, but he was president for quite awhile after I got here.

JL: What kind of a man was he? What were your impressions of him?

JG: He was a very keen man. He saw and he understood and he acted, I think he was a mighty good president. Probably the best the school has ever had. That's nothing against any of the others that came later but he was he could handle the politicians in Salem and he could handle the different departments and he got people working together and working and I always had a good word for him. He was, I believe, a might fine president.

JL: In what ways did you know him? As a student did you have any contact with him?

JG: Well, I often heard him. He talked to the student body lots of times, you know, the student body wasn't very big and he'd just address them formally in graduation. He talked to us quite a lot of times. Even in groups. In the old library there, room 100, in the old library was where, oh, several hundred people could meet there and he had a big room full of students or practically the whole faculty met in there and he'd, I remember, him talking to us lots of times. I think he came in one time, yes, one time when I was president of Ada Kappa Nu, an electrical engineering fraternity I was the first president of that. I helped organize it. He came in there we had a meeting over there and he came in and talked to us a little bit about fraternities and things and I remember introducing him to talk to us. Yes, he was around the school. You saw him in the different buildings. He always wanted one key that would open all the buildings on the campus but he never got it. They didn't have the locks so much alike. (Chuckle) But that was one thing he always wanted. (Chuckle) Yes, he was a mighty good president.


JL: What was happening on campus during the war years? World War I.

JG: We had what was called the S.A.T.C Students, A what was a for? Training Corp. Students, something, Training Corp. S.A.T.C. What was the A?

JL: And?

JG: Students, something I can't recall what the A was. Army. Students Army 00:54:00Training Corp. Of course, they had some other branches there too. There were some in aviation and there were some in navy but it was mainly army then and I was in that when I was a student here and we got regular military training. The lower campus was used as a training ground then. It's the only time it was. That was a parade ground and the armory when it was stormy we drilled in the army quite a lot but there was just a lot of military preparation going on and, yes, that later then during the next war, why, we had quite a lot of students here studying in military getting training and there breaking in courses and all that and taking various things. Work in physics and engineering and so forth things that could be use to them useful for them in the army.

JL: What was the feel of the campus during World War I?

JG: Well, let's do what we can to further the war effort and help the country along. That's what everybody had in mind. Seemed to have. I didn't meet any that didn't and we were so busy in the physics department. We had lots of men sent here for training.

JL: This was World War I?

JG: II this time.

JL: Oh.

JG: And...

JL: What about World War I?

JG: Well, the first year I was here we were in the war, I guess, or getting ready for it and I was in the band and we called it a military band and gave it all the military drill that a military band would get and there was other work for the military going on. Basic training was the common thing and most everybody in school here then got basic military training. We climbed walls and jumped ditches and went through obstacle courses and got practice shooting on the range and gun manipulation and bayonet drill and all the usual stuff but we were being trained here to be of use in the war, just as they were in many other camps although the idea here was preparation of the officers more than just enlisted men.

JL: Was there support for the effort?

JG: There seemed to be. I don't know of any objection to it. There may have been a few so called conscientious objectors. I didn't meet them and I don't think I would have talked to them if I had. If they weren't willing to help out their country in time of need I just didn't have much use for them and most 00:55:00others didn't as I remember it. I don't know if they were out of school or what but I didn't have contact with people that were against military and war and everything else as a lot of these objectors were. I kept away from it. I...

JL: I imagine there weren't many on campus.

JG: Well, there couldn't have been very many. I think I would have run into some and listened to their tirades but I didn't. Yes, it was a busy time. War we were pretty busy here too with all that training and we got, well, they got quite a group going watching for planes and keeping track of planes and on top of the physics building and various other buildings there were watchers all the time day and night with their ears open and their binoculars spotting planes. We didn't want people to come over and drop bombs on us and lots of people signed up to put in, say, four hours a day or four hours a night on those jobs. I didn't get in on that. I was busy enough in photography without that and some though did and it was the campus was well watched.

JL: August 3rd, 1979. Let's see, you mentioned last time that R.H. Dearborn was a theorist, do you remember? What was...

JG: Yes. He was more a theorist than a mechanical type. I never saw him doing much around the various labs. We used to have considerable machinery in 00:56:00the laboratories and the different ones worked on it but he was usually at his desk going over reports and things and he went around to the different power companies and so forth so he was more the theorist type.

JL: What was interested and involved in? Can you think of anything specific?

JG: He seemed to be quite interested in the economics of power production and transmission and delivery. That seemed to be his main field and I took several courses under him different times and I always put him down as one of the best lectures that I listened to and I listened to a lot of them here.

JL: Why is that? Why is he better than somebody else?

JG: Well, I think he had his material well prepared. I didn't see him use notes but unless he had some figures he wanted to keep straight but he seemed well prepared and knew what to say and when to say it and that so many kind of stop and wonder what comes next or did I cover this. Everyone can't lecture well. You probably notice that when you listen to some of the news items when they get somebody on the scene of something that's happened and try to get them to talk about it. There's lots of people that are quite a bit like that.

JL: Right.

JG: Yes, he was very good.


JL: Was he did he get on a personal level with his students at all?

JG: Well, whatever that means...

JL: Well, would he socialize with the students?

JG: Oh, yes, what doings we had he came to and; I know when I was, let's see, we put out a magazine here used to in engineering and I went to him when I was editor of it for articles on different things and he always wrote us a good article to use. Yes, he came around to our meetings.

JL: What magazine was this?

JG: Let's see, do I have a copy? Just a minute. Oops. Wait, wait, wait.

JL: Well, this magazine was it written while you were a student? Is that what you were saying?

JG: Yes. We just as a group of students we decided to get out a magazine and, oh, as most student papers didn't last long but we put a few issues out.

JL: When was this?

JG: Oh, probably '21. 1920 or '21. But, I have a copy up in the in my office, I'm sure. I have a copy somewhere and we got different ones of the students wrote up articles and we got different profs to write articles and we had, I think, a pretty good magazine.

JL: Who started that?

JG: I can't say for sure, of course, that was 50 years ago or more and I just don't remember but it was right there in the department anyway. I think it was just a few of the students started it up. But, engineering has changed greatly since those days. We used to get considerable lab work in setting up and 00:58:00operating machinery of various kinds and making it do what it should do and was expected to do. Now they seem to spend most of their time on programming computers.

JL: Well, the kind of articles the student wrote were about what?

JG: Well, things of interest to students in their fields. I remember writing one article on hydraulic power dams and that. They were just starting a few of those in the northwest. We had a few hydraulic set ups had been built. The big ones hadn't though. The Bonneville or any of those. But they came on later but part of our work, of course, was working out the economics of such things. Would it be feasible. Would it pay for itself finally and so forth. Those things were important. And what machinery should be used. One great big 00:59:00generator or a row of small ones and such things. What effect would it probably have on fish migrating downstream to the ocean going through the turbans and they found out since that the effect wasn't a happy situation. No, lots of them are killed after the Salmon get upstream and spawn the little ones

grow up to, oh, five or six inches long then they have got to get out to the ocean and as they go down the middle of a river they can't see ahead where to go much they'd go the way the current goes and if they go through those turbans which are great big fans run by the water why some of them get chewed up. 01:00:00That's a definite loss and they're, oh, I think they are working now on ways of trying to round them up and get them past the turbans without going through them but I don't know what will come of it.

JL: While you were a student what did most of your fellow friends want to be want to work as? Engineering...

JG: Well, Art Albert who lives up west of town here he was in school about the time I was and he was interested in telephones so when he got he graduated he went to work for telephone company and he worked for them all his life. He wrote several books on, textbooks, on the telephone business and that I suppose 01:01:00a bunch of them are still in use. I think he did pretty well at that. Someone else is interested in something else. I was mainly interested in electrical railways but I never did get into it. In fact, I didn't follow up engineering at all. When I graduated I was getting interested in photography and I got an offer, well, I went to work for the Western Electric which makes and installs the telephone equipment. I went to work in Seattle for them and worked that summer after I graduated on in telephanx- and then in the fall I got an offer from here to come back and teach part time and take some courses. I guess I had mentioned there were a few things I wanted to take and didn't get to so I did. I came back and taught half time in electrical engineering and took some courses here and there that I was interested in.

JL: Why were you interested in railways?

JG: Well, nothing special except again when I was working in Portland I'd done quite a little work there on railway equipment for the Portland Traction Co, ran the streetcars and the, oh, North Coast Power Co., I think it was, in Vancouver that ran the electrical railway in that in across, the river in Vancouver area and I worked one year for Pacific Car and Foundry Co. I worked in electrical maintenance and repairs there on their equipment. They had lots of electrical equipment, of course, so I kind of was around railway stuff. My 01:02:00dad had been a railway man at one time and my two uncles in Illinois had been in railroad people so I saw railroads as being kind of close to me.

JL: You mean your father helped design the Pullman cars? Is that what you refer to?

JG: No, he didn't design Pullman cars. He did careful woodwork for them.

JL: That's what I mean.

JG: Yes.

JL: He wasn't an engineer or worked for the railroad?

JG: No, he wasn't an engineer.

JL: What were you thinking when you studied to work the railways or wanted to? Did you want to be an engineer for a railroad co.?

JG: No, oh, I don't know what I wanted to be. I wanted to be with railways and what went on and I would have gotten into that, of course, the so called railway engineer, the train operator, is something else.

JL: You were more interested in the maintenance of it and the way it ran then?

JG: And the design and construction and tests and lots of such things.

JL: Did you do that when you were working for the Portland Traction Co. in the North Coast [unintelligible] Co.?

JG: No. I was doing repairs then mainly. That was one time I fell asleep driving, too. They had a certain railway car they wanted badly and the motor 01:03:00was not working well and they got it out and got it in the truck and brought it into the shop there in Portland and I worked all day and all night and the next day up to about midnight, two of us did, and then we took it back over and that was after midnight and we were pretty sleepy. I drove the truck over with the motor and on the way over I feel asleep and when I woke up suddenly the truck was scraping a big post along the side of the highway. (Chuckle) But, I woke up and pulled it back on the road and then (chuckle) my partner laughed at me but after we got it delivered over there and turned loose, why, he started home again in his car and before he got out of Vancouver he ran off the street and went to sleep and turned (Chuckle) upside down in a ditch in some water. So I laughed at him. (Laughter)

JL: Laughed! Good heavens.

JG: Well, well neither of us were hurt. (Chuckle)

JL: Was this when you were working when you were a student at Benson Polytech?

JG: No, that was afterward.

JL: I see. They didn't have unions then, I take it? They wouldn't have allowed you to work so long would they have?

JG: No, they probably wouldn't but I didn't have I've never had anything much to do with unions. I've kept away from them. Of course, here on the campus we had finally this Oregon State Employees Association which has been a pretty good outfit near as I can make out.

JL: What do you know about the first dean of engineering Grant A. Covell?

JG: Well, not much. He was a big heavy set fellow kind of slow and deliberate and quiet but I made quite a few pictures for when I got this photographic service work going I spent practically all my spare time, if you could call it that, making pictures for different ones on campus. They finally made a department of that and put somebody in it to do that but...

JL: I want to ask you about that later.

JG: ...as far as we did it was just gratus we worked on because we liked to do it and liked to get it going and liked to meet the different kinds of problems it brought up. A horse with a possible broken leg required x-rays and plants with various kinds of diseases required various kinds of pictures. Maybe with a camera, maybe with a camera hooked on a microscope, maybe by infrared, maybe ultraviolet, maybe various things. But, it got a chance to get experience in quite a variety in photographic lines and I like to get some broad experience. I like to be able to say I've done about all the things that can be done in those lines and I have!

JL: Well, how are you relating this, to Covell? Dean Covell?

JG: Well, engineering was a big busy concern and lots of things needed to be photographed for records and for bulletin articles and for books. I photographed some just the front legs front view of one of these eastern Oregon antelopes one time. They wanted to compare them in their book with the usual deer. The antelope have such very long slender legs. It's how it was built and how it has adapted to its business of being able to run fast enough to get away from almost everything that wants to eat it. All such things come out in publications. Yes, Art Anderson put several pictures I made in the last book he wrote before he died.


JL: Well, this was after you came back as a professor that you got involved in photographs, photography?

JG: No, I got busy I got interested in photography by the time I was a sophomore here. I was quite interested in it. And I...

JL: Well, how did what kind of classes did they have in photography?

JG: Well, how would I tell you? Do you know considerable about photography?

JL: Tell me. I know something.

JG: Well, we had courses here in physics then and the optics involved in photography and we covered the chemistry involved and the geometry involved of photography includes quite a lot of different things. You can't do much of in photography without some consideration of quite a few different things unless you just hold up a camera and push a button and then others will do all the work. No, we didn't go at things that way.

JL: It wasn't just for aesthetics then that you took photos?

JG: No, that wasn't the purpose.

JL: Tell me what the purpose was then.

JG: Well, the purpose was to make, accurate and usable records of how things 01:05:00worked and how they were built and what they were for and how they were adapted to their use and how we could go about getting a good photographic job. So much of the stuff publishes so poorly and very crudely illustrated with photographs and you wouldn't have to be very far along in photography to recognize that as you look at pictures here and there. The person that picks up the camera with a flash gun on it and holds it up and pushes a button, why, sure I'm a photographer. Well, they haven't made a start! There's a difference, quite a difference, between being able to get something and being able to get a good job as the circumstances will permit and that's what we are after in photography, same as I hope in other lines. I don't suppose you like to write an article in which you just half way guess as what you're putting down. Don't know or care much about it just want to put something down. I doubt that you like to write such articles. We don't like to do such photography either and we like to do a good job when we do one.

JL: This must involve special equipment then the kind of photography you're talking about.


JG: To some extent but people now days seem to want to spend every dollar they can scrape up on photographic equipment and not one in 50 bothers to learn how to use it to get what it's capable of doing.

JL: What do you mean by that? How was it different when you were learning?

JG: Well, we didn't have these automatic I think up here in physics we made the first of these automatic pictures in which you push a trigger and it opens the shutter and shoots a flash and closes the shutter all in operation. That was, oh, we'd been making pictures of different things for a long time in which we used to do those things separately. We'd have a cable to release, push on it, set on bulb to open the shutter and then hold up and shoot a big charge of flash powder in a trough up here make a flash and then let the shutter close. That would do for some things that aren't moving much. But, it wouldn't be much now to get a picture of a racing horse going by or something. We were quite 01:07:00limited of what could be done in the older days because equipment was crude and not much perfected and a lot of such of these automatic flashes that will open the shutter for a 100th of a second and shoot a flash during that 100th and have it shoot while the shutter is open that hadn't been that wasn't on the market yet. Oh, we often rigged up things that we could use to get something done but we were interested in those things. In making it work and work well but now 99/100's of the photographers are just people who can do that very simple thing hold up a camera and push a button.

JL: What did you develop to make it more or to make it not easier but better pictures and more complete, I guess?

JG: Oh, I don't know but when we take pictures we need to take account of quite a few circumstances to get a good job and use them accordingly. I often photography a group of people on my front porch when relatives are here and there's less light back on the porch than there is out in the open and to show the front of the house all nice and white and the people so dark and dismal that it isn't worth looking at that isn't doesn't make a good job according to me so even out in daylight like right now I'd use a flash out in daylight as well as I would at night and get a better picture thereby.

JL: So you did this when you were a student also? You compensated?

JG: Yes, when we work in some subject like photography or some other subject we like to do good jobs in it. At least some people do, so we liked to try things. Yes, I used to say when the students would ask about my pictures, are they all good? I'd tell them, "No, I make far more poor pictures than the average person does because I try things to see what I can do and what I can get away with."

JL: Well, you mentioned that you were one of the first ones that used a shutter and a light and a...

JG: A synchronized flash you would say.

JL: Tell me about that.

JG: Yes. Yes, we rigged devices, up there to do that.

JL: When was this?

JG: Oh, along probably about maybe 1919, '20, '21. But, I've spent my life doing that kind of thing experimenting and testing and trying. Don't people in other departments?

JL: Yes.

JG: Sure, well, so did I. It's not unusual. Is it?

JL: I think it's unusual that you have done so much in the photography field. I don't think like you said most people do.

JG: No, very few go very far with it.

JL: That's why I'm curious about what you've done. Who did you do this with?

JG: Oh, various ones with me there in the department and various friends. People around. Dr. Yonker who is retired from physics also and used to be 01:08:00department chairman was in school here about the time I was and then and later after we were both on the staff we spent quite a little time experimenting on things and trying them to see how they'd work and if they'd work.

JL: Can you describe to me some of the first cameras that you used?

JG: Well, if descriptions of them would mean much they're all described in the catalogs or cameras the hand cameras that people carried around with them in those days were generally larger than the present ones. We had, at least one, hand camera with a little handle on to carry around by that made 5 x 7" pictures. Great big thing and the postcard size that made the standard post card 3% by 5V was a common camera size then. Now most everybody uses the very tiny ones. Things have been improved to where you can get by with it better. It's only quite recently that they would make as good pictures as those bigger ones did because you had to enlarge them more to make them useful than the than you 01:09:00did with, the trigger ones... And they consequently these tiny ones had to do a better job and until they could why they couldn't compete with the larger ones. Yes, there's a lot to say in favor of larger cameras hut as they made films and lenses especially those two things to make sharper images and record finer grain images why it's possible then to make small negatives that could be enlarged considerably and still were pretty good but it was see I never would have carried a camera that made negatives this big up Mt. Hood if I thought I could do a good enough job with a smaller one but I had a camera that weighed at least what that does and a big long tripod and so forth...

JL: What the tape recorder does. (Chuckle)

JG: Well, I was speaking about that as size and weight.

JL: Oh.

JG: Not as a camera, no. Oh, yes photography has progressed greatly but although 01:10:00we did lots of experimenting and that remember big companies like Agfa and Contacts and Eastman and those spent many many millions per year in research right along and still do. Why we aren't liable to set the world on fire by what we do but we experiment more in using equipment and getting a good job with it.

JL: You mean in those earlier times you used the camera more for experimental purposes than for tourist type photographs.

JG: Well, I wasn't much of a tourist. I never had the money to ride around the country and look at all the beautiful things like most people do now. No.

JL: Well, I mean take pictures of family or friends or scenery on Marys Peak. Your interest is more...

JG: Yes.

JL: ... for research purposes?

JG: Well, we took pictures when we went someplace. I wouldn't think of going up Marys Peak without a camera and a chance to take pictures from there because you can get some good ones and unusual ones and so forth. I've made quite a few trips across the country in railways before cars were popular...