The History of InfoAge Science & History Museums

Oral Histories - Oral History Louis Leo Kaplan

Interviewee: Louis Leo Kaplan

Interviewer: Michael Ruane
Date: 1998?
Place: Camp Evans – 9039
Media: NTSC Video
Summary: Mr. Irv Bauman


Mr. Kaplan re-appeared for another interview to supplement the information previously provided. He identified mostly with the Thermionics Group from 1942 to 1963. Then he became Deputy Director of the Support Activity, which employed 900 people including all the lab mechanical engineers, the Shop & Logistics Group. He served with a receiving tube group that worked on tubes for communications equipment. Then he picked up the Shock & Vibration Group, considered the finest by the Secretary at NATO. In the tubes group, he did shock & vibration of components for JAN approval. Then in the nuclear field, he investigated what happens to tubes when exposed to nuclear radiation. He found that large tubes turned black, while small ones did not. A determination was made, that the boron in the glass had a Coefficient of expansion differing from that of the filaments.

About the McCarthy Hearings, Lou learned that there was another Louis Kaplan working with the Standards Agency. His wife had the same name as the other’s, and 2 boys, while Evans’
Lou had 2 girls. Evans’ Lou kept losing mailed paychecks which were sent to his namesake. Lou from Standards signed signa patent releases which were identified as the signature of Evans’ Lou. He decided to add a middle name to separate him from the other. He became Louis Leo Kaplan.

Lou worked on microwave tubes. He set up a ceramics lab with a diamond grinding wheel. He was very friendly with the shop people, who called him “MR. Overtime”. Lou had his Physicist designation changed to Engineer. Dr. Wiseman, the Laboratory Director gave a new job to Lou, Facilities Management. He implemented a 28 million dollar improvement to the Hexagon, which cost $15 million to build. Leo worked with Dr. McAfee who left the labs to get his PhD and after Lou retired. He found the Dr. a brilliant man to work with.

The other Kaplan took the 5th Amendment when questioned & left the Gov’t to work at a chicken/egg business and later to the Asbury Park Press. Today he continues to write for a local newspaper. McCarthy was unable to do anything detrimental to  the other Kaplan, whose office reassigned him to another laboratory out west before he decided to leave government work. Lou claimed that Evans Security people were incompetent, which was found to be also by FBI personnel.41 min.

6C There followed a religious type lecture by a man who could not be identified as a Ft. Monmouth employee.

Page created August 2, 2002

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