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The Teledyne Hastings Team

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Prosperity Years 1951-1953 - Part 4 Teledyne Hastings History

Posted by The Teledyne Hastings Team on Fri, Jul 26, 2019 @ 03:17 PM

Newcomb Avenue Location 1951The early part of the 1950’s was prosperous for Hastings due in part to the demand for the Raydist and large military contracts as a result of the Korean War. Sales nearly tripled between 1950 and 1953 and there were almost 200 employees.  Hastings had outgrown its space yet again and expanded to a 14,000 square foot building on Newcomb Avenue (current day location for Teledyne Hastings).  The building was originally used as a car barn for street cars, then as a World War I armory and eventually as a manufacturing plant for ladies clothing.

 

With the new location, other changes were happening as well.  Hastings entered into a joint venture to supply Raydist services for the petroleum industry in the Gulf of Mexico thus creating Offshore Raydist, Incorporated. Another company was formed out of Hastings at this time, Raydist Navigation Corporation (RNC).  RNC was set up to handle the leasing of Raydist equipment outside of the Petroleum industry.

 

During this period, most of the focus was on Raydist and trying to establish itself in new fields.  One area was to have the Raydist on the S.S. United States.  This superliner promised to be the fastest passenger liner in the world and would serve as a troop transport in the event of war.  Because of personal relationships, Hastings could test and prove that Raydist was the superior system of conducting the tests at a measured-mile course.  The test would use a specially-designed buoy which could be cast overboard and allowed to float freely during the trials.  The relay equipment would be installed in the buoy, while the S.S. United states would carry the master station.  Raydist would then record the liner’s speed as it steamed directly toward or way from the buoy.  The tests proved to be successful and resulted in the Raydist being approved for use on the S.S. United States.  This success lead to many other shipyard opportunities for Hastings.  Within a few years, Raydist dominated the sea trial business in the United States.

S_S_United States

Raydist was also gaining momentum in the Hydrography and oil prospecting industry due to positive publicity from the Norfolk Corps of Engineers.  This publicity resulted in the first foreign Raydist sale in early 1951 to be used in charting the waters off Mozambique in southeast Africa.

 

During this time, Hastings completed a Raydist system for the All-Weather Flying Division of the Air Force.  It was to be used at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton Ohio to test the accuracy of radar and other blind landing systems. Later that year, an automatic plotting board was developed to supplement the Raydist system.  The demonstration of this new product was a big event.  The board plotted a plane’s path as it performed skywriting maneuvers spelling HICO across the sky.

 

Manufacturers Rep Sales Mobile 1953A small percentage of Hastings business during the early 1950’s was for instrument sales.  The most important of these products were the air-meters, vacuum gauges, flow meters, accelerometers and an electronic standard cell. In order to grow this part of the business, Hastings decided to set up a manufacturer’s representative program.  By the end of 1953, Hasting’s was looking forward to seeing this manufacturer’s representative program vastly increasing instrument sales.

(Image on right is the first Manufacturer Representative's car outfitted with Hastings products.)

For more information on Teledyne Hastings be sure to visit our website www.teledyne-hi.com or contact us

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Information for this blog was derived from “The Story of Hastings-Raydist” book by Carol Hastings Sanders 1979

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Laying a Foundation (1947-1950)

Posted by The Teledyne Hastings Team on Fri, May 10, 2019 @ 01:22 PM

Product portfolio 1947-1By 1947, the Hastings Instrument Company could count many successful projects.  Their list of products included the following:

  • Raydist Navigation System
  • Magnetic Switch and Coil
  • Maximum Recording Accelerometer
  • Visibility Meter

While the list of projects was impressive, the company wanted to grow their profits further. Charles Hastings decided to look at his business model and make some changes.  The company needed to raise capital for further development in order to become a sizeable company. Growth would give the company the ability to attract and close larger contracts.  To do this, Hastings decided to incorporate the business and offer 3500 shares of stock.  The company charter was received from the Commonwealth of Virginia on Valentine’s Day 1947. 

 

Air-Meter hand lettered dial faceAfter several sales pitches and demonstrations, Hastings received two large contracts for Raydist. Along with these two contracts, the company was busy building Air-Meters for commercial sales.  Before selling the Air-Meters, the instruments needed to be calibrated.  In those early days, calibration was done by driving down the road holding a probe out the window while someone in the passenger seat held the Air-Meter.  When the car reached 5, 10, 15 etc… mph the passenger would make a note on the blank dial face and then return to the house where they would neatly letter the dial face.

 

first office brick distributorDuring this period of growth, Hastings realized that it was time to find a new location for the business.  By now, there were 17 people working elbow-to-elbow at the Hastings’ home and that could not continue.  The company settled on temporary location in an old brick distributorship building that had a leaky roof and flooded at spring tides, but it was at the price they could afford.

By the spring of 1948, several Raydist contracts were in the works. Air-Meters continued to sell very well, and several instruments were about to be introduced.  That same year, the Hastings Company also moved into a more permanent building for its now 75 employees, which would grow to 118 by 1950.  To secure the company and continue to make profits, Hastings realized he needed to produce a Raydist for commercial use.  The company achieved this goal in 1950 with a sale to the Norfolk Corps of Engineers for hydrographic surveys and channel dredging.2nd building Horne Brothers

By 1950, the line of Hastings Instruments increased to the following:

  • Air-Meter
  • Precision Air-Meter (for higher ranges and more accurate readings)
  • Maximum Indicating Accelerometer
  • Voltage-regulated Power Supply
  • Electronic Standard Cell
  • Vacuum Gauge

1950 product portfolioIVentimetern addition to the list of commercial instruments above, Hastings developed specialized instruments for specific customers. For example: the “Ventimeter” was used by the army to measure ventilation in clothing to keep wearers comfortable under extreme weather conditions.  The Hastings Company was now growing fast and generating handsome profits for its stakeholders.

 

For more information on Teledyne Hastings be sure to visit our website www.teledyne-hi.com or contact us

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Information for this blog was derived from “The Story of Hastings-Raydist” book by Carol Hastings Sanders 1979

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The Birth of Hastings Instruments Company (HICO) 1944-1946 (Part 2)

Posted by The Teledyne Hastings Team on Wed, Mar 13, 2019 @ 10:22 AM

Charles_Mary Hastings Home-1In September 1944, the Hastings Instrument Company started to take shape.  For quite some time, Charles & Mary conducted the business out of their home.  They received their first order in December from the Naval Aircraft Factory in Philadelphia for $800.  The order was for a rotary magnetic switch for commutating electrical circuits. 

The following month, Charles built his first heated thermopile anemometer, which he called the Air-Meter.  This Air-Meter was based on ideas he had had in 1940 for making a thermopile instrument to measure aircraft speed.  It also incorporated his invention of a way to make a thermopile compensated for both temperature and rate of change of temperature. He decided to name his radio ground speed system by combining the first syllables of the words “radio” and “distance” to form “Raydist”.

working out of homeBusiness continued to grow.  Seventeen employees would arrive at the Hastings home around 7pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday to work on their electronic projects (see image on right).  During the day, Mary would take care of miscellaneous projects.  On one occasion, Mary agreed to have some Raydist cabinets painted by the time Charles came home.  Unfortunately, the air compressor was out of air so Mary came up with another plan.  She would take the car to the nearby service station and put as much air in the tires as she could without them bursting.  She would then drive back home, attach her paint sprayer to the tires, and paint the Raydist cabinets antennas on homeuntil her tires were almost flat.  She did this several times to complete the project before Charles came home.  The business activities took a toll on the Hastings home. The roof leaked and needed to be replaced from all the antennas mounted to it (see image on left), the driveway needed to be replaced from the damage of delivery trucks, Mary’s oven smelled like paint which caused some challenges when meal time came.

Raydist AM transmitter on helicopterIn January 1946, Hastings received their first order for a Raydist.  The Air Material Command at Wright Field in Cleveland Ohio wanted a single-dimensional Raydist system to use during aerial photography and mapping.  The final product was hand-delivered by Charles himself in October. (see image on right and below)

This Raydist order was the largest order Hastings had ever received and he felt that once they were paid for it all, their troubles would be over. 

Raydist on helicopter at Wright Airforce Base

For more information on Teledyne Hastings be sure to visit our website www.teledyne-hi.com or contact us

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Information for this blog was derived from “The Story of Hastings-Raydist” book by Carol Hastings Sanders 1979

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Before Hastings Instruments Company, the early years… (Part 1)

Posted by The Teledyne Hastings Team on Wed, Feb 13, 2019 @ 11:46 AM

charles-mary Hastings at work at NACAEver wonder where the idea or dream of Hastings originated?  Well as part 1 of our anniversary year blog posts, we thought this would be a good place to start.  Charles Hastings at the age of 10 was bitten by the radio bug and began to build and experiment with radio gear.  In 1930, at the age of 16, Charles Hastings found an opportunity to fund his experiments by fixing other people’s radios.  Many families had radios at this point, but they were very unreliable and frequently needed minor repairs.  Charles would fix radios to earn money to buy parts for his own experiments.

Soon, Charles moved on to building transmitters and enlisted the help of his high school friend, Raymond Doyle.  Their first success was when Charles spoke into a microphone and Ray heard the broadcast from his aunt’s house which was down the street. Unfortunately, the broadcast covered the entire spectrum of commercial radio broadcasting, so the entire neighborhood received the broadcast as well instead of their favorite radio programs.

After this first broadcast mishap, Hastings decided to go back to radio repair.

Charles Hastings went on to attend John Hopkins University and majored in Electrical Engineering.  Upon graduation, he was offered a position as Junior Scientific Aide with the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) in Hampton, Virginia. In 1939, Mary Comstock joined NACA as a mathematician and Charles was quick to ask her out for a date.  They were married within a year.

Working at NACA proved to be quite rewarding to Charles.  He came up with an idea for a magnetically operated reed switch for the spin tunnel section in order to flip the controls in its free-spinning airplane models.  This moved on to finding accurate methods to measure the speed of aircraft.  In 1940, Charles did just that, he came up with an idea for an airspeed indicator using a heated thermopile.  The idea was tested later that year at Langley Field in measuring the speed of planes.  This was the first continuous-wave heterodyne system ever used for speed measurement and was names the NACA Radio Ground Speed System.

His work continued at the NACA for a few years, but Hastings became restless and wanted to be on his own.  He felt that the work he had done with Radio Ground Speed System had more potential in the measurement of distances.  Initially Charles Hastings only wanted to create ideas for commercial products and sell the rights to others in exchange for royalties.  Hastings longtime friend James Benson was interested in being a part of this new.

Hastings Instruments Company was born in September 1944.

For more information on Teledyne Hastings be sure to visit our website www.teledyne-hi.com or contact us

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Information for this blog was derived from “The Story of Hastings-Raydist” book by Carol Hastings Sanders 1979

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Facts You Might Not Know about Teledyne Hastings Instruments

Posted by The Teledyne Hastings Team on Thu, May 14, 2015 @ 04:45 PM

Quality Teledyne Hastings ISO 9001 CertificationLast month, we passed our ISO 9001 surveillance audit.  It has been over twenty years since we first obtained ISO and we wanted to take a step back and review some significant accomplishments.  

Teledyne Hastings Instruments rich history and customer centric vision continues to support, influence and grow with those who depend on quality process control and automation.

That's why we wanted to take a moment and celebrate a milestone with our core clients and those considering a Teledyne Hastings Instruments Flow instrument or Vacuum Gauge for the first time.


2015_Infographic_ISO_20_Years_2

Teledyne Hastings Instruments' has been providing quality thermal mass flow instruments and vacuum meters and controllers for applications ranging from academic research to space exploration for over 70 years.  Let us work with you to find the best solution for your process.

OEM, custom applications, lead time crunch, just curious:   

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Tags: Teledyne Hastings Instruments, Flow Controller, Flow Meter, Vacuum gauge, vacuum controllers, ISO 9001 and Thermal Mass Flow, ISO 9001 and Vacuum Gauges