University of Texas
Orlando Joseph Murphy
July 16, 1906–December 1971



Orlando Joseph Murphy


Orlando Joseph Murphy was born in Hot Springs, AK to Michael Joseph and Beulah Alice Sumpter Murphy. He married Klara Paula Karlowa (1904–1978) on August 6, 1929 in Davenport, Iowa at Trinity Cathedral. Beulah was the daughter of Paul and Amelia Krause Karlowa. At the time of the wedding, Orlando was living at 410 Central Park West in New York City, and he was a research engineer with Western Electric. He received a patent in 1951 entitled, “Recording and storage device for dial pulses with magnetic drum.” He wrote many articles on sound in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. He graduated in electrical engineering in 1927 and worked for Western Electric (later Bell Telephone Labs) for 40 years. He studied at Columbia University from 1928-31. Following retirement he became a consultant.

O. J. Murphy, BS in Electrical Engineering, University of Texas, 1927; Columbia University, 1928–1931. Bell Telephone Laboratories, 1927–1969. His early Laboratories projects included studies of voice-operated switching devices, effects of transmission delay on two-way telephone conversation, and voice-frequency signaling systems. During World War II, he was concerned with design and development of the M-9 electrical gun director and related projects. After the war, he resumed his research work on signaling systems and, more recently, has concentrated on the design of magnetic drum digital data storage apparatus and circuits. He is a member of the A.I.E.E., a senior member of the I.R.E., and is a licensed professional engineer.

Orlando J. Murphy (Senior Member I.R.E. 1949, Fellow I.R.E. 1964), a consultant in New York City, died suddenly on December 1, 1971. He had retired in 1969 from the Bell System after more than 40 years of service. At the time of his retirement he was a supervisor in the Data and Private Telephone Systems Laboratory.

He engaged in research with voice-operated switching devices and their application to transatlantic radio-telephone circuits and long toll-telephone circuits in the United States. He was also active in the exploration of improved means for voice-frequency signaling and supervision on telephone circuits.

During World War I, he was a member of the BTL group that pioneered the use of DC analog computer techniques for anti-aircraft gunfire control and other military purposes. After the war he worked on electric means for high-speed signaling and switching control. This work led to studies of high-speed digital data storage devices. He then spent several years in the development of magnetic drums for the storage and manipulation of digital switching control information.

He received a BS in electrical engineering from the University of Texas and did graduate work in physics at Columbia University. In 1927, while at Texas, Murphy was an announcer for KUT, the radio station created by Professor S. Leroy Brown and operated by the Department of Physics.

He served as chairman of the New York Section of IRE in 1958–1959 and as chairman of the Awards Committee of the New York Section of IEEE in 1964–1965. He held a Professional Engineer registration in New York State and was a member of the Telephone Pioneers.

Orlando and Klara are both buried in
Oakdale Memorial Gardens
Scott County
Iowa, USA

Orlando Joseph Murphy Photo Album

Orlando Joseph Murphy, UT Cactus, 1927, on right of third row from bottom.
From the 1923 Forest Avenue High School yearbook, The Forester, Dallas, Texas.


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