Rudy Bozak bigraphy, stories - Engineers

Rudy Bozak : biography

1910 - February 8, 1982

Rudolph Thomas Bozak (1910-1982) was an audio electronics and acoustics designer and engineer in the field of sound reproduction. His parents were Bohemian Czech immigrants; Rudy was born in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. Bozak studied at Milwaukee School of Engineering; in 1981, the school awarded him an honorary doctorate in engineering. Bozak married Lillian Gilleski; the two had three daughters: Lillian, Mary and Barbara.

Professional organizations

In 1938, Bozak was elected to Associate Grade membership with the Institute of Radio Engineers.

By 1963, Bozak was on the Board of Governors of the Audio Engineering Society for two years. He served in the same capacity again for two years starting in 1970. Bozak was awarded an AES Fellowship in 1965 for "valuable contributions to the advancement in or dissemination of knowledge of audio engineering or in the promotion of its application in practice." In 1970, Rudi T. Bozak won the AES John H. Potts Award (now the Gold Medal), their highest award for outstanding, sustained achievement in the field of audio engineering.

Patents

  • Switch for electrical musical instruments. US patent 2567870. C.G.Conn Ltd., 1951.
  • Metallic diaphragm for electrodynamic loudspeakerss. US patent 3093207. R.T.Bozak Mfg. Co., 1963.
  • Compliant annulus for loudspeaker and related circuit. US patent 3436494. R.T.Bozak Mfg. Co., 1969.
  • Edge-damped diaphragm for electrodynamic loudspeakers. US patent 3837425. Bozak, Inc., 1973.

Loudspeakers

Fresh out of college in 1933, Rudy Bozak began working for Allen-Bradley, an electronics manufacturer based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Bozak would later employ Allen-Bradley components in his own electronic designs.

Bozak moved to the East Coast in 1935 to work for Cinaudagraph out of Stamford, Connecticut. Two years later he was chief engineer. At the 1939 New York World's Fair, a tower topped with a cluster of eight 27" Cinaudagraph loudspeakers in 30" frames with huge 450 lb. field coil magnets covered low frequency duties for a 2-way PA system at Flushing Meadows. The loudspeakers were mounted into horns with 14' wide mouths and were each driven by a 500 watt amplifier derived from a high-power radio broadcast tube. In June, 1940, Electronics magazine published an article that Bozak had written about the design of the 27" loudspeaker.

During World War II, Bozak worked with Lincoln Walsh at Dinion Coil Company in Caledonia, New York developing very high voltage power supplies for radar.

Bozak joined C.G. Conn in 1944 to help them develop an electronic organ. While in Elkhart, Indiana, he noticed that the human sense of hearing was unpredictable at best. Years later, Bozak recounted this story about the Conn electronic organ project: "The general sales manager, who was a pianist and played organ, sat down and played the thing and said it was great, just what we were looking for. A week later he was invited back into the laboratory and sat down and played the instrument again. He didn’t play ten or fifteen bars when he said, This goddamn thing doesn’t sound right. What did you guys do to it?’ We said we hadn’t done anything. Well, he didn’t believe us. ‘You did something to it. You messed it up here,’ he said. ‘Restore it back to the way you had it.’ So what we did was let the damn instrument sit there for another week, and he comes back and plays it again. ‘Now this is the way it should be,’ he says."

In 1948 Bozak moved his family to North Tonawanda, New York to develop organ loudspeakers for Wurlitzer. While there, Bozak experimented at home in a loudspeaker laboratory he housed in his basement. One design of his featured a kettle drum shell as the loudspeaker enclosure.

In 1950 Bozak was hired as a consultant by McIntosh Laboratory to develop a square loudspeaker driver unit but it was not an engineering success. In 1952 he was making driver units for the McIntosh F100 speaker system. Though these sold reasonably well, McIntosh did not develop the design further. This experience led him to form his own company, Bozak Loudspeakers, in Stamford, Connecticut.

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