This exhibit consists only of two photos and a story. In the early days of Tektronix the Directors talked about taking on special or custom work. They reasoned that a small company could be more efficient for this type of work. One such project was a 50 channel oscilloscope for Dr. Archie Tunturi at the University of Oregon medical school. Dr. Tunturi was studying electrical waves generated by the brain in response to different kinds of stimuli. He conducted his studies on anesthetized dogs but there were so many different kinds of stimuli that he needed a way to consolidate the responses. Dr. Tunturi met with Howard Vollum to discuss an oscilloscope that would display 50 waveforms simultaneously which could be photographed on a single negative. The result is the instrument you see here. This development, along with a few others, convinced the Directors that one-of-a-kind custom products would never be financially viable. All that remains of this incredible oscilloscope are these photos and this story. We believe this oscilloscope was developed somewhere between 1950 and 1952. It must have been impressive to see in action, weighed a ton, and heated the surrounding rooms!
This photo of Dr. Archie Tunturi with his lab setup including the 50 channel oscilloscope is Courtesy of OHSU Historical Collections & Archives.
This November 19, 1962 TekTalk Electronics and Medicine article discusses the use of this 50 channel oscilloscope. Click on the image to view the PDF.