Howard at Tektronix

This January 23, 1946 Oregonian article features Howard giving a talk on radar organized by the IRE.


This January 4, 1948 Sunday Oregonian article features Howard with his new Type 511 oscilloscope.


This March 1952 TekTalk provides some insight into his background and personal interests.  Click on the image to view the PDF.


This August 1952 TekTalk features Howard at a company meeting in the Sunset parking lot who spoke from the back of a flatbed truck.


This excerpt from the 1987 Howard Vollum Anthology recalls one eyewitness account of the meeting (although the year is wrong).


This article from the Sunday January 2, 1955 Star Tribune features 15 millionaires including Howard.


This March 3, 1955 issue of The Noblesville Ledger describes Howard's success at Tektronix.


This July 1955 issue of Proceedings of the IRE indicates Howard was the Director.


This October 1957 TekTalk features fundraising for relocating OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) to Washington Park. It mentions that Howard was President of OMSI.


The date of this photograph of Howard is unknown as it also the location.


Harold Beck was employed by Marconi Instruments, St. Albans, in 1962. His function was to set up a department to innovate new instruments and became Research Manager.  He wrote a short paper on Marconi Instruments and mentions meeting Howard Vollum in 1962. He writes:

"At this point Arthur returned home and I visited the Physics Department of the University of California at Berkeley before flying to Portland for the most interesting visit of the tour which was to Tektronix, world leader in CRO (e.g. Cathode Ray Oscilloscope) manufacture, at Beaverton, Oregon.

Howard Vollum, President of Tektronix, collected me from my hotel in Portland and took me to the plant at Beaverton. He showed me over the factory, greeting everyone we met by their first names. He explained that the company manufactured its own cathode ray tubes. The established cathode ray tube suppliers could not produce tubes with the quality and features required for this key component in a CRO so Tektronix designed and made its own molded ceramic version with a flat screen on which there was etched a graticule to facilitate measurement. Another factor in the dominant position of Tektronix was that having made a variety of CROs for different applications, a basic carcass was produced along with a range of plug-ins to adapt the carcass to many of the applications. This was a more sophisticated arrangement than the contingency panels I had devised at Chico.

Over lunch Howard Vollum revealed that he owed his success to one person, namely A.E. Kempton, my former colleague at the Cavendish. Apparently he had been Howard Vollum's mentor when they had worked together at the Telecommunications Research Establishment (TRE) at Malvern during the war.

I was greatly impressed that Howard Vollum had retained an intense interest in technical developments. Indeed, in taking me to Seattle airport we were so absorbed in a technical discussion about a new gadget for use on cars that he missed the airport turning on the freeway and had to go on for miles before he could turn back. I got my onward flight just in time."


This photo shows Howard on January 10, 1964 when Tektronix was listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

This  January 10, 1964 TekWeek article describes Howard's purchase.


This excerpt from the "Winning With People: The First 40 Years of Tektronix" book describes the first board of directors.


These two documents are transcripts of Howard's speech for new employee orientation.  The first is dated May 2, 1969 and the second is July 18, 1969.  Click on the images to view the PDFs.


This September 25, 2973 Oregonian article features Howard receiving the Franklin Institute Howard N. Potts medal for outstanding contribution to the development of the oscilloscope.


This February 2, 1974 Oregonian article features Howard receiving the Portland First Citizen Award.

This February 8, 1974 TekWeek article also features Howard receiving the Portland First Citizen Award.  Click on the image to view the PDF.


This April 6, 1975 Oregonian article describes the growth and challenges for Tektronix along with Howard receiving the Brotherhood Award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews.  Click on the image to view the PDF.



These photos of Howard are from a photo album of various employees taken by Helen Fried.


These business cards,  with Howard's five values, were passed out to employees, time frame unknown.


This February 27, 1981 TekWeek features Howard's 35th anniversary.


This August 21, 1981 TekWeek features Howard meeting with Dr. Laster of the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). Howard and Jean Vollum provided a generous donation to support initial planning and development of the Howard Vollum institute at OHSU.

Howard Vollum was known for his love of good music and had a studio built at his home for his pipe organ.  Howard's organ was built around the former San Francisco Granada (Paramount) 4/33 style 285 Wurlitzer.  After Howard's death the organ was sold to the Regent Theater in Melbourne, Australia.

The document "A Gift Of Music" is a 16 page article that describes the construction of Howard's studio and the acquisition and assembly of his pipe organ.  Click on the image to view the PDF.

Additional photos of the organ can be seen at the Puget Sound Theater Organ Society website.


The February 1973 issue of Theatre Organ had a short article on Howard's studio and organ. The photo and article are used by permission of American Theatre Organ Society. Click on the image to view the PDF.


The October 1966 issue of Theatre Organ Bombarde had an article on Howard's studio and organ. The photo and article are used by permission of American Theatre Organ Society. Click on the image to view the PDF.


The museum has a recording from Howard's pipe organ.  This selection is one from the recording.  Jonas Nordwall of Rodgers Organ is the organist and Howard Vollum and Dennis Hedberg of Rodgers Organ made the recording.


Linda Brody of the Oregon Historical Society interviewed Howard on March 26, 1980. This "Oral History Interview with Howard Vollum, Chairman of the Board, Tektronix"  transcript is courtesy of the Oregon Historical Society. The audio file for this interview and another on April 14, 1980 are available on our Audio Gallery. Click on the image to view the PDF.


This March 23, 1984 TekWeek features an interview with Howard. Click on the image to view the PDF.


Howard Vollum loved to play tennis. This photo shows him playing at his court at his Skyline home.


Howard started playing tennis at age 12. This July 11, 1926 Sunday Oregonian article features Howard playing up to the finals a year later. Click on the image to view the PDF.


This March 7, 1986 TekWeek features the Celebration of Life for Howard.  Click on the image to view the PDF.


This August 1987 program describes the construction and dedication of the Howard Vollum park and memorial garden.  Click on the image to view the PDF.


An anthology book on Howard Vollum was published in 1987.  This book contained testimonials to Howard from different employees.  This document is an extract of those testimonials along with photos we have of Howard.  Click on the image to view the PDF.


These two articles appeared in the September 25, 1989 Columbia-Willamette Business Journal on Howard Vollum.

Click on the images to open them full size.


This March 24, 1989 TekWeek features an article about Howard written by his wife Jean.


Jean died on June 5, 2007. Click on the image to view her memorial card (front and back have been combined). 


This May 2013 Oregonian article features Howard's legacy on the 100th anniversary of his birthday.  Click on the image to view the PDF.


Aziz Inan, professor and chair of electrical engineering at the Donald P. Shiley School of Engineering at the University of Portland, authored these two documents in honor of Howard's 100th and 105th birthday.  Both contain some interesting math puzzles.  Click on the image to view the PDFs.


Here are a number of miscellaneous photos of Howard.