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Robert Studebaker

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Robert Studebaker (1911-1999)[1] is credited as the inventor of the Laserplane,[2] the modern replacement of the liquid level. First introduced in 1965, the invention is commonly used today in modern construction and agricultural applications and has increased the speed and precision of surveying.[3]

Contents

[edit] History

[edit] Education and Pre-Laserplane Career

Studebaker was born in 1911 and graduated from Bethel High School in Tipp City, Ohio, in 1928.[4] Upon graduation, he enrolled at Ohio State University, and, in 1933, obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education. The following year, Studebaker accepted a position as an Industrial Arts teacher at Northridge High School, where he remained for five years. Over the course of his career at Northridge, Studebaker expanded the Industrial Arts program by implementing wood shop, sheet metal shop, foundry, welding, machine shop, drawing, pattern making, photography, and forging classes.[5]

In 1939, Studebaker embarked on a career at Aero Products. He was responsible for testing steel airplane propellers. In 1945, Studebaker began a 25-year career as the Vice President of Process Equipment Co. There, he conceived of solutions for the industrial problems of major companies such as GM, Cat Tractor, and the Air Force.[6]

[edit] Inventing the Laserplane

In 1965, Studebaker invented the Laserplane, a technology that modernized earth grading.[7] The Laserplane was used as a leveling reference in surveying applications, combining laser technology with a motorized spinning prism to create a plane of laser light.[8] [9]Studebaker’s first development was a laser controlled motor grader.[10] Two years later, he co-founded the LaserPlane Corporation with Ted Teach in Dayton, Ohio. Studebaker was the CEO and president of the company. Eventually, the LaserPlane Corp. merged with the Construction Systems Division of Spectra Physics to form today’s Spectra Precision.

[edit] Recognition

Studebaker’s developments, for which he obtained 22 patents in total,[11] have received widespread recognition. In addition to having been inducted into the Construction Equipment Hall of Fame, the prototype Laserplane design is preserved in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.

[edit] References

  1. Robert H. Studebaker (1911-1999), 2008-09-29.
  2. Robert H. Studebaker (1911-1999), 2008-09-29.
  3. Robert Studebaker. Cool Stuff and the Incredible Feats of Construction, 2008-09-29.
  4. Robert H. Studebaker (1911-1999), 2008-09-29.
  5. Robert H. Studebaker (1911-1999), 2008-09-29.
  6. Robert H. Studebaker (1911-1999), 2008-09-29.
  7. Robert H. Studebaker (1911-1999), 2008-09-29.
  8. Laser Beam Automatic grad Control System Declared Landmark. BNET.com, 2008-09-29.
  9. Robert Studebaker. Cool Stuff and the Incredible Feats of Construction, 2008-09-29.
  10. Laser Beam Automatic grad Control System Declared Landmark. BNET.com, 2008-09-29.
  11. Robert H. Studebaker (1911-1999), 2008-09-29.