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From: Jane Austin Edwards <>
Subject: [NYNASSAU] EDWARDS, William Clayton - Obit
Date: Sun, 20 May 2001 13:44:40 -0600


Posted on: Nassau County NY Obituaries
Reply Here: http://genconnect.rootsweb.com/gc/USA/NY/NassauObits/10022

Surname: Edwards, Hughes
-------------------------

William C. Edwards, Prolific Electronics Inventor

by Tony Schaeffer (Newsday - April 15, 1989)

William C. Edwards, 75, of Plandome Manor, a prominent inventor of electronic
devices for military and medical uses, and holder of numerous patents,
died Wednesday in St. Francis Hospital, Roslyn.

Mr. Edwards specialized in intelligence-gathering equipment for the U.S.
military, the Central Intelligence Agency and federal law enforcement agencies.
He developed airborne syncronized bombing equipment used in World War II,
as well as radar control devices.

His work included camera stabilizing and recording equipment used in U-2
high-altitude surveillance aircraft. His accomplishments earned him a letter
of appreciation from then CIA Director Richard Helms and a number of merit
awards and citations from the U.S. government.

Mr. Edwards' patents covered a variety of bloodpressure measurement devices,
extended stereophonic systems, apparatus for exhibiting motion picture
film, a speed and acceleration responsive motor control system and one
of the first transistorized electronic motor controllers.

Mr. Edwards held the first patent on a battery charger for portable radios.
He developed and manufactured the first telephone answering machine with
the ringback refinement, allowing messages to be checked from another phone.
He was recognized as a foremost authority on magnetic recording. He developed
the fetal heartbeat machine and pioneered in hearing-aid advances.

Mr. Edwards was a native of Los Angeles and a graduate of the University
of California at Los Angeles. He was an outstanding track athlete and took
part in Olympic trials.

His early work was for the motion picture industry, for which he developed
stabilized optical equipment for airborne cameras and the first commercial
endless loop system for film. His contributions to aviation also included
the first anti-vertigo instruments for cockpit reference and bombsite-coordinated
automatic pilot apparatus.

Mr. Edwards was a longtime Plandome Manor resident and the owner of Edwards
Electronics Corp. and Edwards Engineering Co., both in Glen Head. In the
1940s, he was in charge of research laboratories for Sperry Gyroscope in
Lake Success and personal recipient of "E for Excellence" World War II
defense effort awards.

His niece, Geraldine D. O'Hagan of Glen Head, who worked with him more
than 25 years, said yesterday that in addition to his inventive genius,
Mr. Edwards "was such a beautiful person. He only saw the good in people.
He was such an honorable man. He never did an unkind thing in his life.
His philosophy that we are just a grain of sand on the whole beach and
our time here is very minuscule. He was so special."

Mr. Edwards is survived by his wife, Lillian. Visiting is 2-4 and 7-9 p.m.
today and tomorrow at the Roslyn Heights Funeral Home. A mass is scheduled
for 10 a.m. Monday at St. Peter of Alcantara Catholic Church, Port Washington.
Burial will be in St. Mary's Cemetery, Tuckahoe, N.Y.

NOTE: William Clayton Edwards was the son of Clayton Mathew Edwards and
Estelle Mary Hughes (note by Jane Austin Edwards)


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