End 2016



E2 tie

The Searle Box.

In opened the one foot cube Searle box for only the second time in many years. Dipping into it, I became truly furious.

Many years ago I was too old to be a real electronic engineer because the ruling idea was that only young engineers had the innovative energy needed for design in electronic engineering. Against that, GEC could not retain their bright young engineers because Arnold Weinstock had got rid of middle management in order to save money, short term profitability being his only objective. The result was a total lack of direction, which bright young graduate engineers would realise after less than two years in GEC, and leave. GEC lived off the “Defence Industry”, which meant that they received government money for ridiculous projects like the Stingray torpedo . They received 100% of the money they managed to spend, plus 14% profit.

http://www.electromagnetism.demon.co.uk/gamoe.htm (Note the IEE’s Professor Brown when President of the IEE betrayed professional electronic engineers when the IEE tried to establish a distinction between an electronic engineer and a milkman. Weinstock repaid him by making him head of GEC Lincoln.)


Part of the deal was that the staffing on a project must not fall below the agreed 66%. With all the engineers leaving, GEC had to “rent a crowd”, which included milkmen redefined as electronic engineers, and “contract engineers”. Weinstock got the head of the IEE to sabotage attempts to make a clear distinction between electronic engineers and milkmen. This led to the "Stinking Fish" article in “New Scientist”. With a wife and four children to support, I became a contract engineer, and went in at the bottom level of GEC, with permanent staff above me earning less than me (and resenting it.).

With my high rate of pay, and with income tax at a very high level, it was uneconomic for my wife to take a normal job. She needed to defer her income.

Quite separately from my absurd position in ludicrous projects including Nimrod, Tornado, Tigerfish and the most surreal Stingray project, my real career was in electromagnetic theory.  I found that in some, but not all, of my theoretical advances, the forgotten Heaviside was there before me.  Heaviside’s electromagnetic work had disappeared from the record, unreferenced in any text book for more than half a century.

My plan was to get my late wife to do the biographical side of Heaviside – there being no biography of the great man. (She would also do a biography on Vera Brittain  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vera_Brittain , which did not exist either.)  Ivor Grattan-Guinness http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivor_Grattan-Guinness  would do Heaviside’s Operational Calculus http://www.quadritek.com/bstj/vol01-1922/articles/bstj1-2-43.pdf and other maths, and I would do his electromagnetic theory.

(An expert researcher, Ivor came with me to the IEE in Savoy Place to look into Heaviside’s alleged unpublished “fourth volume”. Looking through the collection of papers alleged to contain it, he rapidly concluded that they were merely drafts for his earlier published books, plus trivia. This took him ten or fifteen minutes. I am now estranged from him as a result of my bitter divorce action when I divorced my wife.)


Reintroducing the forgotten Heaviside’s electromagnetic theory and building him up in general would form a platform for my work to build on. My group (Dr. David Walton and Malcolm Davidson) had advanced beyond Heaviside’s “Theory H” to “Theory C”. http://www.ivorcatt.co.uk/778b.htm .

We published letters in the press, including “New Scientist”, asking for information on Oliver Heaviside. One reply came from the Reverend Timmins, a descendent of Heaviside’s self-styled best friend G F C Searle. We drove up to his home near Cambridge. On the centre of the table was a metal box one foot cube. Timmins told us he had asked Cambridge University Library and the IEE to come and look at it, and they had refused. He said he was going to destroy it next winter.

We were on tenterhooks. Would he let us look in, or even have, the box? After a very stressful interview (for us, not for him) we came away with the box. Driving away and round the corner, we opened it, and found a magnificent treasure trove. This included and unpublished manuscript biography of Heaviside by Searle, which meant that my wife’s task was almost finished.

While I was away as contract engineer during the week in Portsmouth, my wife would read Heaviside’s letters to Searle way into the night. She developed the idea that she did not like Heaviside, which for me had nothing to do with whether she should make the first biography of him. However, there were two further barriers to her dong the job. Firstly, she was chronically unable during her life to complete projects. Second, she had recently been on a course in Sussex University of “Women’s Studies”, which I call “Unfair to Women”. The radical feminists believed, and she took on the idea, that if one allowed one’s husband’s career to be more successful than one’s own, one betrayed the Sisterhood. It reached the ludicrous limit when Sinclair was negotiating with me to buy my patents on Wafer Scale Integration https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7JYZviFH54 . She tried to control the negotiation by getting a psychiatrist Dr. Eia Asen to say that I was mentally deranged, which he refused to do, so he was fired  http://www.ivorcatt.co.uk/952.htm . When later I asked him why he said there was nothing wrong with me, that surely he knew that that would mean he would be fired, he said he expected that result, but sometimes it would “break the logjam”. Her obstruction of the Searle book was valuable forewarning that she might stop at nothing, and helped me in facing later perjured charges against me – domestic violence and then child sexual abuse. I did get my wife to agree in the presence of Asen that if she did not finish the Searle biography by the end of the year, I would get back his manuscript. She later reneged on this, but somehow I got the manuscript back. (This led to the confusion in the Lynch article on the last page of the Searle book, edited by me later on, about the whereabouts of the manuscript. http://www.forrestbishop.mysite.com/ ; http://www.forrestbishop.mysite.com/OHM/Heaviside_the_Man.htm) My wife had thought the one important thing in the box was Heaviside’s letters, which she retained and probably later destroyed. However, our son did not understand why I should not get the letters, and she agreed to his making copies of them for me, which is all that I now have. I cannot now get any comment from my two daughters about the whereabouts of the originals.

To return to my statement “Dipping into it, I became truly furious.”

I am furious that such a historic gold mine as the Searle box lies untouched for so many years. It will take far more than a man year to make a proper study of its contents. During the saga, I learned about the indifference of institutions to such historic material. Josephs told me the IEE repeatedly threw away his biography of Heaviside. Look at “The International Incident”.   http://www.electromagnetism.demon.co.uk/z010.htm . According to Josephs, the IEE librarian Wright wanted to destroy the papers found under the floor boards in Heaviside’s home. Some Heaviside documents were left by the IEE under a leaky tap in Wales during the war, and Josephs, not the IEE, organised their restoration.

In my book “Computer Worship” http://www.electromagnetism.demon.co.uk/7851.htm I wrote that the then librarian in the IEE, Mrs. Goodship, unlocked the room where all of Heaviside’s library “lay in dusty disorder”, that the dust showed that for decades no one had been interested in Heaviside’s annotated copy of Maxwell, for instance. She was concerned that nobody showed interest in Heaviside. In my (by then) twelve year quest to get to the bottom of electromagnetic theory, I had only come to the library to look into Maxwell and Faraday, not knowing that Heaviside was a contender, he had been so far suppressed.

My efforts are part of the reason why he has been revived. http://www.ivorcatt.co.uk/x267.pdf

Ivor Catt   21 August 2014

The top experts in the world on Heaviside were H J Josephs and Professor Gossick. My co-author and I went to see Josephs a number of times, and we both tape recorded him. I had four or five hours with Gossick in Kentucky. Neither of them homed in on Heaviside’s two greatest contributions, the concept of “energy current” and “We reverse this; [the field causes the current, not the current the field]”.





Ivor Catt  14 April 2015


The Reverend Timmins

After twelve years working in R&D in computers and microelectronics, I decided to give up and move to another profession. This was because the profession and industry refused to move in my direction. My new career meant I became a school teacher, teaching remedial English.

However, I decided I would first write a book with the insights I had gained when researching high speed logic signals. I would make the most of my twelve years in computer hardware by building up Oliver Heaviside, who had disappeared from the record. I did not know that he had made contributions to electromagnetic theory. I had recently stumbled on the fact that a century before, Heaviside had confronted the same problems that I had confronted when dealing with pulses in high speed computers. Although Heaviside wrote about “the heaven sent Maxwell”, Marconi’s sinusoidal radio success and its Maxwellian mathematical obscurantism took control of electromagnetic theory, burying Heaviside’s (and my) pulses. Heaviside sent Morse pulses from Newcastle to Denmark in an undersea cable. I had been rediscovering some of Heaviside’s advances, which had disappeared from the record. He was not mentioned in any text book for more than half a century. The key advances were the concept of “energy current” as opposed to “electric current”, and “We reverse this .... ”; that the field causes the current, not the current the field.

I decided that Heaviside should be given his rightful place in history. I published much on him, including my article entitled “The Heaviside Signal”, outlining different version of the TEM wave, which I had independently developed. I would publicise Heaviside’s electromagnetic theory, my then colleague the late Ivor Grattan-Guinness would publicise his operational calculus and other mathematics, and my then wife would write the first biography of Heaviside, there being none at that time.

For the biography, we published requests for material on Heaviside. This elicited a reply from the Reverend Timmins, a descendent of G. F. C. Searle. Searle said he had been Heaviside’s best friend. My wife and I drove up to the village near Cambridge to the Timmins house. Inside we sat round a table in the middle of which was a tin box one foot cube containing Searle memorabilia. The Reverend said he had asked Cambridge University Library and also the IEE to come and see the box, but they refused. he had planned to destroy the contents next winter.

Ivor Catt   April 2015