Herb also performed
consulting work in the generation and distribution of electrical power
for the Morencie Copper mine. This mine, the largest in the United States,
provided much of the copper vital to the munitions manufacturers during
World War II.
Herb instituted the electronics course at Gila College in Thatcher,
Arizona, and served as its first instructor while on loan from Gila
Broadcasting. As a test of emergency broadcasting, he conducted an experimental
project in 1947-48 to test the signal strength of balloon-supported
antennas. These tests, on a special frequency, were performed on the
summit of Arizona’s 10,000 foot high Mount Graham.
In 1949, Ewing C. "Gene" Kelly hired Herb as the first Chief
Engineer for Kelly Broadcasting in Sacramento. In addition to serving
as chief engineer of KCRA AM and FM radio stations, Herb attended and
testified at the national hearings on the assignment of TV channels
in the nation. As a result of his expertise, Kelly Broadcasting was
granted the regional license to broadcast on channel 3 of the television
broadcast spectrum. To this day Kelly Broadcasting remains an affiliate
of NBC and a giant in the industry. Initially, Channel 3 broadcasted
from the 500 foot tall, self-supporting tower still located at the 310
10th Street location. Herb was instrumental in KCRA broadcasting in
color as the first station on the West Coast to do so.
Herb served as Chairman of the Sacramento Section of the Institute of
Radio Engineers from 1949 to 1959.
In 1959, Herb convinced Gene Kelly of the need to expand KCRA’s
viewing area and knew just how to accomplish that task. To widen the
range of the broadcasting area, Herb contracted on behalf of KCRA with
KXTV, KOVR, and RCA. He negotiated with the FCC to allow building of
an antenna tower tall enough to reach 25,000 square miles and, at that
time, four million viewers throughout the Sacramento Valley. He was
instrumental in the engineering of the “Candelabra” style,
1549 foot tall antenna tower, located at Walnut Grove, California. The
tower was, at that time, the tallest in the West and one of the highest
in the world. With the completion of the tower, Channels 3, 10 and 13
began broadcasting from the three, separate, antennas atop the massive
tower. His idea, and guidance, produced a quantum leap in the quality
and range of the television signals for all three stations. The Candelabra
tower still stands today, transmitting for Channels 3, 10 and 13.
In 1963 Herb met with Governor Edmund Brown’s advisors to consider
implementing a better method of Emergency Broadcasting Systems. He received
a commendation letter from Gov. Brown expressing how pleased he was
with reports of the meeting and gratefulness for Herb’s contribution
to this vital field.
Herb served 12 years as a committee member and advisor for the Trade
Advisory Committee with the State of California Department of Corrections.
During this time he also taught electronics once a month, as part of
a Vocational Training Program at the California State Prison at Folsom.
Later Herb took a hiatus from Kelly Broadcasting to become Vice-President
of Sales for the Grass Valley Group, a manufacturer of high-end video
switching and signal processing equipment for commercial television
stations. Tired of the constant travel involved in national sales, Herb
returned to Kelly Broadcasting as the director of special projects.
Forty-seven years ago, Herb started Research Derivatives, Incorporated.
With this new company he developed and manufactured a wide variety of
innovative, as well as standard, electronic controls for the highway
paint striping industry and for laboratories. He also developed specialized
controllers for The State of California Materials Testing Laboratory
in the San Francisco Bay Area. His company sold equipment in all fifty
states, Canada, Mexico, Spain and Brazil. The company was “sole
source” for several states and many State Transportation agencies
and road painting contractors. Although he knew he had a terminal illness,
he ran his company full time until just two weeks prior to his passing.
As an avid boater, Herb taught himself celestial navigation. He also
joined the Coast Guard Auxiliary as the 12th District Career Coordination
Officer (AIM). He taught safe boating classes and navigation skills
to numerous new boat owners. Herb also conducted courtesy inspections
of (civilian) boats and aided in search and rescue operations in the
Sacramento Delta. It was not unusual for Herb to tow distressed boaters
to the nearest marina for repairs or refueling, all done as a volunteer
and at personal expense.
In the early 60’s, in mid-February, he helped friends Captain
Bob Gaylord, his wife Evelyn, and the paid hand, Tony, sail the sixty-foot-long
schooner Aafje, back to California from Hawaii. Mid-way through the
trip a horrendous and life threatening winter storm blew them off their
course, leaving them close to the Aleutian Island chain near Alaska.
They had to sail down the West Coast of Alaska, Canada, and the United
States to return to the home port of San Francisco. The return trip
took three weeks, one week longer than done under normal weather conditions.
Herb was predeceased by his loving wife, Janet (Ferris) Hartman, and
is survived by his daughters, Margaret Annette (Walt) Wade, of Roseville,
California; Marjorie Beth (Don) Smelser, of Fallon, Nevada; René
Hartman (Sam) Domino of Forsyth, Missouri; and grandson, Anthony William
Shumate, of Sacramento, California.
A special heartfelt “Thank You” goes to the doctors, nurses,
and ancillary staff members working at Kaiser Permanente Roseville Medical
Center for their excellent care of Herb during his last days.
Herb requested there be no services. In lieu of flowers, please send
any contributions to the American Cancer Society.
Herb, you are already missed by your family and large crowd of friends
and colleagues. You touched thousands of lives with your wit, humor,
mentoring, work ethic and sharing of your deep knowledge of many subjects.