Miessner, Benjamin F. (1890-1976) | Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections
Benjamin Franklin Miessner, radio engineer and inventor, was born in Huntingburg, Indiana on July 27, 1890. He was the son of Charles and Mary (Reutopohler) Miessner.
Miessner graduated from Huntingburg High School in 1908 and enlisted in the U. S. Navy,and a year later graduated from the U.S. Naval Electrical School in Brooklyn, N.Y. He was then sent to a Naval radio station in Washington, D.C. to be a wireless operator. While there he invented the "cat whisker" detector and "inductor compass.
He left the Navy in 1911 to work with John Hays Hammond, Jr. on wireless control of torpedoes. At around this time he also invented and developed a superheterodyne radio system. He left Hammond's service in 1912 and from 1913-1916 studied electrical engineering at Purdue University. he returned to the Navy in 1916 as and Expert Radio Aid for Aviation.
In June 1916 Miessner married Eleanor M. Schulz in Buffalo, New York. They subsequently had two daughters.
In the 1920s Miessner was associated with the Brunswick Balke Collender Company in Chicago. He worked as an acoustical expert and in its acoustical research laboratory, which he founded. He devised and entirely new system of sound recording and reproduction.