I couldn’t believe that there were no more than, idk, 100 people who came to the memorial service today for Doug Strain at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Or.
As someone ruefully said to me, Strain to many people was no more than a picture on a wall to a new generation of high tech workers. I’m not a high tech worker, never have been, (my husband is) but even I know Strain helped PLANT the SILICON FOREST, for goodness’ sake!
Where’s the love? Where were the folks from the Silicon Forest at today’s service?
Strain started his high tech career in what later became Silicon Valley and came to Portland where he eventually started Electro Scientific Industries with his dad, Clayton Strain, Charlie Davis, Rocky Rockwood and Merle Morgan. When their facility burned down, the founders of Tektronix (and others) came to their aid, offering machine shop facilities, work benches and the like to get them back on their feet.
Doug invented measurement devices for what would become the semiconductor industry. As I found here on the blog called Grain of Sand (here):
After ESI moved, over to the Macadam area, the new place burned to the ground the night of some firemen’s ball (no one to answer the distress call — probably couldn’t have saved it anyway, given the high temperatures involved). Fortunately, the insurance came through. And later, State Farm (also insurance) helped grow the Silicon Forest with a lot of investments, as did Hewlett-Packard. HP loved Doug’s ability to measure resistence in micro-ohms — about 350 micro-ohms for a house key — and added Doug’s inventions to its product line.
Doug was a conscientious objector in WWII.
When he started in the biz there was no such thing as high tech and the word “electronics” had not even been coined.