He defined the experience of using the telephone

| March 5, 2013

South African John Karlin worked at Bell Labs

South African John Karlin worked at Bell Labs

Born in Johannesburg on Feb. 28, 1918, and reared nearby in Germiston, where his parents owned a grocery store and tearoom, the late John Karlin is considered the father of human-factors engineering in American industry.

Karlin earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, psychology and music, and a master’s degree in psychology, both from the University of Cape Town. He was a violinist in the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra and the Cape Town String Quartet.

This New York Times article defines how Karlin, who was virtually unknown to the the general public, “quietly yet emphatically defined the experience of using the telephone in the mid-20th century and afterward, from ushering in all-digit dialing to casting the shape of the keypad on touch-tone phones. And that keypad, in turn, would inform the design of a spate of other everyday objects.”

Mr. Karlin died on Jan. 28 2013, at 94.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/09/business/john-e-karlin-who-led-the-way-to-all-digit-dialing-dies-at-94.html?ref=obituaries&_r=1&


Category: Personality Stories, Stories

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