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Hansell, C. W. (Clarence Weston), 1898-1967



  • Existence: 1898 - 1967

biographical statement

Clarence Hansell was born on January 20, 1898 in Medaryville, Indiana. He attended Purdue University, where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering in 1919. Following graduation, Hansell worked in the test training course of the General Electric Company (GE) at Schenectady, N.Y (June 1919 to May 1920). There, Hansell was in charge of factory tests of the Alexanderson high frequency generators.

In May 1920, Hansell was transferred to the Radio Engineering Department of GE (May to September 1920), where he tested trans-oceanic radio transmitting stations. In September 1920 Hansell began work at the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), where he helped develop its transmitting facilities, including founding the RCA Radio Transmission Laboratory at Rocky Point, Long Island, N.Y. in 1925. Hansell’s work with RCA was taken over by RCA Communications, Inc. in 1929 and then by RCA Laboratories in 1942.

In 1932 Hansell became interested in ionized air and its biological effects, after observing the effects ionized air had on one of his colleagues at the Rocky Point Lab. This interest continued in 1945, when Hansell was a scientific investigator for the Technical Industrial Intelligence Committee in Germany, and reported on the air ionization investigations conducted in Germany.

Hansell retired from RCA Laboratories in 1963. By his retirement, Hansell had been issued more than 300 patents in the United States. He was also the recipient of an honorary Doctorate of Electrical Engineering degree from Purdue University, awarded in 1952. Hansell continued working on manuscripts on ionization and the nature of energy until his death in 1967.


Clarence Weston Hansell Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Stony Brook University Libraries. Accessed February 2, 2024.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Clarence Hansell collection

 Collection — Box: Communal Collections 7, Placement: 11
Identifier: MSA 133
Scope and Contents Bob Long (1948). Indiana's Edison: If the Mail Arrives Some Day by Television, Thank Clarence Hansell, a Local Boy Who Made Good. Indianapolis Star Magazine, February 22, 1948.
Dates: undated