John Sanabria

John Marshall Sanabria, born March 10th, 1912, Chicago, IL.  His Father, Ulises Marcial Sanabria was Puerto Rican, his Mother, Lillian Buisseret was American.  They had 4 children, Ulises Armand (U.A.) Lillian “Peachy” (who died of rhumatic fever at age 20)  John,  and Hewitt.  Both his parents died when the boys were young, (U.A. the oldest, had left home) John and Hewitt were raised by his Aunt and Uncle, George and Sylvia (“Teeds”) Englethaler.   George Englethaler was a Colonel in the army;  John and Hewitt moved to many bases where Colonel Englethaler was assigned, including Puerto Rico,, and Battle Creek, Michigan, where he went to middle and High School. 

In 1930 he enrolled at Michigan College of Mining & Tech, where he earned his  B.S. in Electrical Engineering.  He attended Graduate classes at Northwestern and Aurora College.

He went to work for U.A. Sanabria at American Television in 1937 to 1941, when he joined the U.S. Army Signal Corps.  He was in the European Theater from July 1942 to August 1945, where he supervised installation of VHF communication in the Eiffel Tower, sent to Portugal and Spain on intelligence work; Executive Officer Radio Counter Measures (England) developing jamming devices against radar and radio.  (More can be found on p4 of resume below)

He returned to American Television as Vice President in 1946 upon discharge from the military.

He developed many inventions including the Ghost Eliminator (below) and advancements in the Hydrogen Thyratron and invented testing equipment for those.  He was able to design and deliver testing equipment to the military that their own scientists and engineers could not.  He was responsible for bringing to actuality many of the ideas U.A. had only speculated upon.  He became involved with teaching at American Television Institute, a school set up prior to WWII to train engineers.  He became  friends with Dr. Lee de Forest, and collaborated with him on many inventions.  He was well respected by the electronics community as someone who could deliver, was a tireless worker, and often found a solution by inventing new technology.

When American Television closed, Mr. Sanabria became Vice President of Engineering at Cetron Electronic Corp, primarily producing electron guns for military use CRT’s.  In 1965, he was asked to supervise the installation of the gantry television system at Cape Kennedy.  John Sanabria died, Sept. 11, 1980.  His wife Violet, passed away in 2009, Daughter Sandra, is living in Chicago, Son Nicolas, in Aurora.


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