Updated 09-XII-2018

Jeanette Rosalind Cooper

This article was written by fellow lamp engineer and collector Edward J. Covington, and originally appeared on his own website of biographical sketches of persons involved in the lamp industry. Following his passing in February 2017, and with kind permission of his family, Ed's words have been preserved here in the hope of maintaining access to his writings for the benefit of subsequent generations.

Jeanette Rosalind Cooper

Jeanette Cooper was born in Akron, Ohio on 19 October 1920. She attended the University of Akron and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from that institution in 1942. Miss Cooper also did graduate work in crystallography at Case Institute of Technology and, in addition, spent one summer studying crystallography at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn.

Miss Cooper's career in the GE lamp Division started in 1942. As the Second World War was in progress she was immediately loaned to Engineering, which was involved in the making of radar tubes. She learned how to make dumet and graded seals from the German-born glassblowers. She was also involved in developing "Q" meters, micro-welders, and induction coils for the desired products: power tubes, diodes, pentodes and photosensitive diodes. From 1942-1949 she was a development engineer and for part of that time she worked with Carl Kenty on chemical reactions in low pressure inert atmospheres (fluorescent lamps). That work was followed by some fundamental work on the physics of discharges with L. B. Johnson. From 1949 to 1951 she did electron microscopy work. Miss Cooper soon found, however, that size and shape did not adequately characterize submitted samples and that led to the purchase of an X-ray diffraction unit. During the years 1949-1951 she performed structural analyses. In later years she was involved with material characterization. Such work required the monitoring of solid state reactions for the determination of crystal form and degree of orientation. Mis Cooper's breath of knowledge was broad and often she was consulted by other scientists on technical matters.

In the early 1960s it was common to have a 10 a.m. seminar nearly every Monday morning in the Corning Conference room. Speakers were from within the organization as well as from institutions of higher learning and from other scientific laboratories. An enjoyable portion of those seminars was the question-and-answer period at the end of the talk. Regardless of the subject matter one could count on Miss Cooper to ask the speaker profound questions, which not only indicated her extensive knowledge of many subjects but also provided the less-mentally equipped listener (such as the writer) with exposure to first-class cross-examination of the speaker. It was always done in a professional manner and everyone gained from the experience.

Jeanette Cooper retired from GE Lighting in 1986.

  1. "Five Feminine Researchers have Share in GE Lamp Development", The GE Lamp Maker, Vol.1 No.5, December 1948, pp.13-15.