The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, November 21, 2008


Albert E. Sanderson Scientist and inventor


Albert E. Sanderson III, 80, of Forest Park Drive, died in Concord on Sunday, November 16. Dr. Sanderson was a resident of Carlisle for 50 years.

First and foremost he leaves his much-loved family: his wife Mary (McGettigan), of 59 years, whom he met in second grade in Wayland and married right out of college. He also leaves his four children: David Sanderson and his wife Karin Williamson of Concord, Linda Sanderson and her husband William Dwyer of Hadley, Kathy Fox and her husband John of Upton, Paul Sanderson and his wife Wendy of Westford.

Dr. Sanderson entered Harvard College at the age of 16, where he earned his undergraduate and his master’s degree in Engineering Sciences. He later returned to Harvard University to earn his Ph.D. in applied physics. Upon completing his Ph.D., he was offered a position on the faculty and taught at Harvard from 1965 to 1976. He lectured on applied physics and engineering sciences and served as the director of the Harvard University Electronics Design Center, which created custom electronic instrumentation designs for numerous research projects.

He was always a great friend of numbers, able to grasp things mathematical, things far beyond the reach of most. Often he could be found with a pencil, an eraser and a pad of paper in his hands, trying to solve some difficult problem. Dr. Sanderson lived a very full 80 years, leaving many indelible marks along the way.

An inveterate inventor, Dr. Sanderson’s greatest invention is a yet “unrealized” project he was working on with his brother Robert: the Sanderson Engine and Pump. The hope is that their unique Engine/Pump design will eventually replace the traditional crankshaft. Application of their invention is presently being assessed by some of the largest technology companies in the world. Dr. Sanderson secured more than 16 patents in his lifetime, including eight for this revolutionary engine and pump design.

Dr. Sanderson was also well known in the piano technician’s world. He brought into being the “Sanderson Accu-Tuner” which was the first electronic piano tuning instrument to become widely accepted among aural tuners. Many years ago Dr. Sanderson tuned for the great Arthur Fiedler, using his then new piano tuning invention. Maestro Fiedler was so pleased with the sound of his piano that he provided Dr. Sanderson with a letter of recommendation for his new invention. In 1976, with his new tuner, Dr. Sanderson launched the company, Inventronics, Inc., which his son Paul now operates in Tyngsboro, Massachusetts.

The “Sanderson Accu-Tuner” is now used by piano tuners the world over. Dr. Sanderson’s many accomplishments have been highlighted by the Piano Technician’s Guild (PTG) which bestowed upon him every single award they have to offer. Affectionately referring to him as “Doc,” in 1993 they elected him to their “Hall of Fame” for contributions to the theory and practice of piano technology and in 1998 he received the PTG’s greatest award, the “Golden Hammer Award,” for a lifetime of service, teaching theory and practice of piano tuning and scale design.

Dr. Sanderson’s love of family and his willingness to share his knowledge and help others with what he had discovered, stands out as what made him great.

His funeral service will be held at the Bedford Funeral Home, 167 Great Road, Bedford, on Friday, November 21, at 10 a.m. Interment will be in Green Cemetery in Carlisle.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, 30 Speen Street, Framingham, MA 01701.

A WINNING SEASON. The C-C Pop Warner E-Team (max. weight is 90 pounds), made up of second-, third- and fourth-graders, completed an undefeated season with a victory over West Roxbury at the Brookline/Jamaica Plain E Team Jamboree on November 2. Key members of the team from Carlisle who helped fuel the 9–0 record included Carlisle students (left to right) Declan Smith, Liam Smith, Gunther Stutz, Jamie Grant and Matt Moreau. (Courtesy photo)
A VISIT TO THE FIRE STATION. Captain J.J. Supple of the Carlisle Fire Department opened the Fire Station to the Tiger Cub Scouts of Carlisle and gave an excellent talk on fire saftey. (Photo by David Chaffin)
NO, THESE ARE NOT TURKEYS ARRIVING EARLY FOR THANKSGIVING DINNER. This is a flock of eight Helmeted Guineafowl foraging for food at the home of Charlie and Joanne Forsberg on Autumn Lane, last Friday. They also paid a visit to the Finizios, the Forsbergs’ next-door neighbors. These birds, which are native to Africa, are domesticated here in the United States. (Photo by Charlie Forsberg)




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