52 Ancestors: Glen Ray Barber #36

In celebration of Labor Day, the theme of week #36 of the 52 Ancestors challenge is “work.”

I knew my Granddad as someone who could fix anything electronic. The Shell Geophysical Lab in Houston, Texas knew him as their “first radio man.” According to an article from a company newspaper he saved, he was responsible for the “design, repair and construction of all radio equipment built in the Manufacturing Dept. of the Exploration and Production Research Division.”

Glen Ray Barber was born in Jacksonville, Texas in 1910 to Clyde Herbert Barber and Ethel Lee Ewing. He was the second youngest of six children and they all grew up on a farm outside Jacksonville. Clyde Barber wanted young Glen to leave school at 16 to work on his farm, but Granddad wanted more. He moved in with his oldest brother Newell while finishing high school and grew tomatoes to sell to cover expenses.

I am not completely clear on the timeline but I think Glen served with the Merchant Marines and then attended Port Arthur College and a Radio Engineering and Electronics course at Rice. He then worked for the Houston radio stations KXYZ and KTRH for five years before working for Shell.

I do not know the details yet about the above photos. I do know that Granddad liked his job at Shell and was very reluctant to retire.

Reference:

“20 Years With Shell,” undated clipping, from unidentified newspaper; Glen R. Barber Shell Oil news clippings; privately held 2018 by Deborah A Barber, [address for private use], NYC, NY, the article may be from an employee newsletter, it describes Glen R. Barber’s history with the company.

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