George Washington Pierce was working with electric waves and wireless telegraphy when he became interested in quartz crystals.
Born near Austin, Texas in 1872, G.W. Pierce was the son of a cattle rancher. Graduating from the University of Texas in 1893, Pierce finished his master's degree the following year. He eventually made his way to Harvard University in 1897 where he earned his Ph.D. After a year in Germany, Pierce returned to devote his career to the Physics Department at Harvard. He became the first director of the Cruft Laboratory in 1914. Pierce was recruited to work on the development of sonar during World War I, and he was greatly influenced by the work of Walter Guyton Cady.
G.W. Pierce was inspired by Cady's discoveries to conduct his own experiments on quartz crystals.
Cady quickly published the findings of his research on quartz crystals and discussed them with his colleagues, including Pierce. Pierce was specifically interested in the design of oscillator circuits that utilized the standard frequencies provided by quartz crystal resonators. Pierce introduced three different designs for quartz oscillators in 1923, which were soon patented, and subsequently came into universal use in the field of frequency control. The work of both Pierce and Walter Guyton Cady laid the groundwork for the first quartz clock developed by Warren Marrison in 1927.
Before 1960 ~