Marek Edelman – The story of the radio lamp in satellites (8/145)
[L] Majus Nowogródzki… Yes, his father was the Bund Party secretary. He’s 84 years old, he goes skiing, he’s had both hip joints replaced but he skis down the highest mountains and is a wonderful skier. Apart from that, he made those things in those American sputniks… [L] In the space programme? What? [L] In the space programme? Probably. He made radio lamps in those satellites that convey… telephones and television from America to Europe, the stationary ones. What happens is that the lamp has – this is the hardest part – he was the director – this lamp has to have, it’s tiny, the size of a little finger, and at its centre it has to have a small hole through which a thin wire passes. They spent several months wondering how to do this, and with each idea the whole thing fell apart, and they couldn’t make a hole or do anything. So then they decided to do a bit of brainstorming. On his way to work, he got off the train one stop earlier and took with him everyone whom he met who he thought looked likely. They sat down and he presented the problem to them. They talked and talked and talked and then one of them spoke up saying, ‘I’m a tailor’. I understand that it’s not the needle that needs to be threaded onto the thread but the thread onto the needle.’ And that’s what happened. First, they made the wire, then they cast the lamp and everything worked. That’s Majus. To this day, he’s an advisor for this firm… I don’t know if it’s state-run or private – that makes these satellites.