Tom Whittaker

Tom Whittaker

Tom Whittaker was born in the East Cavalry Barracks at Aldershot on 21st July 1898. His father was a sergeant-major in the 12th Lancers. Three weeks after his birth the family moved back to the North-East.

As a boy Whittaker watched Newcastle United and was a great fan of Colin Veitch. After leaving school he became an apprentice at a large firm of marine engineers, Hawthorn, Leslie and Company in Newcastle.

In 1918 Whittaker was conscripted into the British Army. He was posted to Shoreham and played football for the Royal Garrison Artillery. This resulted in him having a trial with Woolwich Arsenal.

Whittaker was demobilised at the end of the First World War and began work as an engineer with Green, Silley & Wears, that was at the time working on the Blackwall Tunnel. In November 1919, Leslie Knighton, the manager of Arsenal, managed to persuade him to join the club. However, he did not resign his job as an engineer until he made his league debut against West Bromwich Albion on 6th April 1920.

Whittaker was initially a centre-forward but in the 1920-21 season he was converted to left-half. Over the next three seasons he was a regular member of the Woolwich Arsenal side, playing in 64 league games. Whittaker was eventually replaced by Bob John as left-half and he went to left-back in the team.

In 1925 Whittaker took part in a Football Association tour of Australia. In a game against Wollongong he cracked a knee socket. He was told he would be off a long time and so he did a course in anatomy, massage and electrical treatment of injuries. When he returned to Highbury he was unable to train and therefore he helped in the treatment room.

By 1926 it became clear that Whittaker's football career was over and Herbert Chapman appointed him as assistant trainer. On 2nd February, 1927, Arsenal played in a 4th round FA Cup tie against Port Vale. According to Whittaker: "Arsenal were pressing hard, but things were not going just right and old George Hardy's eyes spotted something he felt could be corrected to help the attack. During the next lull in the game he hopped to the touchline, and cupping his hands, yelled out that one of the forwards was to play a little farther upfield." Chapman was furious and sent Hardy to the dressing-room.

On the following Monday morning Herbert Chapman summoned Whittaker to his office and told him that he was now the first-team trainer. Chapman added: "I am going to make this the greatest club ground in the world, and I am going to make you the greatest trainer in the game."

When Herbert Chapman died on 6th January 1934, George Allison was appointed as the new manager. Allison was a radio journalist who was also the club's managing director. However, he had no experience of football management. At the time of Chapman's death Arsenal were top of the table and Tom Whittaker and Joe Shaw were allowed to run the team until the end of the season.

Sunderland was their main challengers to Arsenal in the 1933-34 season thanks to a forward line that included Raich Carter, Patsy Gallacher, Bob Gurney and Jimmy Connor. In March 1934 Sunderland went a point ahead. However, the Gunners had games in hand and they clinched the league title with a 2-0 victory over Everton.

The following season Whittaker returned to his job as first-team trainer. In this post he helped Arsenal win the league championship in the 1934-35 and 1937-38 seasons. He also worked as trainer for the England national team.

After the outbreak of the Second World War Whittaker became an Air Raid Warden while waiting to be accepted by the Royal Air Force. Most of the Arsenal's first-team, included Ted Drake, Jack Crayston, Eddie Hapgood, Leslie Jones, Bernard Joy, Alf Kirchen, Laurie Scott and George Swindon, became Physical Training instructors in the RAF. However, Whittaker refused this post and eventually became involved in the planning for D-Day operation. Promoted to the rank of Squadron Leader he won the MBE for his work during the war.

In 1945 Whittaker returned to his post as Arsenal's first-team trainer. George Allison resigned in 1947 and Whittaker agreed to become manager of the club. He lead the club to First Division championships in 1947-48 and 1952-53 and the FA Cup in 1950.

Tom Whittaker died of a heart-attack at the University College Hospital on 24th October 1956. His autobiography, The Arsenal Story, was published in 1957.

The youngsters of Newcastle and district, in fact the whole of the north-east, start their football lives early, and I was no exception.

Like many boys who were to become much more famous players than I, my early games consisted of hurriedly arranged scratch matches in the street, the ball made of rags wrapped round several sheets of paper and tied with string, or a "clouty baall," the Geordie's way of calling a cloth ball.

Alternative playing venue to the streets was to go "down the fields." The very small boys used to stand behind the goals when the older boys were playing and kick the ball back. Gradually, we used to edge our way into the game, usually to make up the number. If the little fellows were able to hold their own with the bigger boys, they became regular participants. Otherwise, back they went behind the goals made of coats!

Children were not catered for in the way they are today. Cinemas were more or less unheard of, books scarce. The only real outlet was the "patch," or as I have said, down the fields to play football so long as the season lasted. Then, with a crudely constructed bat, turn to cricket. But football was always the more popular.

Boys are great dreamers. When our rag ball went scuttering over the rough ground, I was Colin Veitch running in to shoot at the Aston Villa goal. we all make-believe, and there is no bigger day dreamer than the small, healthy boy.

I was never a great player. I served the club as well as I knew how during the years following the Great War, held my place in the first team, lost it, and was still proud to play in the London (now "Football") Combination team, or the "stiffs," as it is known in the profession.

During that period, when destiny was shaping my future, I met and knew great players like Jackie Rutherford, whose superstition of entering the field of play last was upset in his final match for the club-v. Blackburn Rovers, Easter Monday, 1922 - before going to Stoke City as team manager. Rutherford was made captain for the day and came out first; Bert White, who was transferred to Blackpool the same week as he scored seven goals against the Athenian League; Billy Milne, the present Arsenal trainer, Fred Pagnam, Billy Blyth, dear old Joe Shaw, who left the club and then came back to take charge of the third team, and became the trusted chief scout at Highbury, Jack Butler, Scottish international Alex Graham, Bob John.

I played in front of Alf Kennedy, the young full-back, who, signed from Crystal Palace, was later to play in

our first Cup Final, against Cardiff in 1927. Other names come thick and fast, Alex Mackie, Joe Toner, Alf Baker, Dr. Paterson, Sid Hoar, A. V. Hutchins, Voysey, Williamson. There were others whose names, but not memories, have been erased by time.

I remember my first sight of the great Charlie Buchan when we went to Roker Park in 1922. I gave a penalty away in the first few minutes by handling the ball, and although I faithfully followed out the instructions to track Charlie all over the field, he had a great game. At the end we walked off together, and big Charlie said: "I am going home to tea when I've changed. Why don't you come? You might as well, you've followed me about all afternoon!"

The playing record of the club ran parallel with my own performances... "nothing to shout about." In season 1920-21 we finished ninth in the League, but for the most part we were struggling. Relegation was a constant danger, but somehow Arsenal managed to scramble clear at the last minute.

Although Herbert Chapman did not start rebuilding the Arsenal team until 1927, he had, two seasons before, laid the foundations of the side which was to sweep all before them in the nineteen-thirties. At the beginning of the 1925-26 season, Arsenal struck a bad patch, playing so badly that in their ninth game they lost by 7-0 at Newcastle. Something had to be done, and, in effect, matters were precipitated after this match by big Charlie Buchan.

When the party was preparing for the night sleeper journey back to London, Charlie came up to Herbert Chapman and said: "Boss, I'm not coming back to London. I live here and I am staying up here." Startled, the Arsenal manager said, "What do you mean, you are staying here? We've got a match at West Ham on Monday, and you are playing." Says Charlie, doggedly, "There's no point in carrying on as we are. We've no plan, and the way the team is going, we will finish in the Second Division. I want to give up the game and stay up here in the North East."

Chapman persuaded Charlie to change his mind, promising him that something would be done. And so was born the "stopper" centre half plan, and the roving inside left. At the team conference on the morning of the game, Chapman asked for suggestions before proposing his own remedy. Whereupon the blunt Buchan upped and said, "Why not have a defensive centre half, or third full-back, to block the gap down the middle?"

Chapman agreed this was a possibility, but his quick-thinking brain saw that the scheme was lacking something, and that by turning an attacking centre half into a defender, some of the attacking power was lost. So Charlie suggested a roving inside forward. Again, the far-seeing Chapman saw the ramifications of this idea, and after a long discussion as to ways and means, it was decided to put the plan into operation that very afternoon.

Charlie Buchan has since confessed to me that he felt he, himself, should be the roving inside forward, but Chapman decided that the skipper would be of more help playing his normal game, and exclaimed, "I know the very man-Andy Neil. He's as slow as a funeral, but has ball control and can stand with his foot on the ball while making up his mind!" It mattered nothing that Andy Neil (who also played with Brighton and Kilmarnock) was at that time a third-team player. He was given the role.

And, contrary to popular belief, the first of the stopper centre halves was not Herbert Roberts, but Jack Butler. Later, of course, Herbie became the greatest of them all.

Arsenal won that first game, at West Ham, by 4-0, and went on winning. Jimmy Ramsey took over the inside left role and later gave way to Billy Blyth, when the great Blyth-Hoar wing was born. Arsenal finished second in the League that year, and might easily have won it but for that bad start. League champions that season were Huddersfield Town, finishing a hat-trick of championships, a feat which Arsenal were to repeat between 1932 and 1935. And the man who started Huddersfield on their run was Mr. Herbert Chapman, who was destined to revolutionise football at Highbury, but who did not live to see his beloved Arsenal become the champion of champions.


Tom Whittaker

Tom Whittaker was born on 18 September, 1986 in Beverley, United Kingdom. Discover Tom Whittaker's Biography, Age, Height, Physical Stats, Dating/Affairs, Family and career updates. Learn How rich is He in this year and how He spends money? Also learn how He earned most of networth at the age of 34 years old?

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Age 35 years old
Zodiac Sign Virgo
Born 18 September 1986
Birthday 18 September
Birthplace Beverley, United Kingdom
Nationality United Kingdom

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Paris 1961: a hidden massacre

From International Socialism 2 : 116, Autumn 2007.
Copyright © International Socialism.
Copied with thanks from the International Socialism Website.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.

Jim House and Neil McMaster
Paris 1961: Algerians, State Terror and Memory
Oxford University, 2006, 㿨

Leaving aside situations of insurrection, revolution or civil war, the massacre of Algerian demonstrators that took place from 17 to 20 October 1961 in Paris constitutes “the bloodiest act of state repression of street protest in Western Europe in modern history”. House and McMaster’s account of 17 October and its complex legacies is rich in detail, based upon a combination of extensive research in recently opened state archives, oral sources and secondary literature. The result is a highly significant contribution to the polarised historiography of 17 October, the left in this debate being represented by Jean-Luc Einaudi and the right by Jean-Paul Brunet.

Of course, when the state archives were eventually opened in the late 1990s Brunet was given privileged access some 30 months before Einaudi. He subsequently emerged claiming that only 30 Algerians had been killed and that the events of 17 October could hardly be called a massacre. Such historical controversies are a product of the fact that the French state was, from the outset, successfully able to erase this act of repression from the public vision.

On 17 October 1961, as the Algerian war for independence neared its end, 30,000 Algerian migrants set off from the bidonvilles (shanty towns) to demonstrate in Paris. They assembled to show their support for the Algerian National Liberation Front, and their opposition to a police curfew and rising levels of violence they faced at the hands of the Harkis (pro-French Algerians) and the French police. On arriving in Paris demonstrators were met with extreme violence. Many were either shot or bludgeoned to death, their bodies dumped in the Seine. Meanwhile, thousands of demonstrators were taken to “holding centres” where they faced torture before being deported into the hands of the colonial authorities in Algeria. The police acted as they did confident in the knowledge that they would not be held to account by President de Gaulle or anyone else in the French government.

Maurice Papon, the chief of police, congratulated himself upon having smashed the National Liberation Front and claimed that only two demonstrators had been killed. House and McMaster argue that it is hard to ascertain exactly how many died, but that there were at least 120 excess Algerian deaths throughout the whole of September and October 1961 due to police violence. In this sense, 17 October was the peak of a cumulative wave of repression unleashed against Algerians during autumn 1961. Others estimate the number killed on the demonstration was 200. In terms of colonial violence this was unique in only one regard – that it took place in the capital of the imperial metropole rather than in the colony. An account of how methods of colonial policing were imported from Algeria to France is provided, many key figures within the Parisian police, including Papon, being veterans of repression in the colonies.

In explaining why the French state was successful in covering up the massacre, the unwillingness of the French Communist Party (PCF) to mobilise seriously in response was undoubtedly one of the most significant reasons. Relations between the National Liberation Front and the PCF were already strained, given the latter’s failure to support Algerian independence. House and McMaster cite the fact that the offices of L’Humanité had their shutters closed while the massacre was taking place outside as “symbolic of the barriers the PCF had placed between itself and the Algerian struggle”.

Protests by students, anti-colonial activists and some groups of workers did take place in reaction to the massacre, but none involved more than 1,000 people. House and McMaster contrast this lack of response with the reaction in February 1962 to the deaths of eight Communist protesters killed by the police outside Charonne metro station. Rightly they became martyrs, their deaths marked by a general strike and a funeral procession in central Paris attended by 500,000 people. But consequently, for many years afterwards in France, the memories of Charonne were to entirely subsume those of 17 October.

Memories of 17 October have gradually emerged in subsequent years largely due to the work of political and memory activists. In the 1970s and 1980s groups such as the Arab Workers Movement and anti-racists within the Beur (Arab youth) movement sought to use the memory of 17 October as a symbolic resource against continuing police racism and violence. The thirtieth anniversary of the massacre in 1991 saw 10,000 people follow the original route of the 1961 march. In 1997 Papon was put on trial for his role in deporting French Jews under the Vichy regime, and his opponents took this opportunity to highlight his subsequent role in the Algerian war. House and McMaster’s book is both an extremely useful contribution towards this still emerging truth, and a damning indictment of colonialism with its attendant racism and violence.


How Will History Remember You?

Consider for a moment the sheer gravity of this truth: that a society is fully capable of being blinded to the clear and absolute evil of an ideology, practice, or undertaking. Just think about it, regardless of your views there is simply no denying society’s capacity for the normalization of that which even the most reduced and open of moral perspectives could find to be abhorrent. In the absence of an absolute moral code, pragmatism and rationalism step in to establish acceptable social norms. Society justifies the moral structure through what is perceived as being necessary to the maintenance of the status quo.

One needs to look no further than our own country’s history. For slave owners, slavery was critical to the maintenance of their plantations and farms. For many individuals, particularly in the South, the American way of life was seen as being contingent upon slavery remaining a socially acceptable practice. As such, the sin of slavery was neutralized as an associated cost to the benefits of free labor, and the practice itself became normalized. It was considered by many to be a ‘necessary evil’.

Have we already forgotten this? Have we forgotten the fight which we had to endure in order to see the horrors of slavery ended in this country? Have we forgotten how, in the century after slavery was illegalized, we still had to continue fight against the evils of racism and racial segregation? Do we not remember how it was a ‘common thing’? How it was widely accepted? Have we forgotten how denying another human being the freedom to live their own life was once ‘acceptable’ and ‘popular’?

So where are we now? In wiping out the stain of slavery from our culture, have we achieved some sort of societal nirvana where we now are incapable of blinding ourselves against such evil? I do not think so, in fact, I know we have not.

42 years have passed since Roe v. Wade marked the beginning of the new ‘slavery’ of our times. Once again, in the absence of publicly accepted absolutes, society has allowed pragmatism and rationalism to step in to define our morals. Individuals see abortion as crucial to maintaining their way of life. In our, pragmatic, materialist society, children have become a commodity with a price tag attached. Children are expensive and costly. They require money, time, energy, and commitment. If you can afford one or two, that’s cool but if not, know that you risk losing your comfortable lifestyle by not exercising your freedom to choose. Abortion is okay, everyone else is doing it. It is socially acceptable and a legal practice after all, so it must be okay. You just do whatever you have to do to make sure that you live the life that you want.

For me, ignoring the fact that slavery was once justified in this country in the very same manner is just not possible.

So how will history remember this time in our country? We look back now, only about half a century, and we can see the influence of evils like segregation and racial prejudice on our country’s collective identity. We can even feel a sense of shame and sorrow for the way in which our ancestors acted. Will our descendants feel a sense of shame about how we have decided to allow abortion to become an acceptable practice?

I would like to ask one final question, what do you think of those individuals in our nation’s past which supported slavery, were racially prejudiced, or were pro-segregation? You will never meet these men and women most of them are long dead, so their legacy is all that remains. With the exception of their support of these evils, many of these individuals would have led very normal lives. They would have families and friends they loved. They had jobs they cared about and communities they worked to build up. They were, in a sense, a lot like you and I. Yet, these men and women who supported slavery and racial prejudice are not remembered for the way they loved their friends, family, or communities. No. They are remembered for supporting a practice which will always be considered evil. To them, racism was normal, popular, and acceptable. To us, we see racism for what it really is, and therefore see them in a less than favorable light.

So perhaps you believe that abortion is normal and acceptable. You believe that, as it is legal, it is your choice and your legal right to exercise it as such. I am here and I do not judge you as a person, despite the fact that I disagree with your views. I still see the way you love your family, your friends, and your community. I can see beyond your views and see the person that you are, created in the image and likeness of God, like myself. Be advised though, that when this country wakes up to realize that it has blinded itself once again to evil, history will be a much harsher judge of your view. How do you want to be remembered? I know I want to be remembered as an individual who stood up for what is right, and did not give in to what everyone else though was okay and acceptable. The abolitionist movement was not popular in its time, but think how those men and women are remembered as heroes today! I want to be a hero, do you?


Whittaker History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the name Whittaker date back to the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Whittaker family lived in one of a number of similarly-named places. The settlement of Wheatacre is in Norfolk, while Whiteacre in Waltham is in Kent both of these names literally mean wheat-field. The place named Whitacre is in Warwickshire, while High Whitaker is in Lancashire these names both mean white field. The surname Whittaker belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

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Early Origins of the Whittaker family

The surname Whittaker was first found in Warwickshire where the first record of the name was Johias Whitacre (1042-1066), who died while fighting at the Battle of Hastings on the side of King Harold. Despite the fact he was on the losing side of the battle, his family was permitted to keep their estates. The place names Whitacre, Over Whitacre and Nether Whitacre were listed in the Domesday Book as Witacre and literally meant "white cultivated land" from the Old English words "hwit" + "aecer." [1]

One of the earliest rolls was the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. Those rolls listed: Alan Witacur in Oxfordshire and Richard de Whitacre in Northamptonshire. Years later, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed: Henricus Wyteacre Willelmus de Wetaker and Rogerus Whitteacres. [2]

"The Whittakers or Whitakers are numerous in Lancashire. From the 14th to the 16th century a gentle family of this name lived at High Whitaker or Whitacre in the vills of Simonstone and Padiham, in the parish of Whalley: the Whitakers of Holme and those of Henthorn branched off in the 15th century and those of Healy about 1620. " [3]

One of the more interesting etymologies we found was the following: " local. The north part of a graveyard allotted to the poor was called Whittaker, from wite, a penalty, and acre,-a place of burial for criminals. A culprit who could not discharge the penalty or wite became a "witetheow," and was buried in the wite-acre. Bailey defines Whittaker "the north-east part of a flat or shoal-the middle ground." [4]

We tend to believe that name was more likely "derived from a geographical locality. 'of the white acre.' " [2] as the former entry would suppose that there would be many such listings of the surname scattered throughout ancient Britain and this was clearly not the case.


Company-Histories.com

Address:
1955 North Surveyor Avenue
Simi Valley, California 93063-3369
U.S.A.

Statistics:

Wholly Owned Subsidiary of Meggitt plc
Incorporated: 1947
Employees: 175
Sales: $26.7 million (2001)
NAIC: 332912 Fluid Power Valve and Hose Fitting Manufacturing 333995 Fluid Power Cylinder and Actuator Manufacturing 335314 Relay and Industrial Control Manufacturing


Company Perspectives:
Through subsidiary Whittaker, Meggitt strives to consistently increase shareholder value by providing technically superior products in its Aerospace Equipment business segment.


Key Dates:
1947: William R. Whittaker begins the manufacture of aircraft valves.
1956: Whittaker's firm merges with a computer software company and adopts the name Telecomputing Corporation.
1969: By now, the firm is operating under the name Whittaker Corporation and sales have reached $753.4 million.
1970: Joseph F. Alibrandi is named president and begins restructuring the firm.
1989: After a brief stint in the healthcare industry, Whittaker reorganizes and is focused on chemicals and its aerospace operations.
1991: The company sells its biotechnology business.
1995: Hughes LAN Systems Inc. is acquired and renamed Whittaker Communications Inc.
1996: Xyplex Inc. is purchased and merged with Whittaker Communications.
1997: In a major restructuring, Whittaker sells its communications interests and its defense electronics division.
1999: Meggitt Plc acquires Whittaker.

Whittaker Corporation, once a $2 billion conglomerate, operates as the parent company of Whittaker Controls Inc. and is a subsidiary of Meggitt plc. As part of the U.K.-based aerospace concern, Whittaker stands as a leading designer and manufacturer of fluid control devices and systems for commercial and military aircraft. Its products are also used in a variety of industrial applications. Whittaker's major customers include Boeing, Airbus, General Electric, Rolls Royce, and Pratt & Whitney.

In 1947, engineer William R. Whittaker borrowed $4,800 to begin the manufacture of aircraft valves. Later he broadened the product line through an acquisition to include the production of guidance instruments. In 1956, the company merged with one of the first computer software companies and the newly formed company assumed the name of one partner--the Telecomputing Corporation. Despite the reorganization, William R. Whittaker remained the top executive and principal shareholder of the company.

The further acquisitions of Monrovia Aviation Corporation and Narmco Industries allowed the company to enter into the manufacture of metal and non-metal materials. This shift in product orientation is attributed to Whittaker's desire to diversify away from its dependence on U.S. military contracts. Although the company had grown into a $60 million manufacturer of aerospace components, it remained vulnerable to trends in defense industry expenditures. In addition to the acquisitions, Whittaker's growth strategy included implementing cost control measures and performance records. The company now adopted the name of its founder and became the Whittaker Corporation.

Growth Through Acquisition: 1960s

To guide the company through this period of reorientation and growth, William Whittaker looked for a new president. He found his ideal executive in 1964 in the person of William Meng Duke, a Ph.D. in engineering from UCLA. Duke's previous management positions included serving as senior vice-president at Los Angeles' Space Technology Laboratories and as head of International Telephone & Telegraph Corporation's U.S. Defense Group. Duke possessed both an impressive amount of scientific knowledge as well as a talent for business, and his leadership potential seemed well matched to Whittaker's goals. As the company founder moved up to the position of chairman, Duke attempted to prove his business acumen.

In the next five years, through an aggressive and expansive program of acquisition, Whittaker grew from an obscure Los Angeles-based company to a complex of 80 diverse companies with a total annual sales of $753.4 million in 1969. Although Whittaker's business ranged from manufacturing pleasure boats to industrial chemicals, Duke did not consider his company a conglomerate. According to Duke, 70 percent of Whittaker's products remained related to some aspect of the integrated manufacture of metal and non-metal materials. Whether in processing alloys, chemicals, or ceramics, Duke claimed his company could produce not only a variety of materials but also could construct a product tailored to a customer's particular needs.

Wall Street analysts observed the spectacular rise in Whittaker's stock price. From less than $1 a share in 1964, the stock price rose to $46 a share in 1967. Despite such growth, however, a number of problems began to surface. As late as 1967 nearly one-third of Whittaker's business remained tied to military contracts. In particular, $30 million in volume was generated from products, such as helicopter blades, used in Vietnam. Moreover, the management of such a wide variety of businesses became troublesome. At the Columbus-Milpar subsidiary, for example, an undetected problem in inventory build-up and quality control caused a major profit loss. Finally, the number of acquisitions made by the company had put tremendous financial strain on Whittaker's resources.

Restructuring Under the Leadership of Alibrandi: 1970s

By 1970, the company was operating on a $332 million debt. Stock prices dropped to $6 a share. To remedy the situation, Joseph F. Alibrandi, a 41-year-old executive from the missile's systems divisions at the Raytheon Company, assumed the position of president. Alibrandi took immediate action by selling nearly a quarter of the 135 acquisitions. The company's net income rose and long-term debt was significantly reduced. While these improvements brought tangible results, a number of surprise setbacks illustrated the types of difficulties facing the new top executive. One setback involved the attempted sale of the Crown Aluminum subsidiary. A $6 million inventory shortage canceled the sale and forced Whittaker into the embarrassing situation of regaining control of the subsidiary. Another problem surfaced when Whittaker's housing subsidiaries falsely anticipated a $2.8 million profit.

Despite these setbacks, Alibrandi continued his five-year program to restructure the company. Strict financial and organization guidelines were mandated to all levels of operation. The assiduous young executive was soon promoted to chief executive officer. The son of Italian immigrants, Alibrandi exhibited shrewd leadership skills while refusing the many perks associated with his high-level position. Of the 50 remaining businesses at Whittaker, Alibrandi planned to concentrate on five areas of growth, including technology, industrial chemicals, recreational products, transportation, and metals. These distinct areas were eventually absorbed into wholly-owned divisions.

By 1976, Wall Street analysts once again looked favorably on Whittaker's performance record. A welcomed increase to Whittaker's business came with a $100 million contract from Saudi Arabia to establish a health care program. Alibrandi had made prior contacts with the Saudis during his employment at Raytheon, and he had also managed the Hawk missile installation project. Using these former contacts, Alibrandi proposed the health care management contract to the Saudi Arabian ministry of defense.

In the marine division, the company constructed a line of recreational yachts. The Columbia division manufactured luxury sailing yachts requiring costly hand labor. Although these boats were sold at high prices, the division reported a $5.6 million loss. While many criticized Alibrandi for investing in an area of business that did not fit well with Whittaker's other operations, the president defended the division as a future profit maker.

Although the original five-year plan actually required seven, by 1977 the company reported two consecutive years of earnings growth. This achievement occurred despite major obstacles in two areas of business. A hydraulic device plant in France experienced difficult labor problems, and a freight-car manufacturing operation depleted its order backlog. Whittaker's greatest source of profits emerged from the life sciences group. The renewed Saudi Arabian contract contributed $150 million over the next two years, and products developed out of cancer research generated approximately $1 million.

As Whittaker's product lines continued to strengthen their performance, the metal division emerged as the company's largest operation. Moving into a highly diversified business of metal products, the group generated 42 percent of total sales in 1978. Included in this division was the manufacture of railroad freights, which now held a backlog of orders worth $200 million. The technology division volume, comprised of the hydraulic equipment business and the aerospace component operation, increased due to a growing demand for products. In the marine division, Whittaker became one of the largest producers of commercial fishing vessels and recreational boats.

Despite these gains, Alibrandi's major business thrust remained in the life sciences and chemical groups. Through the Saudi contract Whittaker was now the United States' largest healthcare service supplier to a foreign country. A $10 million contract to build a hospital in Abu Dhabi increased Whittaker's overseas presence. To augment growth, Alibrandi planned future expansion in the areas of biomedical testing, healthcare management consulting, and specialty chemicals. By 1980, five new chemical companies joined the division. In addition, Alibrandi sold the less profitable chemical operations and hired a new group of executives.

Focusing on Health Care: Early 1980s

In 1981, Alibrandi announced a strengthened commitment to health care. In an effort to alleviate the company's dependence on the cyclical markets of chemicals, metals, and marine vessels, Alibrandi planned to make health care Whittaker's major line of business. Through a number of acquisitions the president and chief executive officer hoped to construct an integrated hospital supply and management company.

Even as the company experienced disappointments over the next several years, Alibrandi continued to expand the company's orientation toward health care. Several successful acquisitions reported less impressive performance records than was anticipated, and two attempted acquisitions failed. Even more disturbing was the fact that the Saudi Arabian contract was awarded to a competitor. Despite these setbacks, Alibrandi invested $100 million in building a nation-wide network of Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO's), an investment, it is said, that he hoped would become the foundation of Whittaker's business. The first of these HMO's was purchased in Norfolk, Virginia, and Alibrandi hoped to acquire ten similar organizations by the end of 1985.

Although Health Maintenance Organizations represented Whittaker's new market strategy, the pursuit of growth through specialty chemicals and aerospace equipment was not abandoned: between 1985 and 1986, Whittaker acquired five additional chemical subsidiaries and five defense electronic and aerospace subsidiaries. Ranging from manufacturers of enamel stripping to producers of coil coating, these new businesses attempted to strengthen Whittaker's diversified technologies

Shifting Market Direction: Late 1980s-90s

A surprising turn of events in the late 1980s significantly changed Whittaker's business orientation. The company suddenly announced it was selling its HMO businesses to the Travelers Corporation. Although Alibrandi claimed he never planned to remain in the health maintenance field on his own, analysts attributed the abrupt shift to cost overruns. Critics accused the company of lacking a stable product line. Furthermore, the hospital supply business reported disappointing figures, the chemical division continued to suffer from cyclical markets, and the aerospace operations remained subject to trends in defense spending.

Whittaker continued shifting market orientations, and the company decided to sell all of its health care and metal production businesses and concentrate on chemicals. Wall Street analysts applauded this decision as an attempt to regain a company focus. The purchase of Du Pont's adhesive business, for example, increased Whittaker's sale of adhesives to 25 percent of total sales in chemicals. The company also announced it would buy back 6 million of its 12.8 million outstanding shares. While some analysts viewed this action as a protective move by management to defend against a possible takeover attempt, other analysts interpreted the stock repurchase as indicative of an attempt to attract a potential suitor. While Whittaker maintained it was not a takeover target, the company's precise business orientation still remained in question.

Indeed, Whittaker made further changes in its focus as a company throughout the 1990s. Continuing with its divestiture program of 1989, the company spun off its biotechnology business and also sold off a slew of chemical-related companies, proving that its emphasis on this segment was short-lived. By the time Alibrandi retired in 1994, Whittaker had been whittled down to a $126 million-per-year aerospace and defense electronics company.

Thomas Brancati, the company's president and chief operating officer, took over the helm and once again began expansion efforts. Eyeing the burgeoning communications industry as Whittaker's next target, Brancati acquired Hughes LAN Systems Inc. in 1995 and renamed it Whittaker Communications Inc., creating a new subsidiary focused on data networking and communications. Then, in 1996, the firm created Xyplex Networks by purchasing network access firm Xyplex Inc. and merging it with Whittaker Communications.

A 1997 Forbes article commented on Brancati's strategy, claiming that his idea "was to give Whittaker exposure to two booming markets--aerospace parts and high-tech communications networks--with the latter cushioning the company against defense spending cutbacks." The strategy however, proved unsuccessful as the firm posted significant losses. Brancati was replaced in September 1996 by Alibrandi, who came out of retirement to get the firm back on track.

Alibrandi began trimming Whittaker's holdings once again and in 1997, the firm sold its defense electronics division to Condor Systems Inc. The company also divested its communications business along with its integration services unit. With 1998 sales of $131.5 million, Whittaker's operations had been pared back to focus solely on aerospace related products and applications.

Whittaker Is Acquired: 1999

In 1999, Whittaker became involved in merger discussions with Meggitt Plc, a UK-based company involved in the aerospace and defense industries. In June 1999, Whittaker announced that it would be acquired by Meggitt for $28 per share, or $380 million. Alibrandi commented in a June 1999 press release that the company believed "that this combination is in the best interests of Whittaker's stockholders and creates an excellent opportunity to leverage the significant aerospace strengths of both companies."

Whittaker entered the new millennium as part of Meggitt's aerospace equipment division. Meggitt, which had been restructuring over the past several years to position itself as a leading aerospace and defense company, felt confident that Whittaker's aircraft-related components and its fire and smoke detection systems would enhance the firm's division and give it greater leverage in the market. In 2000, Meggitt's aerospace equipment division recorded turnover of £161 million, a hefty increase over 1999 figures. In 2001, turnover increased to £178.8 million. Having experienced several decades of change and financial uncertainty, Whittaker appeared well positioned to advance into the future as a key component in Meggitt's aerospace operations.

Principal Subsidiaries: Whittaker Controls Inc.

Principal Competitors: Goodrich Corporation Parker Hannifin Corporation United Technologies Corporation.

  • Darlin, Damon, "What Did the Sellers Know That the Buyers Didn't?," Forbes , May 5, 1997, p. 113.
  • Jasper, Chris, "Meggitt Acquires Whittaker for $380m," Flight International , June 23, 1999, p. 51.
  • Taub, Daniel, New Wave for Buyers L.A. Aerospace Subcontractors, Los Angeles Business Journal , August 2, 1999, p. 6.
  • "Whittaker Sells Electronics Unit to Condor Systems," Defense Daily , September 8, 1997, p. 396.

Source: International Directory of Company Histories , Vol. 48. St. James Press, 2003.


Space Science and Engineering Center University of Wisconsin-Madison

Longtime UW-Madison Space Science and Engineering Center (SSEC) researcher Tom Whittaker was recognized by the American Meteorological Society (AMS) in early March with the STAC Distinguished Scientific/Technological Accomplishment and Outstanding Service Award. The award recognizes Whittaker’s outstanding and sustained contributions to atmospheric science and technology, as well as his service to the Environmental Information Processing Technologies group and the society.

When asked to reflect on his career at SSEC, Whittaker remembers clearly when and where it began. A childhood visit to a planetarium gift shop led him to a “Golden Adventure Book” on the weather, and at that moment he says, he became a true weather enthusiast.

Years later he moved from his hometown in Cleveland, Ohio to attend college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1965 where he eventually got his start in the field of meteorology.

“When I got to campus, I found out I could not take any meteorology courses for two years,” he says. “Needing some credits, I looked around and found a course in something that was called ‘computer science,’ if you can believe it.”

As it turned out, he liked this new and developing field and excelled at the coursework. Whittaker’s history at SSEC can be traced back to his work with Professor Don Johnson’s group in the late 70s. There he put his computer science skills to use working on a variety of projects, among them the creation of weather plots using satellite data, part of the formative years of McIDAS (Man computer Interactive Data Access System). McIDAS was one of the first software programs developed to visualize geostationary weather data over the US. Its public debut in 1977, enabled a new kind of television weather broadcast featuring computer-generated graphics rather than the hand-drawn graphics characteristic of the day.

Retired SSEC scientist Tom Whittaker speaks at a gathering in Madison, WI after being awarded the AMS Distinguished Scientific/Technological Accomplishment and Outstanding Service Award in early March 2018.

Using this new tool, McIDAS, Whittaker teamed with Johnson again to help create some of the first distance education learning modules for the field of meteorology.

Whittaker would later merge his McIDAS work with the formation of a university consortium called UNIDATA, established in the early 80s to preserve free access to geoscience data and visualization tools. UNIDATA continues today under the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) Communities Program.

“One of the challenges in the early days was reliability of the computer hardware,” says Whittaker. “But as the platforms improved and more memory was added we were able to realize more complex analysis and displays and better distribute the ever-increasing volume of data.”

The first public debut of the Man computer Interactive Data Access System (McIDAS) in 1977.

By the late 90s, Whittaker coded a new program called VISITView, an online, collaborative system for training National Weather Service forecasters. The system displays visual weather animations and includes other functions, such as digital white board, zooming, colorizing and chat functions used to link instructors with their students at any location. It was a crucial service during the early days of the web and continues to be a key training system for meteorologists today.

True to the Wisconsin Idea, Whittaker’s wealth of knowledge was not isolated at SSEC, he shared his knowledge of meteorology and visualization with other atmospheric scientists through programs at the AMS. He led the Interactive Information Processing Systems (IIPS) conferences for 10 years, served on boards and organized conference events.

Officially retiring in 2005, he hasn’t stopped programming. He went on to develop a series of weather applets that could be used by teachers to show students some basic principles of meteorology and atmospheric science, like how snowflakes grow or how relative humidity changes inside your house when the outdoor temperature and dew point change.

He continues to be active in his community and volunteers as a local tutor for Madison high schools helping students with math and physics.

Whittaker can still be seen roaming around SSEC visiting colleagues and keeping up on the latest developments at the center. He’s encouraged by the advances in geostationary satellites and ways they’ve evolved for other uses like detecting wildfires, air turbulences, and volcanic ash.

“When you’re here so long, you get to know people and they become like an extended family. And I’m grateful for the strong relationships we’ve developed over the years.”


Генеалогия и история семьи Whittaker

In a nutshell, if you ignore the spelling of the name there are two groups of 'Whittakers" -Ugh- I am only spelling this once - (Whitaker, Whiteacre, etc.) that exist (any spelling variation included):

A proposal on Whittaker classification:

After researching Whittaker genealogy for over 10 years, I have observed a few things which may (or may not) help other Whittaker researchers.

First. The Whittaker surname originated in England, and existed in two areas there Warwickshire, and Lancashire. So even if you are starting with a relative in Australia, US, UK, etc. it is helpful if you know if you are a Warwickshire, or Lancashire Whittaker.

Second. In Lancashire it seems there was a large poly-furcation of Whittaker's between 1600-1800. It would be valuable to all if we were able to create a collaborative Great Whittaker Tree to cement the relationships among them.

Finally. I would suggest that anyone researching any of the following Whittaker, Whittaker, Whiteacre. Search for the Great Whittaker Tree, and see how to collaborate in this project.


Dr Tom Whittaker

Tom joined Warwick as a specialist in Spanish film and cultural studies in 2017, after holding lectureships in Hispanic Studies at the University of Liverpool and Film Studies at Kingston University. Tom has also been a visiting lecturer at the University of Georgia (US) and the University of Iceland. He is Reviews Editor of Studies in Spanish and Latin American Cinemas, co-editor of the Screen Arts issue for Hispanic Research Journal , and sits on the editorial board for the series Moving Image for Legenda. Tom is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


Analysis Of Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air

This rule clearly got the best of Doug Hansen, Rob Hall, and Andy Harris. Into Thin Air was a story Jon Krakauer wrote about his trip to Everest. He described his experiences there, as well as the many deaths that came. Krakauer’s story shows how insignificant other climbers become to each other the higher they went. Of the many who died that year, they didn’t take note that almost noone would help them, leaving everything they did to their&hellip


Watch the video: The Tom Whittaker Story: One Step At A TimeDemo Part One