**correction** Re: [ADS-L] possible ID of "Murphy's Law" user in 1951/1949-50 (UNCLASSIFIED)

Stephen Goranson goranson at DUKE.EDU
Mon Jan 12 16:50:16 UTC 2009

I now think I made a mistake in trying this ID--something went wrong, I should
say, with my guess about this "Murphy's Law" user. I just this AM (after
posting, of course) read that Crane had no older brother--and my putative
candidate did. In case that it's useful for another, better, attempt, here are
some of the criteria. Anne Roe started working with physicists in 1949,
according to the American Philosophical Society Library cataloging of her
papers, and perhaps her "year" with them continued on into 1950. She describes
the group, all male, all married, as 31 to 56 years old. She intended
that they
all be US born, but one turned out not to be, but came here at an early
age. All
others were born in CA IN NY WA CT KS LA MA MN OK SC SD TX or UT. That means
that birth in any other state eliminates a candidate. The TP (Theoretical
Physicist) #3 use of "Murphy's Law" is in a separate section from biographical
interviews. There #3 (but not necessarily presented in the same order!?)
studied physics with Paul Sophus Epstein at Cal Tech and then got married and
took the first job offered and he still (1949-50) was there at the interview
time. (Most others had job relocations.) All the physicists were highly rated
by 7 senior scientists, 6 of them named (including Epstein); Crane was highly
regarded. Well, Crane got his PhD at Cal Tech in 1934, married that year, and
next year was at U. Mich., for a long time. So I printed out a list of
Cal Tech
Physics PhDs from 1926 to 1945 and checked the names in American Men of
1949 edition. Crane seemed the best match (both positively and by process of
elimination) among those included. Some names were not included in AMS49,
perhaps either because they were not prominent scientists or because they did
not participate--though, as a check, I found both Drs. Cornog and Edgar
Murphy listed, though none of them went to Cal Tech.
So I may well have been quite wrong. My apologies. It does remain, at
least, so
far, that the two earliest documented uses of the collocation "Murphy's Law"
come from physicists.

Stephen Goranson

Quoting "Mullins, Bill AMRDEC" <Bill.Mullins at US.ARMY.MIL>:

> Classification:  UNCLASSIFIED
> Caveats: NONE
> I'm interested
>> I may have identified the speaker of "Murphy's Law" in the
>> 1951 publication
>> (below) that reported an interview in 1949 or 1950:
>> Horace Richard Crane (1907-2007), Physics Ph.D., Cal. Tech.,
>> 1934; Prof. at U.
>> Mich. at the time of the interview. If there's interest I'll
>> describe the criteria for the possible, I guess probable,
>> identification. For now I note that he, like I. C. Cornog,
>> the 1952 user of "Murphy's Law" (below), was a physicist.
>> Stephen Goranson
>> http://www.duke.edu/~goranson
>> Quoting Stephen Goranson <goranson at duke.edu>:
> Classification:  UNCLASSIFIED
> Caveats: NONE
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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