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James C. Marsters Memorial

October 7, 2009 | 11:20 am


A memorial will be held for James C. Marsters, a Pasadena orthodontist who co-developed a teletypewriter that opened up phone use for the deaf, at 1 p.m. Oct. 25 at St. Clement's Episcopal Church, 2837 Claremont Blvd., Berkeley.

With a physicist and an engineer-businessman, Marsters helped create a modem in 1964 that linked a teletypewriter to traditional phone lines and converted audio tones into typed messages.  The accomplishment brought profound independence and dramatic social change to the deaf community, said Harry G. Lang, a professor at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf in Rochester, N.Y., who chronicled the feat in his 2000 book, "A Phone of Our Own."

Marsters, the last survivor of the trio of deaf innovators, died July 28 in Oakland after a short illness. He was 85.

-- Valerie J. Nelson

Photo: James C. Marsters, in his Pasadena home, reads a printout from a machine that operated using technology he helped create.