Wilmer L. Barrow

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Barrow with the first horn antenna
Wilmer L. Barrow
Born(1903-07-26)July 26, 1903 [1]
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.
DiedAugust 29, 1975(1975-08-29) (aged 72) [2]
Tuftonboro, New Hampshire, U.S.
Awards IEEE Edison Medal (1966)

Wilmer Lanier Barrow (July 26, 1903 – August 29, 1975) was an American electrical engineer, inventor, teacher, industrial manager, and a counselor to government agencies. [3] He obtained a BSEE degree in 1926 from Louisiana State University, and a D.Sc. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1931. [4] During the pre-World War 2 development of radar at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Barrow performed research on microwaves, inventing waveguide in 1936 and the horn antenna in 1938. [5]

He was vice president for research, development and engineering of the Sperry Rand Corporation.

He was elected to the grade of Fellow in the IEEE in 1941, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1942. [6] In 1943 he received the IEEE Morris N. Liebmann Memorial Award In 1966 he received the IEEE Edison Medal For a career of meritorious achievement-innovating, teaching and developing means for transmission of electromagnetic energy at microwave frequencies. He was a member of Sigma Xi.


  1. "Wilmer Barrow". IEEE Global History Network. IEEE. Retrieved July 25, 2011.
  2. IRE Directory. Institute of Radio Engineers. 1960-01-01.
  3. Packard, Karle S. (September 1984). "The Origin of Waveguides: A Case of Multiple Rediscovery" (PDF). IEEE Trans. on Microwave Theory and Techniques. Inst. of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. MTT-32 (9): 961–969. Bibcode:1984ITMTT..32..961P. doi:10.1109/tmtt.1984.1132809 . Retrieved March 24, 2015.
  4. "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter B" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved May 17, 2011.