Alfred Lee Loomis wore many hats. He was an attorney, soldier, physicist, inventor, and briefly a Wall Street legend.
Upon graduating from Harvard Law School in 1912, Loomis took a job at Winthrop & Stimson practicing corporate law. He wore his attorney hat until World War I. He volunteered for the Army the moment the U.S. entered the war in 1917.
Loomis’s “inventiveness” and a written recommendation from his former boss, Henry Stimson, got him assigned to the Aberdeen Proving Grounds. He was given the role of head of the development and experimental department. Specifically, ballistics.
His first breakthrough was measuring the velocity of shells fired from a gun. His Aberdeen chronograph was a major improvement on what already existed at the time. It was reliable, portable, and could be quickly mass-produced. In other words, it was designed to be used in the war.
Loomis’s next major breakthrough wouldn’t come about until WWII. He played a key role in the development of radar, sat in on the early meetings of the Manhattan Project, invented LORAN (short for long-range navigation), and helped develop ground-controlled approach, which helped pilots land in bad weather.
But it was his time between the two wars where he made his impact on Wall Street. Continue Reading…