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There were many individuals who contributed to the success of the Speak N Spell. This list should show the breadth of capabilities needed to successfully take the Speak N Spell from an idea to a product on the retailer's shelf.

Exhaustive list of people who worked on the Speak N Spell program

It is important to acknowledge as many of the individuals as possible who contributed to the success of the Speak N Spell program. Here is that list.

Original team

  • Paul Breedlove: Paul was the originator of the idea and was the original Program Manager for the Speak&Spell™.
  • Richard Wiggins: Richard was responsible for developing the speech synthesis algorithm used in Speak&Spell™ and for the software that produced the data used to generate the spoken words using the speech synthesis Integrated Circuit.
  • Larry Brantingham: Larry was responsible for the architecture of the four Integrated Circuits used in the Speak&Spell™. Together Richard and Larry created the world’s first Digital Speech Synthesis device.
  • Gene Frantz: Gene was responsible for the system design and became the Program Manager after Paul was moved to another program. He also was responsible for taking the Speak&Spell™ into production.


  • George Doddington: Head of the Speech Research laboratory, part of the Central Research Laboratories (CRL), at TI. Richard reported to him. The first demonstration of the Speak N Spell used George’s voice. He would have done well as the production voice but it was decided to hire a professional speaker rather than an internal individual.
  • Gene Helms: I called him “Gene Helms the elder”. He was head of the Corporate Engineering Center (CEC), a sister organization to the Central Research Laboratory (CRL).
  • Gene Helms: I called him “Gene Helms the lesser”. He worked with Richard to develop the various software systems that processed speech data and generated and optimized the ROM data that generated the high quality speech from small amounts of data.

Product Development

  • W. R. Hawkins: Mechanical engineering manager. When it seemed appropriate, I reported to him or he reported to me.
  • Richard Chang: Designed the plastic case. Richard reported to W. R. After the program was over, Richard moved back to Dallas to get his doctorate degree from SMU.
  • Ajay Puri: Electrical engineer who reported to me. He later left TI and got his MBA at Harvard University. One of the case studies he had to read was the one on the Speak N Spell.
  • Gene Sulik: Industrial design. Gene was responsible for the concept design
  • Glen Thornton: Responsible for writing the software on the TMC0271 and formatting the ROMs to pack the necessary data for the product to work.
  • Jim Moore: Jim was Paul’s boss and collaborated with Paul to invent the Speak N Spell idea.

Speech Processing

  • Kathy Goudie Marshall: Speech linguist
  • Mai Vinson: French speech editor
  • Uta: German speech editor
  • Vicki Smith: English speech editor
  • Doug Wickey: English speech editor
  • Mary Marimontes: Spanish speech editor

IC Design

  • K. Bala: IC design manager in Houston
  • Alva Henderson: Architecture team in Lubbock. Alva built the three simulators that were used for the software development and many product demonstrations. Alva reported to Larry.

Production start up

  • Eugene “Mitch” Mitchell: Mitch was the Product Engineering Manager in Midland Texas where we ramped the Speak N Spell into production.
  • Ron Shelly: Ron was a Vice President. As I remember he was in charge of manufacturing. He later became my boss. I still think of him with great respect.
  • Ron Web: Ron was the quality control manager for the Consumer Group.
  • Dick Jensen: Dick was the quality control engineer that took the preproduction devices and qualified the product before shipping. He helped us through several significant issues including key breakage, static discharge failure and drop test failures.

Market development

  • Alecia Helton: Alecia was responsible for the educational soundness of Speak N Spell and the children's books that accompanied the product.  She described what she did during the recording and verification process to assure correct pronunciation as "maximizing the intelligibility of the synthesized speech within the technical parameters".  
  • Ralph A. Oliva: Marketing Communications Manager and Alecia's boss.  Ralph had overall responsibility for the marketing communications and advertising programs for Speak N Spell.
  • Bryce Armstrong: Original voice to demonstrate various personalities of the product.
  • Hank Carr: The voice of the Speak N Spell. He had a “boring” LPC voice just like George Doddington and me (Gene).
  • William Kottmeyer: Spelling expert who provided the vocabulary list.

Corporate Support

  • Andrew Dillon: Patent Lawyer
  • Robert Marshall: Patent Lawyer
  • Wally Rhines: Calculator Division IC design manager
  • Fred Bucy: TI’s CEO
  • George Heilmeyer: TI’s CTO
  • Bill Sick: One of the Calculator Division Business Managers during the time of the development.
  • Ron Richie: One of the Calculator Division Business Managers during the time of the development.

Questions & Answers

how can chip be made from sand
Eke Reply
is this allso about nanoscale material
are nano particles real
Missy Reply
Hello, if I study Physics teacher in bachelor, can I study Nanotechnology in master?
Lale Reply
no can't
where is the latest information on a no technology how can I find it
where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
has a lot of application modern world
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
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Source:  OpenStax, The speak n spell. OpenStax CNX. Jan 31, 2014 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11501/1.5
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