George Owen Squier

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Chief Signal Officer, U.S. Army
George Owen Squier
George Owen Squier.jpg
Major General George Owen Squier
Born (1865-03-21)March 21, 1865[1]
Dryden, Michigan
Died March 24, 1934(1934-03-24) (aged 69)
Washington, D.C.
Buried at Arlington National Cemetery
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch Emblem of the United States Department of the Army.svg United States Army
Years of service 1887–1923
Rank US-O8 insignia.svg Major General
Commands held Chief Signal Officer
Battles/wars Spanish–American War
World War I
Awards Distinguished Service Medal
Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George
Order of the Crown of Italy
Legion of Honor
Elliott Cresson Medal
John Scott Medal
Franklin Medal
Other work businessman, scientist

Major General George Owen Squier (March 21, 1865 – March 24, 1934) was born in Dryden, Michigan, United States.[1] He graduated from the United States Military Academy in the Class of 1887 and received a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 1893.

Life and military career[edit]

Portrait of George Owen Squier, by Harris & Ewing, c. 1916.

George Squier wrote and edited many books and articles on the subject of radio and electricity. An inventor, he and Dartmouth professor Albert Cushing Crehore developed a magneto-optical streak camera "The Polarizing Photo-chronograph" in 1896 to measure the speed of projectiles both inside a cannon and directly after they left the cannon barrel. This was one of the earliest photonic programs. They also worked to develop synchronous AC telegraphic systems. His biggest contribution was that of telephone carrier multiplexing in 1910 for which he was elected to the National Academy of Science in 1919.

As executive officer to the Chief Signal Officer, U.S. Signal Corps in 1907, Squier was instrumental in the establishment of the Aeronautical Division, U.S. Signal Corps, the first organizational ancestor of the US Air Force.[2] He also was the first military passenger in an airplane on September 12, 1908 and, working with the Wright Brothers, was responsible for the purchase of the first airplanes by the US Army in 1909.

From May 1916 to February 1917, he was Chief of the Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corps, the first successor of the Aeronautical Division, before being promoted to major general and appointed Chief Signal Officer during World War I.[3]

In 1922, he created Wired Radio, a service which piped music to businesses and subscribers over wires. In 1934, he changed the service's name to 'Muzak'.

Asked how to say his name, he told The Literary Digest it was pronounced like the word square.[4]


He died on March 24, 1934[5] of pneumonia.


In 1943, the U.S. Navy named troopship USS General G. O. Squier (AP-130) in his honor. It was the lead ship of its class, which was known as General G. O. Squier class of transport ships.

General Squier Park, a historic district and waterpark in his hometown of Dryden, Michigan, is named in his honor.[6][7]



  1. ^ a b "Biographical Memoir of George Owen Squier 1865-1934", by Arthur E. Kennelly, National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Biographical Memoirs Volume XX, presented to the Academy at the Annual Meeting, 1938. Retrieved Apr 1, 2010.
  2. ^ Davis, Jr., Henry Blaine (1998). Generals in Khaki. Pentland Press, Inc. p. 346. ISBN 1571970886. OCLC 40298151. 
  3. ^ Davis, Jr., Henry Blaine (1998). Generals in Khaki. Pentland Press, Inc. p. 346. ISBN 1571970886. OCLC 40298151. 
  4. ^ Funk, Charles Earle (1936). What's the name, please? A guide to the correct pronunciation of current prominent names. New York: Funk & Wagnalls. OCLC 1463642. 
  5. ^ Davis, Jr., Henry Blaine (1998). Generals in Khaki. Pentland Press, Inc. p. 346. ISBN 1571970886. OCLC 40298151. 
  6. ^ "Lapeer County Parks". 
  7. ^

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