Darrel Johansen - Snapshots of Early Serge History

Reproduced with the permission of Darrel Johansen.

1107 1/2 N. Western Ave. Serge's Hollywood factory. The door is just to the left of that brown sedan, to the right of the wig store. This is just a few yards north of Santa Monica Blvd.

A test station in the Hollywood factory where transistors were matched for Serge's low-noise, high-gain VCAs. This is the test station to match transistors for Serge's ultra-high dynamic VCAs.

An assembly station, with circuit boards in rails so that multiple boards could be assembled at once. The styrofoam on the left was used to cover the boards which could then be turned over to be soldered. The styrofoam kept the components in the board when the whole assembly was flipped over. Some finished panels are on the shelves up on the wall.

Someone's wooden Serge unit is on the floor. The broom was used to sweep up the clipped metal leads that would cover the floor as PC boards were assembled. It was also used to sweep up when the ceiling collapsed - causing pigeon quano to rain down over the assembly stations during a disaster that took days to clean up.

The Haight Street facility in San Francisco in 1980. This is in the lower Haight, and right next to the "Gentleman's Social Club" on the bottom left. Eric Drew Feldman wrote a song for Butch the dog, the club's mascot, who was usually hanging on the street with the mostly older "gentlemen." They looked with amusement at the young white people coming and going to Serge's.

A look up the street. If you travel past the shop on the right (the brick structure with bay windows just beyond the church), you go up the hill to "upper" Haight, the more famous part of the street, adjacent to Golden Gate Park.

Darrel's front office, with bay window to his back. This is on the second floor. Serge lived on the third floor, and the first floor, which was a shop at one time, was mostly vacant.

Darrel's test station.

A look down the shop and assembly stations. The face panels were developed with a photographic process (Scotchcal) on the right.

A panel assembly station in San Francisco.

PC board assembly station. Note the styrofoam was replaced with these velcro'd panels with foam rubber - causing the resistors and capacitors to acquire fuzzy heads as the heat melted the some of the foam on the components. The two Anchor Steam bottles, Darrel thinks, are evidence of Paul's station.

Another angle of Darrel's front office. It was very cold in winter.

Photographs copyright by Darrel Johansen.


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