Kathi Brewster


Motivated by curiosity, answered my own question. Evans is dead! David H. Evans obit appeared in the News Press on 11 February 1973 he was 62. According to it, he was a close personal associate of Howard Hughes for more than 40 years. “He first came to Santa Barbara in 1951 to found Pacific Mercury Research which became Santa Barbara Research Company. He was president and owner when he sold the firm to Hughes in 1959. That same year he founded T.E. Co., a local electronics firm. That the time of his death he was a consultant for Hughes Aircraft.”

Evans was in partial retirement in 1960 but was an active electronics consultant for Hughes until his death.

Dr. Custer Charles Baum died at 69. His obit appeared on 12 February 1984. Baum had a doctorate in Astronomy from UCBerkley. He came to SB in 1951 from Hawthorne and helped found SBRC. In 1959, he became president of the TE Company and retired in 1972 owing to poor health.

The first listing for Evans is in the 1951 City Directory. He is listed as president of Pacific Mercury Research, residing on Mountain Drive.

Of interest is the fact that the SB Phone Directory for July 1952 has SBRC listed at 25 West Anapamu Street. Pacific Mercury RC was at 1500 Mission Canyon Road. That seems to indicate that Pacific Mercury Research Center was still a separate firm in July 1952. According to Talley, Evans had a disagreement with PM’s management, and that’s when he started SBRC. This separate listing for these two firms would seem to support that notion.

In 1953, SBRC is at 2034 De la Vina Street.

By 1958 SBRC with Evans as Pres, and Baum as VP is at 6201 Hollister, Bld. 316. In ’58 Evans lived at 4125 Mariposa Drive.

The first listing in phone directories were for July 1951. It is interesting that no listing for T.E. or TE Company could be found in phone directories for the dates given in the obits, yet the firm apparently existed as Baum’s obit states he was president.

All this verify’s what Dr. Talley stated regarding SBRC’s earliest history.  In one of those 6º of separation events, Philip M. Cruse, who was a Research Engineer at SBRC, and his wife resided in my house prior to 1963.

Good luck with your research.

Kathi Brewster


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