OCEAN, NJ, May 10, 2011 /24-7PressRelease/
--Dr. Phillip J. Petillo, both an old-world craftsman and modern inventor, was a renaissance man known as a Master Luthier, Scientist, Homeopath, Musician and Mechanical/Electrical Engineer who made the New Jersey Shore his home. He not only changed and shaped the musical and scientific landscape of his home state for over 40 years, but his masterful creations and brilliant mind impacted the world well beyond his legendary Ocean Township workshop forever. Phillip accumulated more than 30 patents in the fields of medical, music, alternative energy and for the United States military/government, which is categorized under classified.
Phillip, who established Petillo Masterpiece Guitars and Accessories in 1966 and served as director of Engineering for Research and Development of Phil-Lu Incorporated, has been recognized by Cambridge Who's Who for demonstrating dedication, leadership and excellence in engineering, research, technology, and lutherie. Dr. Petillo was a member of the following professional organizations, societies, and institutes: American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Society for Mechanical Engineers, Society for Manufacturing Engineers, Society for Metals, Society for Plastics, American Chemical Society, American Welding Society and ASM International. His educational training included: Columbia University, Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Engineering, 1967; LaSalle University, Master of Science Degree in Industrial Science, 1969; Eastern Virginia Graduate School of Medicine, Honorary Bachelor of Science, 1984; LaSalle University, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Degree in Engineering Technology, 1990. His dissertation was on Microsurgical Devices, A New Method to Surgically Manage Neuro-Aneurysms. Dr. Phillip J. Petillo has over 30 years of significant technical experience. As Chairman and Chief Engineer of Science and Technology for Phil-Lu Inc., he was responsible for all of the Company patents and the products currently under development. His vast experience ranges from consultant to Fortune 500 Companies and associations with renowned surgeons for development of micro-surgical instruments which saved many peoples lives, to working in the hydrogen and fuel cell industry with exceptional chemists and fellow engineers which all had the goal in mind to stop our dependency on foreign oil. Dr. Petillo has made numerous television appearances including ABC World News with Peter Jennings, CBS News with Morey Alter, NBC Nightly News, and California, New Jersey, New York, and Washington DC cable television networks.
From 1965-1970, he studied and worked under the guidance of Dr. Arnold Lee and Ken Morris at Columbia University, his Alma Mater. They researched and constructed the first Skull Clamp for Sterotactic Surgery which is displayed now in the Smithsonian. This device was the first of its kind to locate brain tumors and to test X-Ray beams. He also assisted in terminal surgeries using experimental surgical devices on terminal patients at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, New York. This device is currently on display at the Smithsonian Institute Museum in Washington, D.C.
A Master Luthier and Inventor, Dr. Petillo is a celebrated figure in the music industry. During his 47-year career, he designed and built the First Four Prototypes of the Kramer guitar presented at the Chicago 1977 NAMM Trade Show, introducing the Tuning Fork headstock Aluminum Guitar Neck. Moreover, he served and made custom instruments for an impressive clientele, which included Tal Farlow, Jim Croce, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Paul McCartney, and Bruce Springsteen, to whom he sold the famous 1950's Fender Esquire that he subsequently modified and rebuilt many times over the years. Dr. Petillo also utilized his restoration skills on a Marquetry project at the White House for former first lady Nancy Reagan. Noted for his vast knowledge, he was invited to lecture at Monmouth University and Brookdale Community College on the structures of woods used for guitar bodies. He also lectured at Stanford University on the Aneurysm Clip Patent he invented that was used by the Barrows Neurological Institute and Dr. Robert Spetzler.
His action and enthusiasm for creation started back when he first picked up a guitar at six years old. By this time he had reached the eighth grade, at thirteen, he had already started building and repairing instruments out of his parents' basement that were good enough to impress legendary guitar maker John D' Angelico, who offered advice and tips which Petillo quickly added to his own growing collection of knowledge.
On December 13, 1967, Phillip fixed the guitar of a young singer, Lucille Kersmarki, who was to become his partner in Petillo Guitars in the summer of 1968, his best friend and wife for life. During the years from 1968-1970, Phillip had the privilege of making guitars and pearl inlay with and learning from Jimmy Diserio, godson of premier guitar maker John D'Angelico, in his 58th Street workshop in New York City. Dr. Petillo studied the fine art of constructing archtop guitars from a solid block of wood, learning to carve the back and top to the specifications of what type of sound the artist wanted, known as tap tuning/voicing. He also learned the trade secret of the geometric positioning of the fingerboard scale to learn the true fret locations necessary, which at this time in the music industry was not commonly known but passed down from luthier to luthier as John passed to Jimmy, and Jimmy passed down to Phillip. He also worked on the construction of many different models of instruments including the carved back and top of the arch-top jazz guitars in the D'Angelico style, the dreadnought body of the folk guitar, the semi-hollow body guitar, cutaway classical guitar and the electric solid body guitar, all unique in their own fashion; all these techniques and secrets passed down from the D'Angelico family are used to this day in the Petillo tradition of stringed instrument construction and quality. Much later on in the early 1990's, Master Luthier Jimmy D'Aquisto - also from the D'Angelico school of archtop making - discussed with Phillip his desire to combine their two workshops into one so that they could make truly one of a kind masterpieces together, celebrating their Italian D'Angelico lutherie tradition. Jimmy wanted to have the two builders of the D'Angelico tradition work together to make "outrageous works of art" as Phillip recalled. D'Aquisto was especially impressed with Phillip's skill in shaping out a guitar neck on the lathe rather than just by hand. Sadly, Jimmy passed away before this idea could come to fruition.
In 1970, Phillip and Lucille decided to incorporate their company, calling it Phil-Lu Inc. They worked together as a team constantly in their close friendship with loyalty and love in their exceptional marriage. Lucille Petillo was CEO of the company and took care of the corporate affairs and promotion of all public relations regarding her husband's work. She promoted him and directed several cable network shows featuring his unique ability and skill in diversified fields of endeavor. Phillip was also featured many times on Eyewitness News and Nightline under the keen eye of his wife who was his biggest fan and best representative. During this time, Dr. Petillo became good friends with master jazz guitarists Chuck Wayne from Staten Island, N.Y. and Tal Farlow from Sea Girt, N.J. With these jazz greats Phillip designed and crafted the first Ebony Tailpiece for and endorsed by Chuck Wayne. This gave the guitar a unique sound unlike the traditional metal tailpieces. With legendary Tal Farlow, Dr. Petillo built what was known as the Full House Concept First Octave Divider which was a stool that had a built-in amplifier and a pedal to control it. It provided smooth, rich warmth to the sound of the guitar with volume without distortion while allowing the artist more freedom of movement when performing. At this time, Phillip designed Tal Farlow a specialized guitar with a moving pickup that had nylon tracks underneath the pickguard to adjust the pickup in any position between the end of the fingerboard and bridge for jazz to suit his own individual needs, and to introduce young players to jazz and its components of play. As an artisan, Phillip was covered and featured in top music publications and the other current guitar magazines around the world throughout the rest of the century. Many things have changed but the guitar virtually is a constant in the music business.
During this same time period continuing into the next decade, Dr. Phillip Petillo also studied under the tutelage of world renowed Marquetrarian Extraordinaire Phillippe Rimmler from Germany, who also inlaid the Orient Express, the famous train, and did restorations for museums and church ornamentation in inlay for over 75 years. Phillip learned the art of pearl inlay, boulle carvings, metal engravings and marquetry work from him, learning the fine artistry of all these old world techniques from this most exceptional gentleman who became a close and personal friend of the Petillos. Dr. Petillo continued to design his own pieces using more colorful veneers with detailed burned shadow perspective rather than the traditional ones of browns and beiges. He also was the first to utilize this prestigious craft of inlaid Marquetry and pearl inlay on his guitar headstocks, bodies, pickups, finger-rests, and fingerboards. He used this art throughout his entire life and extended to repairing the inside panels of Rolls Royce cars, restoring one of the first made Hurdy Gurdys for the Smithsonian, restored an original Stradivarius violin for the Metropolitan Museum in New York, which was delivered to and from his shop by armored car, and replicating the Art Masters in Inlay. With the partnership of his wife, Lucille, Phillip published writings on various types of construction and care of stringed instruments in several noted music publications.
When the Kramer Guitar Patents were issued, Dr. Petillo with Lucille Petillo did four articles on the building of the Kramer Four Prototypes which were constructed in Dr. Petillo's workshop, some were featured In Musical Merchandise Review with John Metcalfe, Editor. When the Kramer Guitar Company was set up in Neptune, N.J., it was Phillip who set up their factory and constructed a special machine to cut the slots in the fingerboard that provided each Kramer with perfect intonation. The owners of Kramer were so impressed by his knowledge that they kept the four prototypes and their fingerboard division locked in an upright safe in their factory. This behavior was a testament to the quality, honesty and effort that Phillip J. Petillo put in everything he did and made. By this time, the legend of Phil Petillo in guitars was solidified and expanded through the advertising and promotions of Lucille Petillo providing Dr. Petillo with prime time television as a venue displaying his artistic work. There were several cable shows produced demonstrating his passionate love and genius of new ideas while always mentioning his close connection to Jim Croce and especially Bruce Springsteen whom Phil sold his original Fender Esquire for about $150 in the early seventies when things were pretty rough for both. Countless TV shows would come to the Petillo workshop every time Bruce would go on tour to see him re-fret and re-build that legendary guitar that is forever identified with Bruce.
From 1971—1975, Phillip became connected with Jim Croce and Tommy West and with them proceeded to design and market Petillo Guitar Strings. These strings were welcomed in the marketplace and were endorsed by James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, Dion, Carly Simon, and many other current artists of the time. The uniqueness of the strings was that the wire was pulled through diamond dies which created a long sustaining string that lasted much longer than the conventional string. We still market Petillo Strings worldwide privately by our own small company. After considerable research, Dr. Petillo also designed his own Fret Wire for Guitars, Pickups, and Bridges,which were patented items too.
In partnership with his wife, Lucille, the music industry magazines asked Phil to write numerous articles which included a series of five detailed sections in Musical Merchandise Review and Guitar Player Magazine covering the various aspects of guitar repair and construction for the lay person. These articles also included the construction and design of the Kramer Guitar Neck and other designed necks that were patented. In total, there were 27 publications covering Phil's contributions in musical, medical and energy topics. Stanford University, Monmouth University, Brookdale Community College and other universities invited Dr. Petillo to include several informational lectures on wood technology, inlays, marquetry, stringed musical instruments, and the history of guitars for their student and faculty population. We also compiled a series of courses which constituted a minor in the History and Construction of Stringed Instruments.
Dr. Petillo, who held a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering, a Master's Degree in Engineering, and a Doctoral Degree in Engineering Technology, worked as a consultant engineer through Phil-Lu, Inc., the Research Corporation. With more than 30 patents amassed over his lifetime, he developed and refined a number of medical and surgical devices. One invention in particular, which held the brain stationary during neurosurgery is currently on display at the Smithsonian. Dr. Petillo, who was honored with a New Jersey Pride Award by former Governor Florio, proved to be a great success due to his curiosity and passion for his profession. Governor McGreevey congratulated him on being inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame for inventors in 2004. His numerous and noteworthy accomplishments will be the subject of an upcoming biography written by Lucille A. Petillo, Phil-Lu Inc.
From 1976-1980, Dr. Petillo designed and built the first three prototypes of the Kramer Guitars displayed in the 1976 NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Show in June, 1976 at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois. He received a patent on the Aluminum Neck Guitar and also continued the research and received several other patents for Guitar Construction as follows: Patent 4,304,277 reinforced neck element for stringed instrument and manufacturing process; 4,168,647 Adjustable pickup; 4,128,033 Tailpiece; 4,121, 492 Reinforced neck for stringed musical instruments; 4,114,503 Drumstick; 4,064,779 and 6,613,969 for the Petillo Fret while continuing his college lectures and also including motivational lectures on small businesses and techniques in technology.
By the end of 1980 Dr. Petillo had worked and designed for Kramer Guitars in 1976, ARIA Guitars in 1980, and Vaccaro Guitars in 1998. There are instrument patents including a new acoustic sensor, a new guitar fret, a new guitar bridge design, and instrument necks of aluminum and composite materials. There was the development of methods for high volume manufacture of high quality musical instruments, and various machines to automate these machines for mass production. There are 18 published papers on medical devices, musical instruments, and production processes from 1976 to the present day. Dr. Petillo has made numerous television appearances on high profile programs.
From 1981-1985, Dr. Petillo was hired by Site Microsurgical Instruments which was a part of Johnson & Johnson to develop a new low cost Vitrectomy Machine, Patent 4,940,468, to be used for exporting to third world nations including an infusion aspiration machine with a disposable cutting system for lens removal of the eye, which was also included to be used in the hospital and in the field. There was also an Irrigation Aspiration Hand Piece, Patent 5,258,007 that could be used with ease of convenience for the physician serving in another country worldwide. His consulting skills were used to find ways to cut the cost of manufacturing with simplistic methods aimed at reducing the expenses in constructing surgical devices. He was able to introduce an electrochemical grinding device that would expedite the efficiency of surgical devices in sharp cutting instruments.
From 1985-1990, he worked for Codman, another subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson with Mr. John Santangelo, which was located in New Bedford, Massachusetts that concentrated on neurology. Phillip's consulting and design was to develop prototypes of a new Aneurysm Clip Applier, Patent 6,099,536. Other devices included automation and power supplies for handheld surgical devices including cutting, grasping, separating instruments, spinal implants, motorizing small cutters for small tumors, electronic implants for human applications, neuro-surgical tissue cutters, motor driven intra-ocular surgical cutters, automated aneurysm clip applier for neuro-aneurysm clips, implants, neuro-spinal and full body stereotactic radio surgery, automated motorized cranial and bone cutting, shaping devices, miniaturization of devices and naturopathic products with a new treatment for glaucoma introduced in 1986 and still under clinical study.
From 1990-1992, he did design and consulting work with Ohio Medical Products in Cincinnati, Ohio. There were designs on Spinal Fixation Devices and they used the Aneurysm Clip with modifications for use without sponges. There was also a Hydraulic Powered Automation of other neurosurgical devices. Phillip was commissioned by Ray Barbuto, Vice President of J & J Medical in Arlington, Virginia to be involved in a think tank at the University of Texas for the supreme purpose of developing a Hand Held Laser Diode with high voltage for spinal surgical application. The project was successful.
From 1992-1997, there were projects with military applications which Dr. Petillo participated in for the United States Government which included the National Security Program, Department of Defense, DOD #52250.22M, January 1995. Section 4-105 precludes any discussion of these classified projects. During these years, Phillip had the privilege of working with Dr. Richard Spetzler of the Barrow's Institute of Technology in Arizona. Dr. Petillo designed, built and patented a new design of an Aneurysm Clip with Specialized Movements for Brain Surgery 5,876,410. He also did a device for C-Pap and Bi-Pap Machines for people with Apnea that was a Strapless Respiratory Facial Mask for Customizing to the Wearer's Face, 6,196,223. There was also work on battery powered hand tools, low noise gear drives for high speed power tools, special fasteners, specially designed cutters for metal, wood, plastics, and electronic items.
From 1997-2002 Dr. Petillo worked as Head Director of Engineering at Millennium Cell, generated 11 patents on alternative energy and was solely responsible for converting a Ford Explorer to run on hydrogen. After leaving MCEL, he did research and development from 2002-2007 on a new Battery Technology with Hydrogen Generators using Sodium Borohydride and other types of fuel cells for alternative energy. The commercial products generated during this period by Dr. Petillo included: battery powered hand tools, low noise gear drives for high speed power tools, special fasteners, special cutters for metal, wood, plastics, and electronic items. Dr. Petillo continued his research working on new battery technology, hydrogen generators using sodium borohydride, and new types of fuel cells for the alternative energy fields. Dr. Petillo has 11 patents in process for this company; one was already issued for a new internal combustion engine.
During the span of the years from 1965 to the present date, Dr. Petillo continued to be involved in the musical community for the construction of stringed musical instruments, the study of wood technology, new methods of construction for guitars and the continuation of musical technology in the industry. Dr. Petillo has also produced custom made musical instruments, strings, acoustic sensors, and accessories for over 35 years. His impressive customer list includes many great jazz, rock and roll, and classical artists: Blonde on Blonde, Blues Brothers, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Buzzy Linheart, Chuck Wayne, Dave Guard, Dave Mason, Dion, Elvis Presley, Graham Parker and the Rumor, Herb Ellis, James Taylor, Jim Croce, Johnny Cash, June Carter, Kingston Trio, Kris Kristofferson, Linda Ronstadt, Lover Boy, Michael Jackson, Tony Mottola, Nils Lofgren, Bon Jovi, Paul McCartney, Rick Springfield, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Seals & Crofts, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, Sting, Tal Farlow, Jerry Garcia, Steve Forbert, Keith Richards, Jackson Browne, Steve Martin, Marcel Dadi, Al Caiola and Waylon Jennings.
He served the technological community for the majority of his life and remained in awe of the new and upcoming discoveries that can be nurtured for the future whether musical, medical or alternative energy related. At the time of his passing, Dr. Petillo was working on a Propreoception Retraction Device which would retract the mental images of the mind's eye to treat depressive disorders in a non-invasive procedure. This device would retract human brain impulses and interface these impulses into useable information. This would be accomplished using non-invasive electronic devices. He never got to complete this project. In his own words, these other inventions were among his final plans that never came to be: "I plan to continue my research and study to find a cost effective energy alternative that will help my country to be competitive in the world market. I am also working on a pain device that is drug free and a new method of treatment using high powered magnets. These projects will benefit mankind and provide a venue for American inventors."
In 1992, Dr. Petillo was awarded the New Jersey Pride Award for Outstanding Contributions to Science and Technology for his work in microsurgical instrumentation and medical device technology. He also received the American Chemical Society's Award for Research, Craftsmanship, and Dedication to Education. In addition, he received a special commendation from A.O. Todd, Glenn Glenn Sound Studios for his high level sound effects sensor technology used in motion pictures. He was recently nominated for Man of the Year by the National Science Foundation. Dr. Petillo is listed in Who's Who in Technology and recently received an award for one of the Best 100 Products in 1999. In his beloved Jersey Shore home community, Phillip had been a basketball coach for 14 years at St. Mary's School. In 2001, Dr. Petillo received the Christopher Columbus Award of Excellence for his work in medical, surgical devices and for his artistic construction of stringed musical instruments including guitars and bowed instruments.
Regarding the well-rounded person that he was in his own words for a recent publication: "My primary interests outside of my family are the study of homeopathy and naturopathic methods of treatment for disease. I also am researching the importance of nutrition combined with homeopathic medicine as a prophylactic means of making health care more cost effective by preventing disease before it happens and strengthening the immune system to deal with the ravages of germs and the body's method of fighting them. In my spare time, I like to play guitar with my wife and my sons. I studied Bossa-Nova with the technique of chord melody for several years under the guise of Chuck Wayne, now deceased. I also studied Blues, Bluegrass and Folk Guitar music of the Alan J. Lomax Collection with my wife, Lucille who was a singer. Someday, I would like to continue this study of the guitar seriously. I also have a love of building and restoring old machines such as Hardinge Lathes and Delta Drill Presses from when these worthy giants were produced in the United States of America. I love to build my own tooling devices to fit my old machines. I also enjoy designing and making jewelry for my wife, Lucille. We have never bought each other presents but have made them uniquely over 39 years of marriage. I love to discover and arrange new designs of marquetry and parquetry with different veneer colors instead of the traditional browns and beiges. All of these hobbies, I pursue with great enjoyment and share with my family."
Phillip J. Petillo was the last of the Renaissance Thinkers, men who saw the world through different eyes, who had the gift of simplicity and dedication to their work, always trying to make everyone he met happy and content with their projects. His kindness and compassion for others is uncanny in today's society of self-importance. He was a kind and loving husband, a devoted father to his five sons and an extraordinary human being who was so very special and unique. His humility and placid demeanor were charming to all who were fortunate enough to have crossed his path. He will be remembered for his limitless love of discovery, irrespective of monetary reward, with the only objective being to help others, but most of all he was my best friend. He was a very special man who possessed a God Given Genius that is very unique!
- Lucille A. Petillo
For more information about Phil-Lu Inc.,
. Additional information on Petillo Guitars can be found at http://www.petilloguitars.com
Added articles and video on Phillip J. Petillo, Ph.D:
http://www.gizmopost.com/clients/Hydrogen%20Fuel%20Cell/For%20Review/ ... l%20v3.wmv
(Filmed and produced by Brian and Sue Mackewich and Cathy Carson)
http://www.premierguitar.com/Magazine/Issue/2009/May/Phil_Petillo_Mas ... entor.aspx
Patents that Phil received in medical, musical and energy technology:
1 7,691,527 Method and apparatus for generating hydrogen
2 7,530,931 Hydrogen generator
3 7,513,978 Method and apparatus for generating hydrogen
4 7,316,718 Differential pressure-driven borohydride based generator
5 7,282,073 Method and system for generating hydrogen by dispensing solid and liquid fuel components
6 7,220,290 System for hydrogen generation
7 6,998,188 Fuel cell components
8 6,932,847 Portable hydrogen generator
9 6,683,025 Process for making a hydrogen generation catalyst
10 6,613,969 Fret for stringed instruments
11 6,544,679 Electrochemical cell and assembly for same
12 6,534,033 System for hydrogen generation
13 6,250,078 Engine cycle and fuels for same
14 6,196,223 Strapless respiratory facial mask for customizing to the wearer's face
15 6,142,170 Apparatus and method for dispensing disinfectant compositions for disinfecting water systems and lines
16 6,106,854 Disinfectant composition for infectious water and surface contaminations
17 6,099,536 Hydraulic powered surgical device
18 5,918,598 Strapless respiratory facial mask for customizing to the wearer's face
19 5,876,410 Hydraulic powered surgical device
20 5,753,837 Adjustable reinforced neck assembly for stringed musical instrument
21 5,258,007 Powered surgical instrument
22 4,940,468 Apparatus for microsurgery
23 4,304,277 Reinforced head and neck element for a stringed instrument and process of manufacture
24 4,168,647 Adjustable pickup
25 4,128,033 Tailpiece
26 4,121,492 Reinforced neck for stringed musical instruments
27 4,114,503 Drumstick
28 4,064,779 FretAbout Cambridge Who's Who
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