In 1902 (probably after Laura died) he came to the U.S. to stay with his son Alfons in New York. On the 1910 census, they were living on 113th street in New York City. Alfons was a butcher and the family had a personal servant, so they appear to have been doing well. Adolph was listed as a widower. They also had a cousin living with them who was a treasurer in a theatre. At some point, Adolph must have returned to Germany.
|Adolph and Laura (photo taken from Ancesty.com page of one of Ralph's sons.|
Ralph's parents, Charlotte ("Lotte") and Leo
|Personnel Roster entry for Leo Baer|
|2nd Landstraum Infantry Battalion (I don't think Leo is in the picture)|
|Passenger list for the Nieuw Amsteram, showing the Baer family (note that Ralph is listed as Rudolf Heinrich)|
|The SS Nieuw Amsterdam|
|The Baers on the 1940 Census|
|Leo's Certificate of Naturalization|
The event that led Ralph to a career in electronics occurred one day when he was riding the subway and noticed someone across the aisle reading a magazine with an ad on the back reading “Make Big Money in Radio and Television Servicing” .The ad was for a mail-order course in radio repair by the National Radio Institute in Washington DC. Intrigued, Baer paid about $1.25 a week out of his meager salary to take the course and followed up by taking the advanced course. He then quit his factory job and went to work servicing radios at a store on Lexington Avenue in Manhattan. In 1943, Baer was drafted into the Army and sent to Fort Dix to train as a combat engineer. After two months, he was reassigned to Camp Ritchie, Maryland, where he learned how to interrogate prisoners of war. Before long, Baer was shipped overseas where he served in England and France, training American troops in subjects like weapons handling and recognizing enemy uniforms. In his spare time, Baer taught himself algebra and also collected foreign weapons and turned them into a makeshift museum (Baer's collection later served as the basis for the official military small arms exhibit in Fort Riley, Kansas). He even wrote a book on the history of machine guns.