Joseph I. Brown (deceased) earned his MA degree at George Washington University. He worked for the Naval Mine Engineering Facility in Yorktown, Virginia for 31 years. While at the Weapons Station he helped design the MK25, MK52, and MK55 mines, which were used during the Viet Nam War in Hanoi. He also attended the Naval Mine School in Charleston, South Carolina.
With his background in shipbuilding, mine warfare, and with the rich Civil War history of the Virginia Tidewater, he naturally became interested in the early history of mine warfare.