October 1960 Electronics World
People old and young
enjoy waxing nostalgic about and learning some of the history of early electronics. Electronics World
was published from May 1959 through December 1971. See all
Electronics World articles.
"It is anticipated that within a few years if we do not have
new methods and new machinery, there will be a shortage of manpower
to produce the goods and services needed to sustain the American
standard of living." Those words were uttered in 1960 by
U.S. Senator Hiram Fong, of Hawaii (first name ring a bell?).
His was an admonition against ignoring the need for highly trained
workers for the country's burgeoning technical fields. "A few
years ago, there were no electronics industries, no atomic energy
projects, no missiles or rockets or space vehicles. New vocations,
created in the past ten or fifteen years, run the full spectrum
of man's pursuits and offer careers undreamed of only a few
decades ago." "Fifteen years from now, supersonic airplanes
will bring Paris within two hours of New York and Geneva about
three hours from Los Angeles. Space travel will approach reality.
In 1961 we hope to launch our first man into space with safe
return; about 1970, to transport an American astronaut to the
moon [accomplished by July 1969]." Senator Fong was prescient
beyond his time (get it?). His remarks about work ethic would
be lambasted today by pols promising work-obviating government
handouts and free healthcare in exchange for votes.
... For the Record: The Soaring Sixties
By W. A. Stocklin
At the beginning of each new decade, much thought is given
as to what the coming era holds in store for us. Despite the
comments we have heard and the "educated guesses" which have
appeared in print, we believe that one of the most thought-provoking
analyses we have yet encountered is one presented by Hiram L.
Fong, Senior U. S. Senator from Hawaii, in his talk before the
graduating class at Tufts University.
We feel that Mr. Fong's comments deserve wider dissemination
and we would like to quote, in part, from his commencement address.
"Educationally comprising the upper 5% of our population,
college graduates will have a decided advantage in potential
earning power over non-college workers. The job outlook for
college graduates is excellent, with starting salaries higher
by some 4 to 8 percent over a year ago. Long-range prospects
are likewise auspicious. It is anticipated that within a few
years if we do not have new methods and new machinery, there
will be a shortage of manpower to produce the goods and services
needed to sustain the American standard of living.
economic indicators of the next 15 years show that we will be
a nation of 240 million people, 60 million more than today,
with a labor force of about 95 million producing goods and services
totaling 900-billion dollars.
"Translated into other
tangibles, these vital statistics mean that we will build millions
of dwelling units, thousands of miles of roads, and many, many
bridges, dams, and flood-control projects. We will need some
77,000 more doctors, 34,000 more dentists, and a third of a
million more nurses than we have today.
"Not only are
there jobs for everyone, but there is also a wide choice of
careers. A few years ago, there were no electronics industries,
no atomic energy projects, no missiles or rockets or space vehicles.
New vocations, created in the past ten or fifteen years, run
the full spectrum of man's pursuits and offer careers undreamed
of only a few decades ago.
"You are on the threshold
of a very interesting, fascinating, and rewarding era, witnessing
what promises to be the birth of a new 'Golden Age'.
"All around you life's pace has quickened. From sails to
steamboats and from pushcarts to motor vehicles embraced thousands
of years. Today, speed and power change within decades or less.
In the first six decades of this century in America, changes
have been greater than in all the thousands of years of mankind's
history. It was only 18 years ago, in 1942, that Enrico Fermi
discovered the principle of atomic chain reaction that launched
us into the Atomic Age. Scarcely had this era dawned when 15
years later, in 1957, we found ourselves in the Space Age with
the first Sputnik.
"Fifteen years from now, supersonic
airplanes will bring Paris within two hours of New York and
Geneva about three hours from Los Angeles. Space travel will
approach reality. In 1961 we hope to launch our first man into
space with safe return; about 1970, to transport an American
astronaut to the moon; and perhaps by 1975, to other places
"Men of wisdom and learning throughout the ages
have cautioned that the use of leisure time wholly for fun,
pleasure, and comfort renders life narrow and empty. Gratifying
only material wants does not satisfy the soul. Lasting satisfaction,
contributing to the fullness of life, comes from cultivating
in one's heart a spirit of charity and service toward all men
and from devoting a portion of one's life to benefit mankind.
"Therefore each of you ought to ponder how, with your
particular talents and in your particular circumstance, you
can serve family, friends, community, nation, and mankind."
Fong was one of the most interesting persons we have met and
his presentation was both thoughtful and dynamic. After analyzing
his comments, it is almost impossible not to be optimistic about
the coming decade. One fact stands out - the population growth
in the next ten years will be unprecedented in our history and
with this growth will come tremendous opportunities.
An increase in our working force - whether in the fields
of medicine, construction, etc. - means an increasingly important
role for electronics. Electronics, in many ways, is like an
octopus with its tentacles reaching into every other industry
and profession. An increase in population means more TV sets,
radios, and hi-fi equipment.
Increased demands by the
medical profession will generate many new types of electronic
equipment. Expansion of the construction and related industries
means more electronic equipment for communications and automation.
Thus it seems that no matter what career one chooses, electronics
will play a vital role in the Soaring Sixties.
Posted February 18, 2014