February 1958 Popular Electronics
People old and young enjoy waxing nostalgic about and learning some of the history of early electronics. Popular
Electronics was published from October 1954 through April 1985. All copyrights are hereby acknowledged. See all articles from
There was a time when "Pong" was a must-play breakthrough bit of
futuristic technology with people waiting in line to give it a try,
but now nobody would invest a quarter to play it in an arcade. Similarly,
believe it or not, people were mesmerized when listening to the
series of "beeps" coming from Sputnik I satellite during its
short life circling the Earth. This item from a 1958 edition of
Popular Electronics shows high school students listening intently
to a tape of Sputnik's broadcast. The same "Electronic News" page
reported on the availability of a special record with calibrated
sounds for helping to calibrate and troubleshoot hi-fi systems,
and also a new low-wattage public address speaker system installed
at Yankee Stadium that needed only 6½ watts per speaker.
Sputnik's a Recording Star in Midwest
Another recording star has zoomed into the world's firmament.
While it's not expected to out-gross Elvis, Sputnik's signals have
proved to be quite an attraction to a Mason City. Iowa, high school,
as seen in the photo above.
Two local high school teachers, in cooperation with a Bell &
Howell tape recorder dealer, recorded the "beeps" of Sputnik I.
Then, using a radio announcer as commentator, they incorporated
all pertinent scientific data to produce an educational tape on
one of the milestones of scientific achievement - including the
"interview" with Sputnik itself.
The tape has been made available to schools and colleges and
other interested groups, and has been playing to capacity audiences
at all sessions.
Hi-Fi "Do-It-Yourself" Recordings
A series of test records to help the audiophile determine what's
wrong - if anything - with his hi-fi system has been issued by Components
Corp., Denville, N. J. Priced at 89 cents each, the records consist
of tests and instructions in layman's language on the following
problems: wow and flutter; stylus wear; rumble; pickup resonance;
vertical/lateral response; and location and cure of hum.
Ballpark Service Uses Sound Efficiently
An unusual high-quality public address system brought cathedral-like
sound to 50,000 people attending a religious service at Yankee Stadium
recently. Backbone of the system was an installation of 12 University
WLC speakers in a square atop a special canopy 48 feet above the
altar on the field at second base. Although capable of handling
30 watts each, the 12 speakers required a total of only 6 1/2 watts
to achieve complete sound coverage. Such a low-level sound installation
is just the reverse of earlier systems at the Stadium, which used
large amounts of power fed into a relatively small number of speakers.
This had a tendency to cause echo effects, blasting and reverberations
not present with the University system.
Posted February 19, 2013