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December 1958 Popular Electronics[Table of Contents]
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 Popular Electronics.
Since I live in Erie, Pennsylvania, an erstwhile very industrial, albeit small town, it is always nice to run across information on the area in my electronics magazines. There are still a few electronics businesses in Erie, but as with most of the manufacturing from long ago, high tech here is found mostly on the shelves of Best Buy and not on manufacturing lines. One notable exception is Bliley Electric Company, maker of crystal oscillators, who was established in Erie in 1930. Bliley still operates today in a building about two miles from my house. This advertisement from the December 1958 edition of Popular Electronics is by Erie Resistor Company. In doing a Google search, I found a brief history of the company on a UK website. According to the author, Erie Resistor opened a division in Yarmouth in 1932. Here is a reference to Erie Resistor Company being credited for discovering the ferroelectric oxide - "History of the First Ferroelectric Oxide, BaTiO3." Here is a 1930s era patent issued for a "Resistor" - it doesn't get much more basic that that.
Since I live in Erie, I went down to the old Erie Resistor Corporation plant at 644 West 12th Street and got these photos. The overhead causeway connected both parts of the building to keep employees in comfort (it gets pretty cold and windy in Erie) and safety (West 12th is a busy street, then as now).
Thanks to Bob Davis for sending a link to a page on the Stock Lobster Antique Stocks and Bonds website that has an image of Erie Resistor's official stock certificate. Founded in 1929, the year beginning America's Great Depression, they evidently traded under the name of Erie Technological Products, Inc. After legal run-ins with unions, Erie Resistor sold out in 1981 to Japan's muRata Manufacturing Company and became known as muRata Erie North America.
See also the Erie Resistor Corporation advertisement in the January 1952 issue of Radio & Television News.
Posted March 18, 2013