December 1957 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 (if any) are hereby acknowledged.
Well, this might get some
dander up amongst the believers that
Sir Robert Watson-Watt
is "the Father of Radar." In the
December 1957 edition of Popular Electronics, Col. William R. Blair was given that honored designation based on
his work on a pulse-echo method of direction finding in the 1920s. The Wikipedia entry for Col. Blair refers to
him more specifically as the "Father of
William R. Blair was awarded U.S. patent #2,803,819
titled "Object Locating System," on August 20, 1957 - a full 13 years after the patent application was submitted.
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Father of Radar Gets His Reward from Patent Office
U. S. Government finally recognized the daddy of radar by granting a patent to Col. William R. Blair (Ret.),
above, right, who conceived the pulse-echo method of direction finding prior to 1930. It was developed during the
1930's at, the Signal Corps Laboratories in Fort Monmouth, N. J. In 1937 a prototype, SCR-268, radar system
(below) was demonstrated for the Secretary of War and Members of Congress. Plans for this set were turned over to
manufacturing companies so that they could build radar equipment for the U. S. Army.
Due to the high
degree of secrecy surrounding the development of radar, a patent application was not filed by the Army Signal
Corps until 1945, and since then the Patent Office has had the matter under consideration. This radar patent is
considered to be as important to the military as the first U. S. patent issued on the telephone was to commercial
SCR-268 Radar System
oscilloscope Shadow-Screen manufactured by Van-Dee Products, Laguna Beach, Calif., is said to end the need for
subdued light or an oscilloscope hood. It consists of hundreds of small, hexagonal openings that serve as
individual shadow boxes, shutting off glare. The shape of the openings permits observation from any point within
45° of face-on position. Note contrast in photo above.
Lift-A-Dor (not the luscious lady below, but what she's holding) is a new R/C system for opening garage doors from
your car. If you should ever want to put the car away with her around, you'll find that a simple touch of the
button she's holding will unlock the door, open it and turn on the garage lights. Another push will close and lock
the door, and turn out the lights. Made by Alliance Manufacturing Co., Inc., Alliance, Ohio, the device works on a
limited-range low frequency which prevents false activation by stray signals.