October 1954 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
1954 arrived with the first-ever issue of Popular Electronics. Editor
Oliver Read wrote this introductory note describing the magazine's
grand plans for providing its audience with a sampling of as many
facets of electronics as possible, with projects for the do-it-yourself
type (many needed to be at the time), related hobbies like amateur
radio and radio controlled airplanes, military and commercial applications,
short stories, tutorials, and an endless supply of advertisements
offering just about anything your budget could afford. It turned
out to be a pretty nice magazine, and many of the well-written articles
are still useful in today's world of nano-everything circuits -
the fundamentals haven't changed much: voltage still equals resistance
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Meet Popular Electronics
Your Editor, Oliver Read
From modest basement shops and attic experimental laboratories have
emerged the fundamental ideas that have resulted in the fastest
growing industry of our times - electronics. Our vast radio communications
systems - spread like a giant web over the entire world - keep us
informed of news almost as soon is it happens. The radio "ham,"
using simple electronic equipment, communicates with his fellow
hobbyists throughout the world as simply as the housewife talks
to her neighbor via telephone.
A large group of medics watch
a delicate operation on a color TV screen. Every detail seen by
the operating surgeon and the color camera is observed in isolated
rooms. Instructions and comments of the surgeon are heard clearly
from the loud-speaker system.
An airplane is lost and is
forced down at sea. Its call for help is heard by or made known
to the FCC monitoring stations. A "fix" is made by electronic direction
finders and the position of the lost plane is flashed to nearby
vessels which then proceed to the rescue.
A hostile airplane
is spotted on a radar screen. Interceptors are dispatched to engage
the enemy. Radio navigational aids
protect us as we fly in an
airliner and bring us to a safe landing on a fog-bound runway.
These are but a few of the thousands of applications for
electronic devices that serve to protect life, limb, and property
and that provide means of education and entertainment never dreamed
of by our forefathers.
Many electronic devices are born
in the great laboratories of the industry-but a greater number of
pioneer developments have emerged from the experimenter's bench
and the ham shack. So-called tinkerers or gadgeteers have contributed
many valuable ideas and important discoveries that have led to valuable
The problem of maintenance of electronic devices,
especially home units such as radio, television, and hi-fidelity
equipment has been a real bottleneck and will become an even greater
problem as we reach sizable production of color television.
A vast field of opportunity in electronics awaits the individual
who will learn, by simple experiments, the fundamentals of circuitry,
components, and equipments. Others will become indoctrinated with
electronics at a hobby level. The fascinating hobby of radio control
finds thousands of youngsters and oldsters meeting frequently to
fly their airplanes and to sail their boats. And many a garage door
is opened and closed by radio impulses from simple devices made
in the home shop .
One of the greatest hobbies in the world
- amateur radio - has been tremendously stimulated by relaxed requirements
to qualify for a coveted license. A new "novice" class license is
attracting thousands of newcomers to this world-wide hobby.
Industry has recognized the importance of training new engineers,
scientists, and technicians and our trade schools have produced
thousands of technicians and other specialists. But many thousands
more are needed to meet the ever-increasing demand for new blood
Those of us who have grown up with electronics
have been forced to keep pace with new developments at an ever-increasing
has become more complicated
through the years. Television and industrial electronics, telemetering
and computing, and now color TV have necessitated a higher level
of approach for technical magazines. This, unfortunately, has deprived
thousands of people interested in electronics of a regular source
of information written in simple, understandable terms. POPULAR
ELECTRONICS is the answer to the demand for a monthly publication
devoted entirely to electronics at a practical and hobby level.
POPULAR ELECTRONICS is, as its title implies, devoted
to the science of electronics at How-It-Works, Why-It-Works, How-ToDo-It
and How-To-Use-It level.
Its writers and editors have
all grown up with electronics. They have all cut their eyeteeth
in radio, TV, and communications as experimenters and hobbyists.
They appreciate, from long experience, that "practical know-how"
is all-important and essential to success in the fascinating science
of electronics. They include experimenters, hams, short-wave experts,
radio-control enthusiasts, instructors, technicians, editors, and
think you will like POPULAR ELECTRONICS. We believe this to be a
magazine designed to give you the best possible understanding of
electronics. We will welcome all suggestions, ideas, and criticisms.
From our readers will come hundreds of features, gadgets,
hints, and kinks. These will be carefully read and studied. If these
are well illustrated (4 x 5 or 8 x 10 glossies) they will be considered
for publication. Those accepted will be paid for at attractive rates,
And, among our readers will be found
many experienced color photographers who are electronic hobbyists.
Color transparencies (4 x 5 verticals) accompanied by a tie-in feature
article will be considered. These will bring special rates of payment.
We will appreciate your help in telling your friends
about POPULAR ELECTRONICS. Perhaps they too will be interested in
this leading science of our times. And, finally, won't you please
tell us how YOU like POPULAR ELECTRONICS? ... Oliver Read