July 1956 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
Both my father and grandfather were stamp collectors - philatelists
is the technical word - who dabbled in a recreational way with commemoratives
from foreign countries. Nearly all were canceled (used) stamps that
today, as back in their day, have no real value other than to someone
interested in history. Of course none are the rare types. I now
possess many of those stamps in an album that was painstakingly
hand-illustrated and assembled to arrange each stamp according to
its country and issue date. At one time I, too, dabbled in the hobby,
having collected many plate blocks and special issue U.S. stamps
in the 1970s and 1980s, along with purchasing a few designs of special
purpose such as those with aerospace and communications themes.
Sad to say, most of those stamps, even those in mint condition,
are valued at the denomination printed on the face - meaning inflation
has reduced their worth to even less than when originally purchased.
If indeed 'what's
past is prologue,' then there is not much incentive for anyone
to take up the hobby in any hopes of it doubling as an investment.
A few years ago I posted a page titled "Radar,
Lidar, Amateur Radio, & Radio on Postage Stamps" that is
a pretty good roundup of all the stamps I could easily find at the
time (until I tired of looking). After seeing this article from
a 1956 edition of Popular Electronics, I see I missed a
Radio Stamps Make Rare Collection
authorities throughout the world have marked the rise of radio in
rare stamp issues.
Stamp collecting has come a long way from the old-fashioned system
of assembling stamps according to country and issue. "Topical collecting,"
a new trend in this ancient hobby, picks out stamps on a specific
theme, such as flowers, horses, medicine, or what have you.
Herbert Rosen, whose business is radio and whose hobby is stamps,
combines the two in a unique collection of stamps picturing nearly
every aspect of electronic communications. Starting with the scientists
whose discoveries cleared the way for modern electronics, his collection
takes us right through the current spread of TV to various countries
of the world.
Part of this collection has been published in a book titled Radio
Philatelia (reviewed in our April, 1956, issue). Mr. Rosen kindly
gave us permission to reproduce some of his rare stamps.
First transatlantic radio signal, broadcast from
Cornwall, was received by Marconi at this tower overlooking the
Newfoundland coast. Now a historic landmark, the tower was pictured
in this memorial stamp issued in 1928. Spanning ocean by "wireless"
gave rise to marine radio, ending ages of dreaded isolation for
ships at sea.
The hundredth anniversary of electric communications
in Turkey, from the first use of wire telegraphy (1855) to modern
radio, is celebrated in this 1955 stamp (left, below). The French
stamp at its right illustrates early military radio, showing the
antenna of the desert fort Sebha in the African colonies.
Paris rooftops sprouted antennas when TV came
to France. The Eiffel Tower, like the Empire State Building in New
York, makes and ideal antenna mast for the city and its surroundings.
With more than 800 lines, French TV boasts the world's best picture
quality. The 1955 postage stamp (above, right) symbolizes TV signals
radiating over Paris skyline. Guatemalan stamp (above, left) marks
introduction of radio-telegraphy in South America.
Argentina's mail offers "spoken letters" recorded
on discs. Special "Fonopostal" stamp is issued for this unique service.
With the outbreak of the Second World War
in 1939, military radio suddenly burst into prominence. This special
set of German stamps features pictorial motifs of ground-based ,army
signal service. Note schematic of tuned circuit at lower right.
Primitive antennas on stamps are a far cry from the highly, advanced
but then-secret designs actually used.
Of all the Oriental countries, Japan was the first to take a serious
interest in Western science. Having introduced broadcasting as early
as 1925, Japan celebrated the 25th anniversary of its radio service
in 1950 by a special stamp issue contrasting an old-fashioned microphone
with a recent model patterned after American designs. Japan's radio
is noted for high-quality transmissions as well as excellent programs.
Hungarian stamp (above, left) pictures the unsung
heroine of all electronics: the patient, unknown worker who assembles
the equipment. Spanish stamp (above, right) marks 25th year of Radio
Italians took to television (right) with typical
gusto when their network finally reached all the main regions. Transmitters
were designed with special radiation patterns to jibe with heavy
population areas. Stamp at far right shows Monaco, whose powerful
radio station perches atop a mountain overlooking Monte Carlo and
the sea. One of Europe's few commercial stations, it can be heard
throughout the Mediterranean area and recently formed the hub of
broadcasting activities connected with the wedding of Grace Kelly
and the Prince of Monaco. TV service has now been added.
Posted March 10, 2016