April 1945 Radio-Craft
Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics.
See articles from Radio-Craft,
published 1929 - 1953. All copyrights are hereby acknowledged.
Klystron is a household word these days - literally - since every
microwave oven contains one. Do you know who registered the trade
name originally? Per this advertisement from a 1945 edition of Radio-Craft
magazine, Sperry Gyroscope Company did. It was actually scientists
at Stanford University (Russell and Sigurd
Varian) who developed the klystron tube, financed by
Sperry as part of its blind aircraft landing system. In an act of
magnanimity that would never be considered in today's competitive
markets, Sperry issued the following statement: "From now on, the
name Klystron belongs to the public, and may be used by anyone as
the designation for velocity-modulated tubes of any manufacture."
Right decent of them.
Sperry Gyroscope Company Ad
Here is the text of the ad:
The Greeks gave us a word for it...
now we give it to you
When Sperry first developed its velocity-modulated, ultra-high-frequency
tube, the word "Klystron" was registered as the name of the new
This name - from the Greek, as coined by scientists of Stanford
University - is an apt description of the bunching of electrons
between spaced grids within the tube.
"Klystron" is a good name. So good, that it has come into widespread
use as the handy way to designate any tube of its general type,
whether a Sperry product or not.
This is perfectly understandable. For the technical description
of a Klystron-type tube is unwieldy, whether in written specifications,
in conversation, or in instructing members of the Armed Forces in
the operation of devices employing such tubes.
These conditions have prompted many requests from standardization
agencies - including those of the Army and Navy - for unrestricted
use of the name Klystron. In the public interest, Sperry has been
glad to comply with these requests...
From now on, the name Klystron belongs to the public, and may be
used by anyone as the designation for velocity-modulated tubes of
Sperry will, of course, continue to make the many types of Klystrons
it now produces, and to develop new ones.
On request, information about Klystrons will be sent, subject
to military restrictions.
Sperry Gyroscope Company, Inc. Great Neck, N. Y.
Division of the Sperry Corporation
Los Angeles San Francisco
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Posted July 27, 2014