February 1958 Radio-Electronics
Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics.
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published 1930-1988. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.
In the middle of the last century, television technicians were considered nearly as god-like as doctors, especially those who made house calls to cure an ailing entity - be it a TV with its vertical synch circuit running amok or a child running a fever. OK, I exaggerate a bit, but General Electric mounted a media campaign to build a favorable image of TV repairmen in the public eye. People from every walk of life and of every type employment (ok, maybe not mafia hit men and politicians), gave of their free time to help community efforts in charitable ways without any expectation of returned favors (which is why I included politicians along with mafia hit men). This 2-page advertisement which appeared in a 1958 edition of Radio-Electronics depicted TV technicians who were bestowed the "All American Award" for public service. Some worked with Boy Scouts, as civil defense leaders, as sports coaches, with amateur radio and electronics classes, with natural disaster relief, as student tutors, and more. At the time, most people were impressed with the selfless efforts of others, particularly when being recognized with an award. I'm not sure that is true today now in our age of "everyone wins" and "there are no losers" where singling out achievers for their accomplishments is frowned upon because it might hurt the ego of slackers.
"All-American" TV Technicians Win General Electric Awards for Public Service
Good Sportsmanship is developed by Marcus E. Denham at Whitaker State Orphans' Home, Pryor, Oklahoma, where he assists in recreational activities. He is also prominent in many local community service groups. His work is typical of the many public service contributions of TV technicians everywhere.
Boy Scout Work and assistance to Charlotte, Michigan, youth groups make Bart Rypstra, Jr., another "All-American", He is a member of the Charlotte city council, active in civil-defense communications, and belongs to many community service clubs. When time permits, Bart devotes his technical talents to servicing sound equipment, movie projectors and record players at city schools.
Americans everywhere responded to General Electric's invitation to nominate candidates for "All-American" Awards, honoring television technicians who have distinguished themselves in public service.
The winners, whose pictures appear on these pages, were selected by a panel of judges composed of Wendell Barnes, Administrator, Small Business Administration; Wendell Ford, 1956-57 President, United States Junior Chamber of Commerce; Herman Hickman, Sports Authority; and Ed Sullivan, Columnist and TV Personality.
General Electric has established these awards as another step in its program to recognize the public service contributions made by independent businessmen everywhere.
The accomplishments of these television technicians should serve as an inspiration to all Americans. General Electric Company, Receiving Tube Department, Owensboro, Kentucky.
Progress Is Our Most Important Product
Judges Selected 13 Winners to receive this trophy, $500 for use in community improvement, and luncheon with Under Secretary of Commerce Walter Williams at Washington, D.C.
Volunteer Fireman and Instructor John R. O'Brien, Evanston, Wyoming, teaches first aid at neighboring fire companies and schools. He is active in communications during civic emergencies, and lends and installs sound equipment for town functions. Many community service groups benefit from his time and skills.
Many Were Saved by Scott Witcher, Jr., during Lampasas, Texas, disaster. Here he shows height of water in raging flood which swept his area. Scott saved lives and helped restore communications to the community. He is active in the National Guard, in civic and youth organizations.
TV For the Sick is provided by Billy Joe Jenkins of Paducah, Texas. By installing antenna cable and servicing sets without charge, Billy Joe has made it possible for patients in Richards Memorial Hospital to enjoy TV. He helps community improvement drives, teaches electronics to Boy Scouts.
Girls' Drill Team at St. Joseph's Parish is supported by Remo De Nicola, Quincy, Mass., as one of his many community services. He also gives free television service to a school for retarded children and is always ready to lend sound equipment for charitable affairs.
Civil Defense Leader Richard G. Wells, Jr., Pikeville, Ky., installed television cables from a community antenna to Pikeville College, high school, fire department, Scout building and Methodist Hospital. He is working to give the high school a closed-circuit TV system.
Five Public Service Citations plus a civilian Navy award were given Frank J. Hatler, Roselle, N. J., for his communications work in community emergencies. As local civil defense head, Frank organized communications networks, helped many to get radio licenses.
Blind Can Skate because Philip G. Rehkopf, Jr., Louisville, Kentucky, installed a record player and placed loud speakers around the walls of the gymnasium at the Kentucky Home for the Blind. He developed an electronic device to give scores to blind basketball fans, and tape records text books for blind students.
Wheel Chair is no handicap for Mortimer Libowitz of Brooklyn, New York. Though disabled all of his life, Morty has devoted his time to helping others in his community. With a crew of student volunteers, he maintains the radio station at Thomas Jefferson High School, Brooklyn. He also services a Red Cross radio station and is active in civil defense communications. Morty has trained many youths in radio, developing some into amateur operators and skilled television technicians.
Electronics Laboratory at Long Beach City College, California, was established with help from Harry E. Ward. Harry serves as chairman of the Business and Technology Advisory Committee and for fifteen years has devoted his time to finding work for students, graduates and others.
Student Benefactor Philip T. Di Pace, of Albany, N. Y., contributes used radio and television chassis and parts to Siena College students who are interested in electronics. Phil now heads a project to finance an athletic field and playground for 75 neighborhood children.
Basic Electronics is taught to neighborhood boys by John E. Stefanski, Pontiac, Michigan. He has organized a scientific library for the boys and is now planning a new Pontiac Boy's Club. John has served as chairman of the Business Ethics Board of the Pontiac area Chamber of Commerce. Television sets in the Oakland County Sanatorium are serviced without charge through his efforts.
Posted September 9, 2019 (original 1/21/2014)