Radio Amateur News began life in July 1919, then changed its name a
year later in July 1920 to Radio
News. In August 1948 the title was again changed to Radio &
Television News, then shortened to Radio & TV News in May 1959.
Publication continued through April 1959. The next month's issue (May 1959) was
World, with Radio & TV News as a subtitle, and ran through
December 1971, when it merged with
Popular Electronics. Popular Electronics began publication as
a new magazine in
and printed its final issue in October 1982. The next month it became Computer &
Electronics, which continued until April 1985. From May 1985 through January
1989 it was called Hands-on Electronics. Believe it or not, in January
1990, Popular Electronics hit the newsstands again and did so until January
1999, after which it was titled PopTronics. The January 2003 issue finally
brought to an end the 84-year series of name changes and targeted audiences. RIP.
Nuts & Volts is the closest you will
come today to an equivalent magazine.
This "For the Record" editorial by Oliver Read in the August 1954 issue of
Radio & Television News announced the upcoming magazine's launch as
a publication directed more toward hobbyists than professional servicemen and designers.
For the Record: Popular Electronics
By the Editor
From the modest basement shops and experimental attic 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 as 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
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 loudspeaker
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 quickly
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 basement ham shack. So-called tinkerers or gadgeteers have contributed
many valuable ideas and important discoveries that have led to valuable patents.
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 the 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 and the "novice" class
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 in the industry.
Those of us who have grown up with electronics have been forced to keep pace
with new developments at an ever-increasing rate. Circuitry 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 Radio & Television
News and other 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, a brand new magazine now on the
press, is the answer to the demand for a monthly publication devoted entirely to
electronics at a practical and hobby level.
Popular Electronics will be devoted to the science of electronics at a How-It-Works,
Why-It-Works, How-To-Do-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 engineers.
We will appreciate your help in telling your friends about Popular Electronics.
It will reach the newsstands later this month. Perhaps they too will be interested
in this leading science of our times. And, finally, won't you please tell us how
you and your family like Popular Electronics? O. R.
Posted December 9, 2020