July 1959 Electronics World
Table of Contents
Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles
Electronics World, published May 1959
- December 1971. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.
Electronics World magazine editor W.A. Stocklin commemorated the fortieth anniversary of the publication's existence with a long look back to 1919 when it debuted as Radio Amateur News. Two months previous to this July 1959 issue was the first instance of the name change from Radio & Television News, which was known as simply Radio News from June 1920 through July 1948. Finally, in 1972 Electronics merged with and became Popular Electronics. The inestimable Hugo Gernsback, a prolific writer and inventor, was the progenitor of this magazine series - and many other magazines, fiction, and non-fiction books. Stocklin had taken over as editor a couple decades earlier as Gernsback moved on to other projects. He mentions the electronics industry being a 7.9 billion dollar entity in 1959 ($68B in 2018 money). According to sources the consumer electronics market is $228B large in 2017 - an effective increase 3.3 times. Stocklin's number might include the entire electronics universe (consumer, military, industrial, medical, scientific, etc.), so today's multiplier is likely 5 or more compared to then. I couldn't locate a current number for the market value of the entire electronics industry.
... for the Record - Forty Years Young
By W. A. Stocklin, Editor
This month marks our fortieth year of service to the electronics industry and to the professionals who have helped to make it one of this country's economic giants, ranking fifth among manufacturing enterprises in the U. S. In a mere twenty years our industry has grown from a modest $340-million dollar enterprise to an impressive $7.9-billion dollar field. No growth of this magnitude could have been achieved without the intelligent interest and wholehearted support of electronics professionals.
When this magazine made its debut in 1919, electronics was in its infancy although Lee de Forest's "audion" was 13 years old at the time. Even at this early date a small and dedicated group of technicians and "wireless" men was moving into the field to form the nucleus of the profession as we know it today. From these modest beginnings emerged the techniques and "know-how" that have given the United States its commanding lead in electronics - and its enviable reputation throughout the world.
By present-day standards, the professional technician of 1919 probably seemed very much of the "pioneer" with his makeshift test equipment and home-built replacement parts, but the Yankee ingenuity behind the miracles he was able to perform with the radio equipment of the day is an awesome thing to contemplate in this area of well-stocked distributor shelves and exact replacements. Even at that early date Radio news was providing a solid core of technical material to help the man in the field do his job faster and better. This same attention to the needs of the individual in electronics has carried over to the present day although the magazine itself, like the industry it serves, has moved through a series of metamorphoses which has involved three changes in our title, several complete revisions of format, and alterations in our editorial emphasis to reflect the important advances of the industry it covers.
Today's electronics professional is a far cry from his earlier counterpart. Most of the men in service work today have had formal technical training and work with test equipment which formerly wouldn't have existed or would have been reserved only for the most advanced laboratories. This impressive line-up of "know-how" and equipment is involved in the task of installing, maintaining, and repairing a staggering amount of electronic gear whose very existence couldn't have been anticipated even ten years ago!
The exciting developments we have witnessed during the years we have been serving as your reporter of and guide to things electronic add up to a meaningful segment of history itself. From the early days of crystal sets and spark-gap transmitters to the 21-inch cyclops in every living room and world-wide instantaneous communications networks is an evolution within the memories of many of us in the industry although a. very-much-taken-for-granted development in the eyes of the younger generation. If you don't believe that this is truly the "electronics age," watch the casual way that mere infants tune in their favorite TV programs or play their phonograph records on Daddy's elaborate hi-fi setup. The presence of a wide variety of electronic gadgets in the American home is an accepted fact to most modern youngsters - electronics has been a part of their lives as long as they can remember and, as the new and more exciting products make their appearance, these will be assimilated in the same off-hand manner.
In a like vein, the electronic wonders of the "space age" will come to be looked upon as natural and logical progressions inherent in the era in which we live.
Although electronics has been our business for forty fruitful years, we have managed to retain our respect and appreciation for the impressive work that has been done in this field - and we hope that we are still able to convey this spirit of discovery and appreciation to our readers- "insiders" and professionals though they may be. We are dedicated to the task of keeping you abreast of every facet of our field and to that end will continue to provide the information you need to do the job for which the electronics industry is so eminently qualified.
So, again, in this our fortieth anniversary year, we re-pledge our efforts to your service and to the industry with which we are proud to be associated.
Posted July 3, 2018