August 1949 Radio-Electronics
[Table of Contents]
Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics.
See articles from Radio-Electronics,
published 1930-1988. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.
Each edition of Radio-Electronics
magazine featured a couple pages of industry news entitled "The Radio Month." This
August 1949 issue started out with a rather tragic items reporting on the death
of Philco chairman John Ballantyne evidently while making a speech at his 13-year-old
son's school commencement ceremony. It's hard to imagine the scenario. Also included
was news of one of the first attempts in the country to impose training and licensing
mandates on electronics repairmen. Illinois and New York led the effort. Fortunately,
the attempted legislation did not succeed. The Federal Communications Commission
(FCC) marked it 15th year of existence as a federal bureaucracy after it replaced
the former Federal Radio Commission (FRC) in 1934. Other items can be read on the
The Radio Month - News
John Ballantyne, chairman of the board
of Philco Corp., died on June 10th while making a commencement address at Meadowbrook
School in Pennsylvania, where his 13-year-old son was a member of the graduating
class. Ballantyne was president of Philco from 1943 to 1948, after which he became
chairman of the board of directors, acting only in an advisory capacity. A native
of Philadelphia, he was a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. He became
treasurer of Philco in 1940 and vice-president in charge of operations a year later.
He was 49 years old at the time of his demise.
Licensing Bill introduced in the Illinois legislature, requiring
all persons servicing radios and TV sets to undergo a training course and examination
(see report in this section of July issue) was defeated last month. The Radio Manufacturers
Association and the Television Installation Service Association of Chicago were
instrumental in having the bill killed in committee.
License Plates with amateur call letters instead of the usual
meaningless numbers and letters are now available to automobile-owning Florida hams,
due to a bill which took effect on July 1. In recognition of the valuable work done
by amateurs in emergencies, State Senator Lloyd F. Boyle, himself a ham, introduced
the bill in the legislature; it was signed by the governor on May 12. Each man wanting
a call-letter license plate must apply to the Motor Vehicle Commissioner and pay
an extra $1 fee.
FCC celebrated the 15th anniversary
of its creation on June 19th; on that date 15 years ago the Communication Act was
signed. On July 1, 1934, the old Federal Radio Commission was abolished and 11 days
later the FCC was formally organized. About 125 of the present staff members, including
Commissioners Hyde, Walker, and Sterling, were with the Commission when it was organized.
Comparisons of the first annual report and present figures indicate how radio
has grown since 1934. At that time there were 51,000 radio stations of all kinds,
600 broadcasters, 45,000 hams, less than 2,000 ship stations, about 700 aeronautical
licenses, 250 police transmitters and no fire stations.
In contrast, recent figures show nearly 150,000 total stations (in addition to
more than 200,000 associated mobile units), 4,000 broadcast authorizations of all
kinds, 80,000 amateur calls, 20,000 shipboard stations, 27,000 air service licenses
(and over 100,000 aircraft radio telephone authorizations), more than 4,600 police
stations, and 100 municipal fire department systems. Individual licensed operators
(holders of commercial tickets) have increased from the 1934 number of 5,500 to
The grand total of all authorizations outstanding, including both operators and
stations, but excluding mobile land stations, has passed the 700,000 mark, testifying
to the tremendous importance of radio in present-day America.
Transistor Tetrodes are the latest development in germanium
crystal amplifiers, Rowland W. Haegele of the Physics Laboratories of Sylvania Electric
Products, Inc., announced last month to a Princeton conference. The tetrodes, said
Haegele, provide a high degree of isolation in mixer service so that signals on
one emitter are not picked up by the other.
Posted October 12, 2021