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For the Record: Popular Electronics
September 1954 Radio & Television News

September 1954 Radio & TV News
September 1954 Radio & Television News Cover - RF Cafe[Table of Contents]

Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles from Radio & Television News, published 1919-1959. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.

October 1954 Popular Electronics Cover - RF CafeMay 1959 Electronics World Cover - RF CafeRadio 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 entitled Electronics 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 October 1954 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 via telephone.

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

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