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From: Phil Hobbs
Subject: Re: Anyone else collect old engineering books?
Date: Tue, 12 Nov 2002 14:05:26 -0500
Organization: IBM T. J. Watson Research Center
NNTP-Posting-Date: 12 Nov 2002 19:05:28 GMT
X-Mailer: Mozilla 4.61 [en] (OS/2; U)
Roy McCammon wrote:
> > Do any other engineers here collect old electrical engineering books?
> Only if still relevant an well written.
> My take on things is that there was a generation of lucid
> writers that published in the 50's and that some time in
> the 60's that was replaced with a mathematically terse
> style that left one with an unsettled feeling.
I think the main value of some old books (and even some new ones) is
that they were written by the guys who invented the idea. I treasure
Hendrik Bode's *Network Analysis and Feedback Amplifier Design* (Van
Nostrand, New York, 1945) because he had such a lucid grasp of network
theory that he could explain everything in terms that made great sense.
I also have Terman's *Radio Engineering* and *Radio Engineer's
Handbook*, and Harold Black's *Modulation Theory*. There are a bunch of
Bureau of Standards Circulars (especially C74) that contain
carefully-derived empirical formulas for things like the inductance of
multilayer coils. I'm also a big fan of Lord Rayleigh's optics papers.
There'a a progressive dumbing-down of scientific and engineering
books--older concepts are less and less well grasped, and therefore less
and less clearly explained, as time goes on. Old books help a lot.
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