From: John Larkin
Subject: Re: Anyone else collect old engineering books?
Date: Tue, 12 Nov 2002 20:31:54 -0800
Organization: Posted via Supernews, http://www.supernews.com
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On Tue, 12 Nov 2002 16:49:55 GMT, "Mike" wrote:
>Do any other engineers here collect old electrical engineering books? Any
>particular specialties (radio, power, circuit analysis, etc)? What do you
>use them for?
>I started collecting old electrical engineering texts a few years ago,
>mostly radio and circuit analysis books. Among others, these are
>Pierce, "Principles of Wireless Telegraphy," 1906
>Pierce, "Electric Oscillations and Electric Waves," 1920
>Kennelly, "Wireless Telegraphy," 1906
>Puckle, "Time Bases," 1946(?)
>Edson, "Vacuum Tube Oscillators," 1953
>Moullin, "Spontaneous Fluctuations of Voltage," 1938
>The early radio books are mostly concerned with wave propagation and simple
>detectors (coherers and electrolytic detectors). By 1915-1920, there was
>much more discussion of circuits, filters, and tubes.
>Most of my books get rotated through my bookshelf at work. A few books, like
>Terman's "Radio Engineer's Handbook," have a permanent spot there. Others
>are interesting to look through when I'm working on a particular problem,
>like Moullin's book when I'm working on noise and jitter problems. Moullin
>has a reference to a paper by Kappler in 1931 that has plots that look
>virtually identical to the constrained random walk that the phase of a PLL
>follows. After a little more investigation I found Willem Einthoven's Nobel
>lecture from 1925, which shows similar graphs, and some references to
>earlier papers. In the end, it led to a remarkable historical journey,
>beginning with Einstein's explanation of Brownian motion in 1905, electrical
>current analogs to Brownian motion in the 1910s, and a solution to the
>mechanical analog of a PLL in 1931.
>What books do you have? Do they still find use?
>-- Mike --
I love this stuff. The Big Gorilla is of course the 27-volume MIT
Radiation Laboratory Series, which thoroughly documents the birth of
modern electronics. 1948 or so.
A few other real classics I've managed to get:
Terman's "Radio Engineering", 1932, 1937, 1947, 1955. Terman was the
"father of silicon valley" and mentored H and P. But he wasn't nice to
the Varian brothers.
Reference Data for Radio Engineers, IT&T, (still very useful) 1943,
Millimicrosecond Pulse Techniques, Lewis and Wells, 1954. True
Pulse and Digital Circuits, Millman and Taub, 1956, ditto.
UHF Techniques, Brainerd, 1942.
Physics and Technology of Semiconductor Devices, Andy Grove, 1967.
Remember Andy Grove?
Basic Electrical Engineering, Fitzgerald and Higgenbotham, 1961. This
is the classic McGraw-Hill "EE101" text.
Drake's Cyclopedia of Radio and Electronics, 1955.
Principles of Radio, Morecroft, 1921, 1927.
Radio Physics Course, Ghirardi, 1930.
Numerical Recipes, Press et al, 1986.
The Fourier Transform and its Applications, Bracewell, 1965. Bracewell
was a very cool dude.
Information Transmission, Modulation, and Noise, Schwartz, 1959.
Fields and Waves in Communications Electronics, Ramo et al, 1965. Ramo
was the "R" in "TRW"
The Los Alamos Primer, Serber, 1992; based on his lectures of 1942,
regarding how to build the Bomb.
The Tektronix Concept Series books, especially Vertical Amplifier
Circuits, Sampling Oscilloscope Circuits, and Typical Oscilloscope
The GE Transistor, SCR, and Tunnel Diode Manuals, 1964-ish. The SCR
manual is still full of very useful stuff.
The Cathode Ray Tube, Keller, 1991.
Radiotron Designer's Handbook, RCA, big red 4th edition, 1952.
Jim Williams's two collections of essays on analog design.
A Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism, Maxwell, 1891. Hard to read,
but you've gotta have this one.
AoE, H&H of course.
Many of these show up on ebay, Powells, or Alibris, often cheap.
I'm always disappointed in how little most engineers are interested in
the history of their profession.