Publications

 

I spent a few months scanning every single issue of G-E Ham News for posting elsewhere on my web site and in the process developed an appreciation and affection for the little magazine.  My tribute to Lighthouse Larry appeared as "Look What Lighthouse Larry has this Month" in the QCWA Journal, Fall 2010, Volume 59, Number 3. 

In 1955, Larry Lighthouse and the publishers of General Electric G-E Ham News announced a contest for the development of creative crystal radio receivers for use in case of national disaster.  Of course, the disaster they most feared at the time was nuclear warfare between the United States and the Soviet Union.  The contest was called Operation Crystal and here is a little article, "Crystal Radio to the Rescue," that appeared in The AWA Journal, the quarterly bulletin of the Antique Wireless Association, January 2010, Volume 51, Number 1.

 

"Alfred Powell Morgan: the Eternal Boy Turns 120" from the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) online web site of 9 September 2009.  The author of The Boys’ First Book of Radio and Electronics (and Second, Third, & Fourth) inspired many ham radio operators in the 20th Century; but there's more to Morgan than just the Boys' books.

 

"A Lost Dit of Vibroplex History" from QST, February 2009.  This is the story of Edward F. "Buck" Buchanan, United Electrical Manufacturing, Horace G. Martin, a Wall Street crash, the little town of Norcross, and the rare Norcross Vibroplex bugs. 

 

"A Bit of Radio Row in Brooklyn?" from WorldRadio, December, 2008.  This story touches on New York City's famed "Radio Row" and Leeds Radio, a survivor from the golden age of radio.  The editor omitted my two footnotes.  The first credited a quote from Walt Gezari, N2EEZ, describing Radio Row in its heyday: http://www.eham.net/articles/2910    The second footnote was for the Leeds Radio web site: http://www.leedsradio.com/

 

"The Internet is a Wonderful Thing!" from WorldRadio, February, 2008.  This story follows a trail that began with my 2007 visit to the Radio Society of Great Britain and how chasing some details of a tuned-plate, tuned-grid (TPTG) transmitter owned by Barbara Dunn, G6YL, the first licensed female operator in the United Kingdom, led to a 70-year old radio contact with a ham in Ohio. 

 

The "Student" of Student's t-test  I had never given much thought to the odd name of "Student's t-test" until I read a brief of mention that William Sealy Gosset used the pseudonym "Student" in order to protect an industrial competitive advantage.  That's all it took.  With a hint like that, I had to get to the bottom of the story.  It's great fun to sketch a real person behind a statistical formulation; and along the way I discovered real pedagogical value in articulating the importance of standard deviation in any collection of measurements. 

Copyright 1995 American Association of Physics Teachers. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Association of Physics Teachers.

The article appeared in The Physics Teacher, Volume 33, Number 8 (November 1995) and may be found at: http://scitation.aip.org/dbt/dbt.jsp?KEY=PHTEAH&Volume=33&Issue=8

 

Close-Up Photography on a Budget  This is the text from an article in the November, 1992, issue of Science Probe! magazine.

 

The Rocket Experiments of Robert H. Goddard, 1911 to 1930  It doesn't take too much scratching below the surface of rocketry history to discover that Robert H. Goddard may have held a lot of fundamental patents but contributed very little to the final realization of spaceflight.  Sadly, this unfortunate circumstance is due largely to Goddard's own limitations of character.  My article examines Goddard's early work and contrasts it with that of Hermann Oberth.  There is plenty of credit to go around to the various pioneers, but in my opinion, Oberth should get the lion's share for originating a line of research that really blossomed into modern spaceflight.  The very best account of Goddard's work is: David A. Clary, Rocket Man: Robert H. Goddard and the Birth of the Space Age, 2003. 

Copyright 1991 American Association of Physics Teachers. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Association of Physics Teachers.

The article appeared in The Physics Teacher, Volume 29, Number 8 (November 1991) and may be found at: http://scitation.aip.org/dbt/dbt.jsp?KEY=PHTEAH&Volume=29&Issue=8

 

The Creation of NASA  When I wrote this article, all previous accounts of the creation of the space agency relied solely on Congressional records.  As a result, they vastly overemphasized the role of Congress, particularly the Senate Committee on Space and Astronautics, in shaping the legislation that created NASA.  I was privileged to write at a time when many Executive Branch records were first becoming available to historians.  I later expanded this article into my Master's thesis, more broadly examining President Eisenhower's use of science advice as it pertains to the first United States space policy.  For that research I reviewed many primary source documents at the Eisenhower Library.  For more than a few documents I was the first historian to access them.  It is strange now to think that more time separates me now from my research than separated my research from the events it describes! 

 

 

Gladly Learn Home Page