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Where did hobbyists get electronics before 1921?

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chuckt
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Where did hobbyists get electronics before 1921?

Postby chuckt » Mon Jul 18, 2016 9:20 am

Where did hobbyists get electronics before 1921?

On another forum, I posted a picture of a motor my Father made with spare parts. Then I thought to myself, where did they get parts? I think RCA and G.E. made vacuum tubes.

Mouser was formed in 1964 and Digikey was formed in 1972. Radio Shack was formed in 1921.

What was there before then?

I looked at the History of Electrical Engineering before then and it lacks the history.

I do know that my Dad started with a magazine called "Popular Mechanics". Other people got started in radio.

http://forum.6502.org/viewtopic.php?f=3 ... ics#p35067

https://blog.adafruit.com/2014/11/03/fr ... fore-1921/

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Re: Where did hobbyists get electronics before 1921?

Postby Savage///Circuits » Mon Jul 18, 2016 11:28 am

While I don't have a necessarily valid answer, I imagine that, while electronics technology would be more scarce than it is now, I would go about it much the same as I did when I was younger. When I first got started I couldn't afford new parts, so I salvaged old/dead equipment and saved the parts from these devices for projects and experimentation.
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Re: Where did hobbyists get electronics before 1921?

Postby chuckt » Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:48 pm

I guess they were just plain inventors:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spark-gap_transmitter

Spark gap transmitters were the first devices to demonstrate practical radio transmission, and were the standard technology for the first three decades of radio (1887–1916).

"In 1836, Samuel Morse demonstrated the ability of a telegraph system to transmit information over wires."

http://www.wrvmuseum.org/morsecodehistory.htm

"In 1749 Benjamin Franklin, the U.S. polymath and founding father, first used the term "battery" to describe a set of linked capacitors he used for his experiments with electricity. These capacitors were panels of glass coated with metal on each surface.[1] These capacitors were charged with a static generator and discharged by touching metal to their electrode. Linking them together in a "battery" gave a stronger discharge."

"In 1800, Volta invented the first true battery, which came to be known as the voltaic pile."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_battery

"Perhaps the first electric motors were simple electrostatic devices created by the Scottish monk Andrew Gordon in the 1740s."

"The first commutator DC electric motor capable of turning machinery was invented by the British scientist William Sturgeon in 1832."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_motor

Early Light Bulbs

"In 1802, Humphry Davy invented the first electric light. He experimented with electricity and invented an electric battery. When he connected wires to his battery and a piece of carbon, the carbon glowed, producing light. His invention was known as the Electric Arc lamp. And while it produced light, it didn’t produce it for long and was much too bright for practical use."

http://www.bulbs.com/learning/history.aspx

In 1878, Thomas Edison began serious research into developing a practical incandescent lamp and on October 14, 1878, Edison filed his first patent application for "Improvement In Electric Lights". However, he continued to test several types of material for metal filaments to improve upon his original design and by Nov 4, 1879, he filed another U.S. patent for an electric lamp using "a carbon filament or strip coiled and connected ... to platina contact wires." Although the patent described several ways of creating the carbon filament including using "cotton and linen thread, wood splints, papers coiled in various ways," it was not until several months after the patent was granted that Edison and his team discovered that a carbonized bamboo filament could last over 1200 hours. This discovery marked the beginning of commerically manufactured light bulbs and in 1880, Thomas Edison’s company, Edison Electric Light Company begain marketing its new product.

http://www.bulbs.com/learning/history.aspx



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