Sixty years ago this month, the very first issue of Popular Electronics magazine, October 1954, rolled off the presses of the Ziff-Davis Publishcing Company. The complete issue is available online along with millions of other pages of old radio and electronics publications at
Transistors were already on the horizon, since the issue contains an ad from Raytheon for the CK-722 transistor, along with the offer, “Raytheon will supply you with complete information free. Just write to Department P.”
There’s a guest editorial from ARRL president Goodwin Dosland, W0TSN, extolling the virtues of Amateur Radio, the international hobby. Robert Hertzberg, W2DJJ, gives some pointers on getting the ticket in Part 1 of “So You Want to be a Ham.”
Construction projects include a four-tube bicycle radio (powered by a 90 volt B battery and 1.5 volt filament battery), a fire alarm (with low melting point alloy sensors), a light meter, and a code practice oscillator.
For those who want to dabble in servicing radios, there are two articles on how to align or repair an AM radio, although one cautions that beginners should steer clear of FM and TV receivers with their more complex circuitry.
The first “Carl & Jerry” story by John Frye also appears in the issue.