October 1953 Radio-Electronics
[Table of Contents]
Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics.
See articles from Radio-Electronics,
published 1930-1988. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.
Optical illusions have
always been a big attention-getter. Many companies have employed their intrigue
to promote their products and/or services. This optical illusion was used by
Littlefuse*), a company founded in 1927 and still in business
today, to draw attention to a full-page advertisement in a 1953 issue of Radio-Electronics
magazine. More interesting than the illusions, though is the information presented
is about how their proprietary glass-encased fuse design will always burn out in
the center of the link, where it is visibly obvious. It might seem trivial, but
having tested fuses that appeared to be good but tested bad, that is a great feature.
Modern plastic-encased fuses with spade terminals like those found in automobiles
have a similar feature that makes visual inspection very easy and unmistakable.
In another Littelfuse ad, they educate the reader about how a fuse's amperage rating
is not the amperage level at which it will blow, but the continuous current it can
carry without blowing. A lot of people are now aware of that distinction.
*Interesting sidenote from "Our
History" page on the Littelfuse website:
"Why do we spell it that way? When the U.S. government refused Edward V. Sundt
a patent for Little fuse on the grounds that the words were too common, our founder
compromised by reversing the l and the e to form Littelfuse."
Littel is a surname
of English and Netherland origin, but it is also considered a variation of "little,"
so that helps justify its use in Littelfuse.
says "littel" in modern lingo means, "A person or animal of a remarkable and distinct
cuteness, regardless of size," it is doubtful that is the origin.
things are NOT as they seem
Things are not as they seem ...
These two fuses look alike ...
But they are not.
This is a perfect square within the circle - it is an optical illusion that the
This fuse may burn out anywhere along the length of the filament even in the
cap - this blown fuse is impossible to detect visually.
This Littelfuse has a controlled blowing point - the filament is plated throughout
its length except in the very center - the fuse will always blow here. A blown Littelfuse
can be detected immediately - a Littelfuse feature.
Littelfuse holds more design patents on fuses than all other manufacturers combined.
Des Plaines, Illinois
Posted November 18, 2020