October 1960 Electronics World
Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles
Electronics World, published May 1959
- December 1971. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.
"It is anticipated that within a few years if we do not have new methods and new machinery, there will be a shortage of manpower to produce the goods and services needed to sustain the American standard of living." Those words were uttered in 1960 by U.S. Senator Hiram Fong, of Hawaii (first name ring a bell?). His was an admonition against ignoring the need for highly trained workers for the country's burgeoning technical fields. "A few years ago, there were no electronics industries, no atomic energy projects, no missiles or rockets or space vehicles. New vocations, created in the past ten or fifteen years, run the full spectrum of man's pursuits and offer careers undreamed of only a few decades ago." "Fifteen years from now, supersonic airplanes will bring Paris within two hours of New York and Geneva about three hours from Los Angeles. Space travel will approach reality. In 1961 we hope to launch our first man into space with safe return; about 1970, to transport an American astronaut to the moon [accomplished by July 1969]." Senator Fong was prescient beyond his time (get it?). His remarks about work ethic would be lambasted today by pols promising work-obviating government handouts and free healthcare in exchange for votes.
... For the Record: The Soaring Sixties
By W. A. Stocklin
At the beginning of each new decade, much thought is given as to what the coming era holds in store for us. Despite the comments we have heard and the "educated guesses" which have appeared in print, we believe that one of the most thought-provoking analyses we have yet encountered is one presented by Hiram L. Fong, Senior U. S. Senator from Hawaii, in his talk before the graduating class at Tufts University.
We feel that Mr. Fong's comments deserve wider dissemination and we would like to quote, in part, from his commencement address.
"Educationally comprising the upper 5% of our population, college graduates will have a decided advantage in potential earning power over non-college workers. The job outlook for college graduates is excellent, with starting salaries higher by some 4 to 8 percent over a year ago. Long-range prospects are likewise auspicious. It is anticipated that within a few years if we do not have new methods and new machinery, there will be a shortage of manpower to produce the goods and services needed to sustain the American standard of living.
"The economic indicators of the next 15 years show that we will be a nation of 240 million people, 60 million more than today, with a labor force of about 95 million producing goods and services totaling 900-billion dollars.
"Translated into other tangibles, these vital statistics mean that we will build millions of dwelling units, thousands of miles of roads, and many, many bridges, dams, and flood-control projects. We will need some 77,000 more doctors, 34,000 more dentists, and a third of a million more nurses than we have today.
"Not only are there jobs for everyone, but there is also a wide choice of careers. A few years ago, there were no electronics industries, no atomic energy projects, no missiles or rockets or space vehicles. New vocations, created in the past ten or fifteen years, run the full spectrum of man's pursuits and offer careers undreamed of only a few decades ago.
"You are on the threshold of a very interesting, fascinating, and rewarding era, witnessing what promises to be the birth of a new 'Golden Age'.
"All around you life's pace has quickened. From sails to steamboats and from pushcarts to motor vehicles embraced thousands of years. Today, speed and power change within decades or less. In the first six decades of this century in America, changes have been greater than in all the thousands of years of mankind's history. It was only 18 years ago, in 1942, that Enrico Fermi discovered the principle of atomic chain reaction that launched us into the Atomic Age. Scarcely had this era dawned when 15 years later, in 1957, we found ourselves in the Space Age with the first Sputnik.
"Fifteen years from now, supersonic airplanes will bring Paris within two hours of New York and Geneva about three hours from Los Angeles. Space travel will approach reality. In 1961 we hope to launch our first man into space with safe return; about 1970, to transport an American astronaut to the moon; and perhaps by 1975, to other places ...
"Men of wisdom and learning throughout the ages have cautioned that the use of leisure time wholly for fun, pleasure, and comfort renders life narrow and empty. Gratifying only material wants does not satisfy the soul. Lasting satisfaction, contributing to the fullness of life, comes from cultivating in one's heart a spirit of charity and service toward all men and from devoting a portion of one's life to benefit mankind.
"Therefore each of you ought to ponder how, with your particular talents and in your particular circumstance, you can serve family, friends, community, nation, and mankind."
Senator Fong was one of the most interesting persons we have met and his presentation was both thoughtful and dynamic. After analyzing his comments, it is almost impossible not to be optimistic about the coming decade. One fact stands out - the population growth in the next ten years will be unprecedented in our history and with this growth will come tremendous opportunities.
An increase in our working force - whether in the fields of medicine, construction, etc. - means an increasingly important role for electronics. Electronics, in many ways, is like an octopus with its tentacles reaching into every other industry and profession. An increase in population means more TV sets, radios, and hi-fi equipment.
Increased demands by the medical profession will generate many new types of electronic equipment. Expansion of the construction and related industries means more electronic equipment for communications and automation. Thus it seems that no matter what career one chooses, electronics will play a vital role in the Soaring Sixties.
Posted February 18, 2014