RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling
2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed
formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit
design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at
the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps
while tying up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got
Mail" when a new message arrived...
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and text used on the RF Cafe website are hereby acknowledged.
Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles
from QST, published December 1915 - present (visit ARRL
for info). All copyrights hereby acknowledged.
Lee de Forest, inventor of the Audion vacuum tube, created a business
called De Forest Radio Company (although I hear he didn't build that). This advertisement
for his company's electron tubes appeared in the December 1931 edition of the ARRL's
If you research Lee de Forest, you will find his name spelled incorrectly in
many different forms: de Forest, De Forest,
de Forest, de Forest, to give a few. When
in doubt, go straight to the source, which in this case is the signature that de
Forest placed on his patent applications - he used "de Forest." Note that the official
company name, according to the advertisement address at the bottom, is "De Forest
Radio Company," (space used) yet the text of the copy uses the form "de Forest"
(no space), and the marking on the base of the tube says, "de Forest." Sometimes
marketing companies screw up, so I went searching for a more reliable source - the
name given on the company's stock certificate. Sure enough, "de Forest" was the
Below the ad is a broadcast made by Jean
Shepherd from station WOR in New York in 1968, relating the time when he met Lee
de Forest during WWI when Shepherd was 17 years old. Jean Shepherd, if you don't
know, is the guy who originated the story that is the basis of "A Christmas Story," one of my favorite Christmas movies.
De Forest Radio Company Advertisement
de Forest Radio Company Advertisement in December 1931 QST
Radio Personality Jean Shepherd Comments on Meeting
Lee de Forest
Mike Adams Presents Lee de Forest King of Radio Television
Posted July26, 2019 (updated from original post on 10/26/2012)
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