What's your most treasured 'antique' electronics book?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Paulo540, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. Paulo540

    Thread Starter Member

    Nov 23, 2009
    I just today came across my copy of "Dielectric Phenomena in High Voltage Engineering" Sounds riveting, I know.

    It was written almost 100 years ago (1915), however, it was one of the most useful and relevant tools to an R&D project I was working on a couple years ago. It was pretty much the missing link.

    I wouldn't say its my most treasured old book, but just an example.

    I collect old books whenever I can, its like consulting wise old grandpa before he got alzheimers (RIP 1904-1998). No BS, no fluff, just the facts. Of course, the bulk of my studies involves more modern literature but Im just trying to say that sometimes a walk in the past can do some good.

    So, what's your 'oldie but goodie' ?
  2. Papabravo


    Feb 24, 2006
    Norman R. Scott, Analog and Digital Computer Technology, 1960
  3. Wendy


    Mar 24, 2008
    A lot of people do tend to forget how old electronics is sometimes. The old reference books have a lot to teach.

    Electronic Communication 3rd Edition
    by Robert L Shrader

    I turned it back in for cash during my college days, and was lucky enough to find it again at a flea market.
  4. VoodooMojo

    Active Member

    Nov 28, 2009
    my father had an old Dykes Manual that was published in 1907 or so. It was shuffled from house to house, shelf to shelf with barely more than getting the attention of a good dusting.
    When I turned the age of "wheels = chicks" and "fast wheels = fast chicks", I became enthralled with anything automotive and devoured everything pertaining to motorized transportation. I remember as a teenager reading the manual and learning boatloads of engine stuff.

    years passed and passed and the book started collecting more dust.
    But then one day, sometime in the early seventies, I was repairing a 36 volt golf cart. you know, the old ones with the "big coil springs" for speed control.
    I didnt have a clue what was going on as pertaining to electric drive anything, but I remembered that somewhere in that manual was a bunch of stuff on electric vehicles.
    So I took the book down and lo and behold, the 1904 Woods Electric Vehicle!!
    Everything I would ever need to know about electric vehicles was there!
    Electric clutches, electric differentials!!! everything ! from the fields, armatures, contactors, resistance bars, contacts, speed controls, forward, reverse changing.....on and on..
    if it wasnt for the fact that at the time PWM was not available to them, there would have been no purpose for the internal cumbustion engine to have been adapted to automotive use!

    a few times a year I do week-long training sessions of our control systems to our customer's technicians. I include reprints of this Dykes Manuals Electric Vehilces sections. They are first of all amazed that this technology existed in the 1890s and more importantly realize that, other than advancements, the core principles still hold true. I love chiding them when they have problems gathering a concept, "If your great, great grandaddy could understand this, what the heck is holding YOU back?

    This manual is by far my most treasured link to "the old days, the old ways"

    it has been passed on to a much younger generation and he holds it with the same respect.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2010
  5. someonesdad

    Senior Member

    Jul 7, 2009
    I like my copy of "American Machinist's Handbook" published during World War 2. I've long lost my 1960's calculus textbook, but I keep both volumes of Courant's books on calculus in an honored spot on the bookshelf (I think it was originally published in the 1930's) right next to the Feynman lectures on physics.

    While I haven't read a lot of them, it's interesting to read material by Steinmetz -- you can get some good physical intuition from the tips in his books. You'll also read about a large variety of topics and you're sure to find something that interests you. I believe Dover still publishes some of his books; you can also get some of them from google books.
  6. bertus


    Apr 5, 2008

    I still have couple of "old" books:

    "Video Handboek" from "Ru van Wezel,
    A dutch book on video techniques.(1977)

    "Transistor-Taschen-Tabelle" from "Steidle"
    A german transistor data handbook.(1981)

    "VHF-UHF manual" from the RSGB
    third edition (1977)

    A lot of real old books can be downloaded as PDF from pete millets site:

  7. Ron H

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 14, 2005
    I have a couple of 8.5"X11" paperbacks. One is
    "Raytheon Transistor Applications: More than 50 Practical Circuits using Raytheon CK722 Transistors". 116 pages. Original price 50 cents. No printing date, but I think it was circa 1955. Here is a link to the booklet in PDF form.

    The other one is "A Palimpsest on the Analog Art", printed in 1955 by Geo. A. Philbrick Researches, Inc. 270 pages. Original price one dollar. This is about analog computing using vacuum tubes.

    I also have some of my old textbooks from college, the most prized being "Pulse, Digital, and Switching Waveforms", Millman and Taub, 1965. This is the first edition, and we had to wait about 6 weeks after the beginning of the semester before it came out.

    You shouldn't have gotten me started.:)
    I also have "Network Analysis and Synthesis" by Kuo, 1962, which I use from time to time,
    "Electronic Engineering", Alley and Atwood, 1962 (covers both vacuum tubes and transistors),
    "Modern Electronic Circuits Reference Manual", compiled by John Markus, 1980. This is 8.5"X11", 1238 pages and 9 pounds (!) of circuit designs culled from back issues of magazines, manufacturers' literature, and electronics books.
    While I was writing this, I realized that I'm going to be moving soon (downsizing), so if anyone is interested, I would consider selling some of these and my other books. Shoot me a PM if you're interested.

    EDIT: They may not be worth much.:(
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2010
  8. scythe

    Active Member

    Mar 23, 2009
    "Understanding Solid State Electronics", 1972, Texas Instruments. In high school it really clarified basic transistor theory to me.
  9. 3ldon

    Active Member

    Jan 9, 2010
    "The Electrical Engineers Pocket Book"
    Hortio Alvah Foster [archive.org]
    I have a near perfect copy of the revised 5th edition.

    Much of it is outdated due to advances in electrical steel and wire insulation, but the sections on testing electrical equipment and compensating for inaccurate and non negligible insertion loss of volt-meters is invaluable.