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Early Vacuum Tube Engineering

& Manufacturing Papers

     The audio engineering document collection here at Vintage Windings is fairly extensive and one of my areas of interest is early vacuum tube development. Many vacuum tube engineering papers and such are still under copy right protection due to the fact that they were published in engineering trade journals that are still viable, however,  there are quite a few interesting items open to public domain. The documents on this page are from now defunct publications or are so old they are no longer in copy right. This collection will definitely grow as scanning time permits. Downloading and linking is welcomed, again please don't post these to another site.

 This file has some great photos in it. It is a photo essay from WE magazine in 1965. It is simply called:  The Electron Tube   Enjoy!

Western Electric Vacuum Tube Catalog 1933
This catalog is available elsewhere on the web but it's the same file over and over and that version is a less than stellar scan. This is a scan from an original catalog and it is nice and clean. Some folks would rather see photos instead of renderings but the artist renderings in this catalog are incredible. Every detail of the tube's inner workings can clearly be seen.

Western Electric 102F Tube Life 75,000 Hours
Here is another photo essay. This one is from a 1930's issue of Electronics Magazine. There are some more excellent vacuum tube manufacturing photos from Western Electric.

How Vacuum Tubes are Made by W. W. Rodgers
This is an interesting article from a not so well known radio publication in the 20's & 30's called Radio Broadcasting. This article is from Sept. 1923 and it covers the vacuum tube manufacturing process of the same period.

Western Elecgtric Vacuum Tube Outgassing

The inductive out-gassing of a large vacuum tube
at Bell Laboratories (Record 7/49)

Modern Vacuum Practice by Richard S. Morse
This one is out of an old Electronics magazine. It is a good overall look at vacuum practice of the day. The article has very good photos of vacuum tube evacuation as preformed in laboratory conditions, rather than production.

Tube Laboratory Manual
A joint publication between MIT, Army Signal Corps,  Office of Naval Research, Air Material Command. July 15, 1951. Foreword by Fred Rosebury of Research Laboratory of Electronics MIT. This very large file (83.7M !) is one of the most useful documents regarding the actual making of vacuum tubes and vacuum tube components. The processes and protocols for producing the materials used in the manufacture of vacuum tubes are covered as are the preparation procedures for chemicals, alloys and such. This document is just as useful today for the materials information alone. It's one of my most rare and favorite finds, and now it's yours, enjoy!

Note: Much of my vacuum tube engineering collection is still under copyright protection so I can't post those things, but I can recommend some favorites that are still available. For a great read you can't go wrong with "Instruments of Amplification" by H. P. Fredricks. Not only does he cover basic vacuum and vacuum tube engineering principles, he guides the reader, step by step, revealing how he built a working triode at home using only a surplus vacuum pump and a few household items. This is a fun lighter side read which is just as enjoyable as his other radio book "The Voice of the Crystal" . Both of these books are available from other sellers but I used the Linsay Books link because their price new is better than most used price listings.


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