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Most of these books have long been out of print, but the content is such that they are a fascinating read in their own right as well as being a valuable resource for the vintage restorer.

A Beginner's Guide to Radio. 

(see notes about FJ Camm, below and under 'PERSONALITIES).

FJ Camm produced this book - pictured in the left column - for the very beginner and it is written, therefore, in very simple terms. Despite this, the book is of interest to anyone wishing to construct a simple series of all-dry battery powered 1, 2 and 3 valve TRF sets. Often nowadays there is difficulty obtaining coils for home-built valve sets. Here, you wind the coils yourself, with full guidance from the master! As always, very readable. The book was first published in 1955. My copy is dated 1962 and is the fifth edition, third impression, so there's quite a few of these out there somewhere. There is a page and a half devoted to the transistor, which was added by the staff of 'Practical Wireless' after Camm's early death. Frankly, they shouldn't have bothered - the information is just not up to the standard of Camm's text. Perhaps later editions will be better in this respect. Well worth looking for any edition of this useful book.

By the way, that's Mr. Camm, on the cover. The 'lecture' was staged for the photo.

Practical Wireless Circuits by FJ Camm.  My copy is dated 1954 and is the 16th edition. I bought it new at the time. Earlier ones would not have the 'newer' all-dry, octal and B7G valve circuits, though might still be worth a read.  

Newnes Television and Short-wave Handbook by FJ Camm (1934)  

Newne's Short-Wave Manual by FJ Camm (first published 1940)

The above two books have titles that need no elaboration.

News Chronicle Wireless Constructor's Encyclopaedia by FJ Camm (1934(?) -on. Several editions. The 1934 second edition in my possession has a wealth of period detail and information. I believe in subsequent years that the 'News Chronicle' tag was dropped and 'Newnes' substituted.

F.J. Camm was the brother of Sydney Camm, the aircraft designer. He was prolific as an author and all-encompassing as an editor, his name cropping up for many years on a number of 'practical' monthly titles by Newnes including Practical Wireless, Practical Television and Practical Mechanics. He also 'wrote' a large number of books on the general subject over many years. As you might expect from such a voluminous source, much material is a rehash or straight repeat of previously published stuff. Nevertheless, he wrote clearly and engagingly, so if you spot any titles by him, look them over.

Audel's Radioman's Guide is an American publication that holds masses of very comprehensive radio theory and practice. my copy dates from second world war time.

Introduction to Valves by Hallows and Millward (1953) . Good for basic valve operating principles and applications in domestic sets. Text style can seem archaic - very 1930s - at times.

The Radio Servicing series by Patchett, Fozard et al (circa early sixties). Published by Norman Price. A bible (well, OK, a SET of bibles) for the radio and television engineer of the time. Factual, concise, readable, reliable. Well worth searching for.

And, of course - Foundations of Wireless. The name of M.G. Scroggie has long been associated with this famous book, even though A.L.M. Sowerby wrote the first edition in 1936. This is an important book covering the technical theory of the subject and has been the subject of many reprints and editions over the years to bring it into line with current practice. With our interest in valves, an older edition should be fine. Just check content before handing over the money.  

Scroggie also wrote Radio Laboratory Handbook, published by Iliffe, which covered the setting-up and running of a workshop. The book shows how to use test equipment and how to interpret the results. Masses of formulae but still a readable and interesting book from the earlier valve era. My copy is not dated by the publishers but a handwritten inscription offers 'December 1940'

Wireless Servicing Manual, by W.T. Cocking, is another Iliffe book from the late thirties/early forties. Very readable, given the date, with lots of info on servicing, fault tracing and alignment.

The Dictionary of Radio and Television Terms, by Ralph Stranger, is exactly what it says. Very clear and straightforward explanations of circuit action, components and principles. Only criticism? Some of the explanations lack depth in this compact volume. A Newnes publication, 1941

Modern Practical Radio and Television by CA Quarrington is a four-volume set published by Caxton from 1946 onward. Very detailed, though in a somewhat stiff and dated style, with a comprehensive coverage of the state of the art at the time of publication. My set of books was published in 1950.

The Radio Amateur's Handbook is (or was) published by the American Radio Relay League. I have a copy of the twentieth edition, dated 1943. It's full of information and constructional tips, plus lots of wartime radio component adverts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VINTAGE RADIO world: SIXTEEN YEARS OF WEB PRESENCE