How Solid-State Electronics Will Change Your Life (Sep, 1954)
This article is an exploration of the changes that will be brought on by the rise of solid-state electronics. The author does a very good job extrapolating what will be possible, with very few of the flights of fancy such as flying cars and domed cities that are common to articles of this genre. Almost every product he discusses is available now.
People do have video crib monitors, solar panels are available, but are not quite efficient enough to power a house, as he predicted. Video phones are only now really practical because of the bandwidth limitations spelled out in the article. We don’t have ultrasonic washing machines in our houses, but ultrasonics are used in a number of areas for cleaning. We do (did) rent movies for our color VCRs, and there are megahertz range computers managing very complicated factory production with very little human intervention. Not to mention touch tone phones and microwave ovens. Plus, if you showed that picture of a flat screen tv on the first page to someone without any context they’d probably guess that someone had hacked an LCD monitor to look all “retro”. By the way, if you’re interested in flat screen TVs, you should check out this one from 1958.
I’ve actually been wanting to post this article for a few years. When I was posting this piece about a pocket transistor radio, I noticed that the author used the word “stereatronics”, which I’d never heard. I googled it and found the complete text of this article, with no pictures, here. After reading it I learned that stereatronics was a word created for this article, which they hoped would catch on. It didn’t. I thought it would be perfect to post to the site, so I tracked down a copy. Then when I got it I realized that Colliers magazine was 11×14″ and I couldn’t fit it on my scanner. However, I recently bought an 11×17″ scanner for the site, and so here it is.
Stereatronics – A New Science that Will Change Your Way of Life
Tiny solids are turning the electronics industry upside down. Some vibrate, others change light to energy or energy to light, or direct current to alternating. Together, they spell revolution
A NEW science, stereatronics, has been creeping up on us in the last few years and has started to make major changes in the way we live. Few of us have noticed any difference; the changes have come so quietly that even many of the people who are closest to the new science are surprised at what it has been doing. Yet the evidences have been all about us.
â€”Television sets are a great deal less expensive now than they were a relatively few months ago.
â€”More and more tape recorders are being sold. Five years back, they were too costly for most people. Ten years ago, they weren’t to be had at any price.