Thursday, April 08, 2010

Audel's Radiomans Guide

My copy was from 1946, faux leather, with 880 polished paper pages. It has a small paper tag in the back from Gimbel Brothers Book Store of Philadelphia; which no longer exists. It starts with radio principles, and covers everything from fundamentals to batteries, measurement, transformer, vacuum tubes, tuners, speakers, antennas, PA systems, radio navigation and at the end of the book even FM radio and TV. My edition opens with the following:
"This book, the author believes, will be of the utmost service, not only to the student and radio-electrician, but to anyone who wishes to be informed on this important field of science. Radio equipment cannot be services or maintained by any predetermined set of rules or formulae, but it is necessary rather to understand the principles of electricity, radio and sound..."
It's signed Edwin P. Anderson. He was born in 1895 meaning he wrote this text when he was 44 years old. He is credited as the author of no fewer than a dozen other Audel's manuals on refrigeration, air conditioning, gas engines, wiring diagrams, home appliances, electric motors, sheet metal working, millwrights & mechanics, television servicing, outboard motors, sewage disposal, a mechanical dictionary and others. Most of these can be bought for under $5 at Alibris. But not the Radioman's Guide. That one is spendy.

It was first published in 1939 by Theodore Audel & Co. Publishers 49 West 23rd Street New York, NY. Theodore Audel is a pen name. He wrote at least 10 of the Audels guides. His real name is Nehemiah Hawkins. He was born in 1833 and was an American inventor, publisher and author. he had several mechanical patents to his name. But he did not wrote The Radioman's Guide. He died in January 1928, a decade before the Radioman's guide was written. Though it undoubtedly contains information also in the earlier electrical guides that he did write. the earliest of which I confirmed was published no later than 1897 via Audels Publishing. More here.

The Theodore Audel & Co. Publishing company continued on into the early 1960s. They were purchased sometime in the early 1950s by American Handbook and Textbook Co. But in 1962 that parent company began negotiations with The Howard W. Sams and Co. for a buy out. The deal was completed in January 1963.

In 1967 the Howard W. Sams Company sold the company Howard W. Sams and subsidiary Audels to the ITT corporation. In 1985, ITT sold it off to Macmillan Publishing. In 1987, Macmillan was in turn bought out by the Maxwell Communication Corporation. Maxwell Corp chopped up the company and sold off many of it's varied divisions. In 1989 they sold off more. I am not certain in which fire sale, Audels was purchased. But there is a inference that two former Macmillan execs bought it privately only to sell it off to Bell Atlantic in 1995. In 2000 the company was sold again dotbomb named eCatalogs, who sold everything except the brand name. But after the crash they sold it to Sams Technical Publishing. I lost the trail there but the present owner is AGS Capital.

Despite all the paper shuffling, the Audels brand faded away. The Howard W. Sams Company updated and reprinted some of these classic texts by Anderson in the 1970s, and that was the end of things.