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 Post subject: Who was John F. Rider?
PostPosted: Mar Thu 02, 2006 12:19 am 
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Location: Sandwich, IL, USA
No doubt one of the first areas of vintage radio collecting one encounters are the John F. Rider and Howard W. Sams publications. We soon learn that they were the leading publicists of electronic technical material of their day, although Sams is still in business. Their books are probably one of the first additions to our technical library and I for one have gathered dozens and dozens of their books not to mention the schematic series from both publishers. Volumes have been written about the lives of DeForist, Armstrong, Sarnoff “The Giants of Radio” but I have never ran across anything documenting the lives of Rider or Sams. Were they real people who worked in radio or just publishing executives? <BR>Denny Graham <BR>Sandwich, IL <BR><P>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: Who was John F. Rider?
PostPosted: Mar Thu 02, 2006 2:54 am 
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Denny,<BR>I don't know for sure; but an older, respected engineer told me years ago that Rider and Sams may have operated the way that university academic research departments work. The books and articles that have only their name were probably written by them, or at least they collated & edited the set of chapters to make the book that bears their name. Where two or more author names appear, they most likely served only as a project leader, advisor or editor; where the other person wrote the book. For example, where the authors are "J.F. Rider and Sol D. Prensky", it was Presnsky who wrote it. Senior author is supposed to appear first, but often it wasn't the senior author who wrote the book. Hanes automotive DIY manuals all have Mr. Hanes name as one of the authors, but they admit he didn't write most of them. It is possible that Rider or Sams may have decided who would retain a spot in their authors' corral. If this were the case, I wonder how worthwhile an accurate biography would be. <P>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: Who was John F. Rider?
PostPosted: Mar Thu 02, 2006 3:57 am 
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John F. Rider worked for Gernsback Publications and was editor of the tech section of Gernsback's Radio Craft magazine. I think that Hugo Gernsback and Rider had a falling out over their competing schematic service publications. They both competed with each other for several years. At one point Rider came back to Radio Craft magazine but as I remember reading that did not last long and Rider continued publishing his service publications.<P>There is good article in the 2003 AWA Review (Volume 16) on Rider and Gernsback which discusses their relationship, and the history of the Rider Troubleshooters series.<P><BR><P>------------------<BR>Steve J.<BR>------------------<P><BR>Supreme Test Instruments - Supreme By Comparison<P> <A HREF="http://www.stevenjohnson.com/supreme" TARGET=_blank>http://www.stevenjohnson.com/supreme</A>


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 Post subject: Who was John F. Rider?
PostPosted: Mar Thu 02, 2006 6:00 am 
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Location: Pocasset, Cape Cod, MA
John Rider was a good engineer, aside from his publishing career. I believe he designed the audio system of the 1927 Grebe Synchrophase 7, arguably the first hi-fi radio (response to 8kHz, way ahead of broadcast standards of the day). He conceived the idea of a tuned analyzer (Chanalyst) and sold the first VTVM using the balanced-bridge circuit that became universal for decades (Voltohmyst). He got his name on several patents in the test-equipment field, and wrote a large number of books himself. Read the forewords: there are some humorous stories there (one book was dedicated to his three-year-old daughter and another I recall was to his dog who ate the first hundred pages of the manuscript).<P>Howard Sams began in the sales department of Silver-Marshall and (I think) Hallicrafters. I'm not aware that he was a technical person but his idea of "Sams folders" was right on target and extremely successful.<P>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: Who was John F. Rider?
PostPosted: Mar Thu 02, 2006 7:30 am 
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“article in the 2003 AWA Review” I don’t have any copies of the Review Steve, are those a compilation of the articles that were run earlier in the AWA Journals? Although I have no interest in ham radio I have been a member of AWA for 10 or 12 years, I support their effort and there is a good article once in awhile in the Journal.<BR> I knew I could count on you Alan, historian that you are! I’ll have to pay more attention to the forward, usually I get right to the meat of the text. I have NRI courses from the 20’s up through the 60’s and I don’t think there is an issue that doesn’t give you a little incite into J.R. Smith. His goals, his philosophy, just who he was is very clear, after reading these booklets over the years you feel like you are part of the family.<BR>Denny Graham <BR>Sandwich, IL <BR><P>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: Who was John F. Rider?
PostPosted: Mar Thu 02, 2006 8:48 am 
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Alan has given a good summary of John F. Rider, who was a great engineer and early pioneer in radio, as well as a successful author and publisher.<P>But here is a little more background on Howard W. Sams:<P>Born in 1897, he studied law and humanities and early in his career worked as a theater manager. He worked in sales and management for Goodyear, General Battery, E.T. Cunningham, Silver-Marshall, Howard and P.R. Mallory.<P>Sams was most successful as the advertising manager at Mallory, where he developed sales literature and instructions to aid technicians using the various Mallory-Yaxley products. He was the developer of the "Radio Service Encyclopedia" and the "MYE Technical Journal" and was eventually promoted to general sales manager at Mallory.<P>After WWII, Sams left Mallory and went into business for himself with his famous "Photofacts" which were a new concept in service documentation since they used a standardized format which had not been available before that time.<P>Howard W. Sams died in 1974.<P>------------------<BR>Poston


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 Post subject: Who was John F. Rider?
PostPosted: Mar Thu 02, 2006 7:22 pm 
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Thanks Poston, <BR> That's the kind of thing I was looking for, where'd ya find that anyway? Was that from the AWA Review article?<BR>Denny Graham<BR>Sandwich, IL<P>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: Who was John F. Rider?
PostPosted: Mar Thu 02, 2006 8:07 pm 
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Location: Circleville, OH, USA
The AWA Reviews are special publications. They contain articles which are not compilations of previous articles, but are specially written for the Review. The Rider article runs ~40 pages and has everything you ever wanted to know about Rider.<BR>The same Review also contains an 80+ page article on Powel Crosley & his company from 1921-1940.<P>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: Who was John F. Rider?
PostPosted: Mar Thu 02, 2006 8:36 pm 
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Location: Beaver Falls, PA. USA
In the late 1940s and early 1950s, Sams published the "Red Book", which was obviously a continuation of the Mallory Service Encyclopedia. I never knew of the connection to Mallory until now.<P>The copy of the "Red Book" which I have covers 1938 to 1950, including most of the postwar television sets. Has anyone seen a later edition?<P>Tim<P>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: Who was John F. Rider?
PostPosted: Mar Thu 02, 2006 11:26 pm 
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Hi Denny,<P>Most of the biographical info on Howard Sams which I posted comes from Richard Gray, author of "Radio Diagram Sourcebook", Sonoran Publishing, 1996.<P>------------------<BR>Poston


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 Post subject: Who was John F. Rider?
PostPosted: Mar Thu 02, 2006 11:38 pm 
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Interesting, but I have never seen the "Red Book", and probably never knew Howard Sams used to work for Mallory. But the printing and style used in the disclaimer on page 1 of the '46 Mallory Radio Encyclopedia is pure Sams, I always thought that Mallory had Sams publish that volume for them. Since both were located in Indianapolis, no doubt they were heavily intermixed. <P>------------------<BR>Dennis


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