EDN turned 60

EDN is US print magazine on Electronics applications, products, technology and design techniques. I have read that magazine quite a lot over many years and provided links to many of their articles in ePanorama.net. EDN: you’re old. This year some months ago this magazine turned 60 years old: May 8, 2016 marked the 60th anniversary of the first EDN print issue. When EDN published its first issue in 1956, electrical measuring instruments looked a little different than they do today.

To clebrate this 60 years, EDN published a special issue and on-line articles that looked back at the 60 years on electronics and gave predictions for next 60 years. A series of articles were mostly published in July and August. EDN’s 60th Anniversary Collection lists the published articles.

Here is my collection of links to magazine and electronics history articles that you could find interesting to read:

Memories of 1956, the year of EDN’s first issue article tells about era with glow of a vacuum tube heater inside hot glass and the smell of wax capacitors, resistors, old flux, and solder coming from electronic and very warm/hot components. To celebrate 60 years of EDN magazine asked some engineers to flash back to the era when EDN began to give us an idea of where the industry was and how it’s changed.

60 years of electronics through the eyes of EDN article tells that in year that Electrical Design News started Elvis was the king andT exas Instruments has started producing the first silicon transistors to challenge the prevailing germanium products.

Electrical engineering in the 1960s: The transistor changed everything article tells that in he late 1950s and early 1960s saw perhaps the most dramatic change ever to hit electrical engineering. When transistors came along, many engineers needed to quickly learn how they worked and how to use them. Engineering managers had to convince upper management that transistors were the future of electronics.

Engineers vs. journalists article tells that in 1961 issue of Electrical Design News, executive editor Lawrence L. Rosine wrote “What, No Engineers?” where he questioned the practice of technical magazines hiring journalists who covered a particular field as opposed to hiring practitioners who could write. In that case, electrical engineering. It seemed that managment at the time didn’t understand that journalists couldn’t read schematics. Fortunately, the engineers like Rosine won that battle.

Happy Birthday EDN and Disneyland article paints picture of 1956: Disneyland is almost a year older than EDN. The glow of a vacuum tube heater inside hot glass, the smell of wax capacitors, resistors, old flux and solder, rubber deteriorating, Bakelite cooking, a bit of a wood smell and transformer varnish heating up the accumulated dust around these electronic and very warm/hot components.

1950s vintage Design Ideas tells how the popular Design Ideas publishing started. If you think about it for a second, you might wonder how the first issue of EDN had Design Ideas in it. After all, with no readers yet, who was to submit any designs? Manufacturers. That’s who.Clearly, manufacturers felt that showing off their circuits in EDN would be good for business. And engineers, young and old, would gobble it up, just like we do today.

More electronics technology designs from 1956 article shows some interesting early design idea circuits. The publication of the design ideas has continues and is well active, but it seems tha Design Ideas editor: The dream job nobody wants.

60 Years of Design Ideas and EDN: A reminiscence and challenge article tells that it’s no surprise analog circuitry has been a mainstay of Design Ideas for many years. That’s an area still able to engender much creativity. But Design Ideas isn’t just analog. Digital, power, algorithms, FPGA, even IC design, have all featured.

Vintage electrical measuring instruments from the 1950s article shows what electrical measuring instruments looked a little different than they do today whenEDN published its first issue in 1956.

EDN’s ads tell an electronics story article estimates that EDN published some 250,000 pages over 57 years. The majority of those pages are ads, which ranged from classifieds to multipage inserts. The advertisement tell their own story how technology has changed over years.

6 major electronics technology designs from 1956 article tells that EDN’s first issue came out on May 8, 1956 as electrical engineering began giving way to electronics engineering with the advent of the transistor. This article will reveal the technology that was evolving at that time, as well as electronics developments and ideas from technical/white papers from that era.

Audio lectures from 1960: High-frequency transistors article tells that in 1960, many engineers were just starting to learn about transistors. Without an Internet, engineers relied on books, conference papers, and magazines to get technical information. Electrical Design News went where magazines had never gone before by not only providing print pages, but adding audio.

Honoring the late analog great Bob Pease article make you to remember the notorious analog engineer Bob Pease died five years ago, on June 18, 2011. Bob’s being the most famous analog designer was the result of his hard work becoming a brilliant engineer, with a passion for helping others.

Here is one bonus to the list, one nice electronics history article from other publication EE Times: How It Was article takes a stroll down memory lane and remind oneself as to the way things used to be…


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Remembering Jim Williams, 5 years later

    Famous analog engineer Jim Williams died of a stroke on June 12, 2011.

    Jim was best-known as the most popular contributed writer at EDN. He did many of those articles as part of his duties as an application engineer at Linear Technology as well as National Semiconductor. His earliest articles were as a lab tech at MIT, and as an engineer with Arthur D Little consulting.

    Honoring the late analog great Bob Pease

    Notorious analog engineer Bob Pease died five years ago, on June 18, 2011. His passing was all the more tragic since he died driving home from a remembrance for fellow analog great Jim Williams. Although it was a Saturday, Bob had come to the service from his office at National Semiconductor, now Texas Instruments.

    My buddy has a saying, “Everyone wants to be somebody, no one wants to become somebody.” Bob’s being the most famous analog designer was the result of his hard work becoming a brilliant engineer, with a passion for helping others.


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