After receiving the clarion call for the latest Newsletter deadline from the Editor-in-Chief of the EMC Society Newsletter (Janet O’Neil), I began to research my usual History Section articles. One fundamental part of the History Section has been the publication of the “Top Transactions Papers” of the EMC Society. This part of the Newsletter started in 2007 as part of the 50th Anniversary celebration of the EMC Society and has continued through nine issues. This issue contains the tenth and final paper of the top ten Transactions papers and it is a very important paper for antenna calibration experts and “wanna-be” antenna experts.
We also featured a Founder’s ‘EMC War Story’ as part of the EMC History Section but we are going to skip that in this issue due to the length of the “Top Transactions Paper” being published.
The third part of the usual History Section panorama of articles is the segment entitled “EMC Society Newsletter Review – 50, 25, and 10 Years Ago.” When I began researching this part of the Section, I realized I did not have a hard-copy of the Fall 1959 Newsletter of the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE) Professional Group on Radio Frequency Interference (PGRFI).
Not to worry, I told myself. I have the microfiche of the all the Newsletters of the EMC Society since 1957 and I will just print that particular Newsletter from the microfiche. The microfiche was a project of the EMC Society about twenty years ago that was spearheaded by the History Committee Chair at that time, Chet Smith. So, I went down to the basement of our house to check the massive, yet neatly organized, EMC Society files and I quickly found the referenced microfiche.
Now, I just needed to find a microfiche reader that had a printer capability attached to it so I could print out the appropriate 1959 Newsletter.
I began, casually, by calling the local high-school (where my daughter is an English teacher) and she checked with the library and quickly informed me that there was no microfiche reader in the high-school library, or in any of the other libraries in the school district of 3600 students. Okay, I said, I will check with my Chisago County library system. The news was, again, not good; there was a micro FILM reader in the five library system but no microfiche reader.
Growing slightly concerned, I checked with the next County (Washington) in Minnesota. Via the web and a phone call, I determined there might be a microfiche reader in the branch of the library that was furthest from my house in Minnesota. In an attempt to find a closer library, I then tried the next County down the line. It was Ramsey County (where we lived 25 years ago) and using the web/phone contacts for that County, I learned that the only microfiche reader/printer in the system was currently in storage due to the fact that the library-branch-host for the reader/printer was undergoing an extensive remodeling. The genial responder for Ramsey County did inform me that I should try the Minnesota Historical Society (located in the City of St. Paul) for a possible microfiche reader-printer combination.
Since it was still only 10:30 am in the morning and the reference library of the Minnesota Historical Society did not open up until 12:00 noon, I had some time to collect my thoughts and let my optimistic thoughts “pool together” for one final attempt at finding a microfiche reader-printer combination.
Shortly after 12:00 pm, I called the Minnesota Historical Society with trepidation, but, I was soon assured that they had a “combination” machine that would do the job and that I should come down and bring my microfiche with me. I did that, and after a 45 minute drive, I approached the Reference Library of the Minnesota Historical Society and was assigned a Library Registration Card (IS# 10-04313) by the polite library receptionist. I was then pointed towards the appropriate door and I entered that door to find the “nirvana” of microfilm and microfiche readers/printers. There were at least 25 microfilm/fiche machines in the room and most of them were occupied by amateur genealogists reviewing old newspapers and other historical documents for leads on their family background.
I introduced myself to the professional librarian managing the reference library, and she proceeded to give me a short-introduction to the “Copy Card” process, a charge-card for copying documents from the micro-world (at 35 cents a copy). She then escorted me to my microfiche reader/printer machine and gave me a short tutorial on its use. The machine was manufactured by Minolta and was very impressive while also being user-friendly. I proceeded to place my first microfiche film in the appropriate location in the machine (after first loading my charge-card with $20 and inserting it in the indicated slot of the card-reader at the Minolta machine). I then started to look for Newsletter #7 on the orderly microfiche and was disappointed to learn that there was no Newsletter #7 on the microfiche!
Swallowing my disappointment, I proceeded to download several other Newsletters that I had been missing hard-copies of, such as #16, #17, #19, #20, #31, and #59. I also found and printed copies of the Pre-Society Newsletter (Quasies and Peaks) which included 18 issues from March of 1955 until November of 1957. It is a wealth of material for future articles here in the EMC Newsletter!