“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”

Instant Access to Thousands of Journals for just $40/month

The Quest for “Magnalux”: Redefining Technological Success and Failure at RCA, 1951-1956

In September 1951, Radio Corporation of America chairman David Sarnoff celebrated his 45th year in the electronics industry by publicly challenging his research staff to develop three new technologies in time for his golden anniversary dinner 5 years later. This article considers the fate of one of these items, the “Magnalux” light amplifier, to explore how scientists, manufacturing personnel, and managers viewed the significance of fundamental research to technological innovation. Following a discussion of the content and context of Sarnoff’s request, the article focuses on the creation of two prototype light amplifiers to emphasize the contingency of technological success and failure and the centrality of commercial considerations in defining those categories. This case study reaffirms the value of historical methodologies to the social study of corporate science. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society SAGE

The Quest for “Magnalux”: Redefining Technological Success and Failure at RCA, 1951-1956

Abstract

In September 1951, Radio Corporation of America chairman David Sarnoff celebrated his 45th year in the electronics industry by publicly challenging his research staff to develop three new technologies in time for his golden anniversary dinner 5 years later. This article considers the fate of one of these items, the “Magnalux” light amplifier, to explore how scientists, manufacturing personnel, and managers viewed the significance of fundamental research to technological innovation. Following a discussion of the content and context of Sarnoff’s request, the article focuses on the creation of two prototype light amplifiers to emphasize the contingency of technological success and failure and the centrality of commercial considerations in defining those categories. This case study reaffirms the value of historical methodologies to the social study of corporate science.
Loading next page...
 
/lp/sage/the-quest-for-magnalux-redefining-technological-success-and-failure-at-iyP9OayeoA

Sorry, we don’t have permission to share this article on DeepDyve,
but here are related articles that you can start reading right now:

Explore the DeepDyve Library

How DeepDyve Works

Spend time researching, not time worrying you’re buying articles that might not be useful.

Unlimited reading

Read as many articles as you need. Full articles with original layout, charts and figures. Read online, from anywhere.

Stay up to date

Keep up with your field with Personalized Recommendations and Follow Journals to get automatic updates.

Organize your research

It’s easy to organize your research with our built-in tools.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from Springer, Elsevier, Nature, IEEE, Wiley-Blackwell and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

Simple and Affordable Pricing

14-day free trial. Cancel anytime, with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Monthly Plan

  • Read unlimited articles
  • Personalized recommendations
  • Print 20 pages per month
  • 20% off on PDF purchases
  • Organize your research
  • Get updates on your journals and topic searches

$40/month

Best Deal — 25% off

Annual Plan

  • All the features of the Professional Plan, but for 25% off!
  • For the normal price of 10 articles elsewhere, you get one full year of unlimited access to articles.

$30/month
billed annually