The Magnetic Amplifier
A Lost Technology of the 1950s
Anyone can build it!
■ by George Trinkaus
Most folks believe that first came the
vacuum tube and right on its heels came
its successor, the transistor — an
historical fact, correct? Not really.
Another competitive control technology
developed by US and Nazi engineers
came in between. It was the magnetic
amplifier. Rugged, dependable, EMP-proof, and capable of handling greater
electrical powers than either transistor
or tube, the magnetic amplifier is a
simple device that can be built by anyone.
By the 1950s, the magnetic amplifier
was not just an experimental dream
languishing in some
Nor was this ingenious
unexploited in patent
archives. The mag
amp was in manufacture in a number of
versions and had a clique
of boosters, including
many electronics engineers,
especially within the US Navy.