Saturday, April 9, 2011

Things I really miss.

Heathkit. This one hurts with a sharp pang. In the 60's, 70's, 80's, there was a company out there, with a very slick catalog, that could address anyones creative urges.

I know they were around since the 50's as far as the electronics go.
Wikipedia informs me that they have been around since 1912.
But they were pretty much a staple in my life.
I had dreams of building every single project in their catalog.
Building my own electronics, learning what the projects were that I didn't understand.
I ordered a tachometer, and a transistorized grid dip meter.
I had no understanding of what they were, or how they worked.
At 12 years old, I had little understanding of 95% of the projects functions.
I reasoned that building the kits would enhance my understanding of electronics.
Anyone else than HeathKit and I'd usually get a board, components, and instructions on how to put them together. Alignment and adjustment instructions were usually a bonus.
Heathkit invariably explained why and how it worked.
I got a 1982 ARRL book on becoming a Ham Radio Experimenter. The pictures of the HeathKit items were nostalgic and heartbreaking.

There was once something bright, shiny, and wonderful, out there...
And the modern world that we find ourselves in,
Just allowed it to slip away from us.

Update: Drew Allen Kaplan of DAK Industries fame, is still kicking! YAY!


KurtP said...

My dad used to get those catalogs.
Whenever my 10 yr old butt wanted something from there, I was told I'd have to earn it.
Ny the time I done done 'earning' it- dad would have 'forgotten' what I wanted, and I'd have to do extra again- If I wanted it that badly.

I learmed about the Liberal way very early.

John B said...

I never asked Dad's permission. I just mowed the lawns, and sent in the money orders. He still winces when anything arrives with the word "Electronics" in the return address.

North said...

Oddly this is the second time in a week I've though about missing Heathkit!