The Inventor of Stereo: The Life and Works of Alan Dower Blumlein

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Overview

This book is the definitive study of the life and works of one of Britain's most important inventors who, due to a cruel set of circumstances, has all but been overlooked by history.

Alan Dower Blumlein led an extraordinary life in which his inventive output rate easily surpassed that of Edison, but whose early death during the darkest days of World War Two led to a shroud of secrecy which has covered his life and achievements ever since.

His 1931 Patent for a Binaural Recording system was so revolutionary that most of his contemporaries regarded it at as more than 20 years ahead of its time. Even years after his death, the full magnitude of its detail had not been fully utilized. Among his 128 Patents are the principle electronic circuits critical to the development of the world's first electronic television system. During his short working life, Blumlein produced patent after patent breaking entirely new ground in electronic and audio engineering.

During the Second World War, Alan Blumlein was deeply engaged in the very secret work of radar development and contributed enormously to the system eventually to become 'H2S'- blind bombing radar. Tragically, during an experimental H2S flight in June 1942, the Halifax bomber in which Blumlein and several colleagues were flying, crashed and all aboard were killed. He was just days short of his 39th birthday.

For many years there have been rumours about a biography of Alan Blumlein, yet none has been forthcoming. This is the world's first study of a man whose achievements should rank among those of the greatest Britain has produced. This book provides detailed knowledge of every one of his patents and the process behind them, while giving an in depth study of the life and times of this quite extraordinary man.

Audience: Professionals in audio engineering, electrical engineering, TV engineering, radar development, electrical circuit and component development, aerial and dipole development, amateur radio and telecommunications.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'This book is the long-awaited biography of Alan Blumlein, a true genius. I highly recommend it. Pro sound engineers, design engineers and audiophiles will find it fascinating.'
Bruce Bartlett, Pro Audio Review

'Fascinating man, fascinating inventions, fascinating story behind the 30 year wait for a biography. We recommend you read it - our congratulations to the author.'
Everyday Practical Electronics, November 1999

'Thanks for the quick delivery of the Blumlein book, for which we have been waiting at least 25 years! ... In the audio community, every enthusiast will wish to own this book.'
Audio Amateur Incorporated, September 1999

'One of the most complete accounts of the development of Blumlein's invention. A fine tribute which must be considered a standard reference.'
Gramophone, 1999 Awards Issue

'Through extraordinary hard work, Alexander has now raised this man [Blumlein] from the dead.'
New Scientist, October 1999

'This is a 'must read' book ... I found it quite impossible to put down.'
Line Up, October/November 1999

'I recommend this book for all aspiring - and those of us in need of inspiring - engineers'
Studio Sound, December 1999

'The Inventor of Stereo reads at times like a spy novel, with Blumlein as one of the main characters... Engaging, enlightening and only slightly nerdy, The Inventor of Stereo is a fascinating and enjoyable read.'
Mix magazine, February 2000

'I sincerely doubt if anyone will ever better this book on the subject of Blumlein.'
405 Alive magazine, issue 43
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780240516288
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 3/20/2000
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 0.90 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 6.14 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Alexander
Robert Alexander
While he's already made a name for himself with his series of bestselling mysteries (written as R. D. Zimmerman), Robert Alexander has also written a trilogy of Russian historical novels (The Kitchen Boy, Rasputin's Daughter, The Romanov Bride) about the last days of Empire.

Biography

A devoted Russophile, Robert Alexander has studied at Leningrad State University, worked for the U.S. government, and traveled extensively throughout Russia. While he's already made a name for himself with his series of bestselling mysteries (written as R. D. Zimmerman), he has also written a well-received trilogy of Russian historical novels (The Kitchen Boy, Rasputin's Daughter, The Romanov Bride) about the last days of Empire.

Good To Know

In our interview, Alexander shared some fun and fascinating facts about himself with us:

"Most of my friends know: I'm much too outgoing to be living in quarantine, as I do (as any writer does). Most of my friends don't know: I can ride a unicycle, I can't balance my checkbook, I broke my back going over a ski jump, and I was once enrolled in Meats 104 and Beverage 111 at a prominent School of Hotel and Restaurants, which prompted me to drop out and start my first novel."

"What I would like to know about me from someone is, why do I keep going to Russia? I've been going there for 28 years, and it's definitely not a place to unwind. But it certainly is always interesting. And that's where I met my domestic partner, Lars, and we've now been together 25 years. And it's also where I met my business partner, Meri, and we've been in business now almost 14 years -- we have a customs clearance business and Barabu, a small chain of espresso/wine bars. And I always come up with some weird story idea over there. So maybe I just answered my own question.

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    1. Also Known As:
      R. D. Zimmerman, M. Masters
    2. Hometown:
      Minneapolis, Minnesota
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 23, 1952
    2. Place of Birth:
      Chicago, Illinois
    1. Education:
      B.A. in Russian Language and Creative Writing, Michigan State University, 1976

Table of Contents

Earliest Days; Telegraphy and Telephony; The Audio Patents; Television; EMI and the Television Commission; The High Definition Television Period; From Television to Radar; The Story of Radar Development; H2S - The Coming of Dentimetric Radar; The Loss of Halifax V9977; Legacy; To Goodrich Castle and Beyond; References; Patent chronology.

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