Fritz Langford-Smith

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Fritz Langford-Smith
Born (1904-06-29)June 29, 1904
Sydney, Australia
Died December 3, 1966(1966-12-03) (aged 62)
Sydney, Australia
Occupation Electrical Engineer, Author, Editor
Genre Handbook, Science book, Scientific paper
Notable works Radiotron Designer's Handbook, Radiotronics (editor)
Spouse Dulcie Elizabeth Langford-Smith

Fritz Langford-Smith (29 June 1904 – 3 December 1966) was an Australian electrical engineer.[1][2][3] He was the author of the classic engineering reference Radiotron Designer's Handbook. He was heavily involved in the science of communication and engineering research in England and in Australia. He was a long-term editor of the journal Radiotronics (1935–1950).

Education and career[edit]

Langford-Smith received a Bachelor of Science (BSc) from the University of Sydney in 1926. In 1928, he received a Bachelor of Engineering (BE) also from the UoS.

From 1929 to 1932, he was an engineer at Cosmos Lamp Works in the UK. From 1932 to 1956, he worked as an engineer at AWA (Amalgamated Wireless Australasia) Valve Co. From 1956 to 1963 he was an engineer with the English Electrical Co. in the UK.

From 1935 to 1950 he was editor of Radiotronics.[4]

Radiotron Designer's Handbook[edit]

Fritz Langford-Smith was the author of Radiotron Designer's Handbook (or Radio Designer's Handbook) which was often called the "bible" of vacuum tubes and their circuits due to its sheer size and complete scope[5][6] It was also sometimes known as "the big red book" due to its bright-red leather cover.[7] It was first published 1934 and revised until 1967.

Although currently in print as a facsimile of the 1957 edition, various editions of the book have also been scanned and are freely available on the Internet.[8]


Honorary Member of the Society[which?] in 1959 for his Radiotron Designer's Handbook for "its importance in the education of a generation of audio engineers."[citation needed]


  • Tone compensation in broadcast receivers. Radio Review of Australia, 4(7) (July 1936), 6-12.
  • Power output systems (Abstract). Radio Review of Australia, 4(12) (December 1936), 18.
  • The relationship between the power output stage and the loudspeaker. World Radio Convention. Proceedings. (Sydney, 1938), paper no.24; A.W.A. Technical Review, 4 (1939), 199-223.
  • The Radiotron Designer's Handbook. Sydney: Amalgamated Wireless Valve Co./Harrison, N.J.: Radio Corporation of America, 1934. (2nd edition) Sydney: Amalgamated Wireless Valve Co./Harrison, N.J.: Radio Corporation of America, 1935. 58pp. (3rd edition) Sydney: Amalgamated Wireless Valve Co./Harrison, N.J.: Radio Corporation of America, 1940. 352pp. Also published as Radio Designer's Handbook. London: Wireless World, 1940.


  1. ^ "Langford-Smith, F. (Fritz) (1904-)". NLA Trove. Retrieved November 18, 2013. 
  2. ^ R. W. Home (editor) (1990). "LANGFORD-SMITH, Fritz". Physics In Australia To 1945. Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Melbourne and the National Centre for Australian Studies, Melbourne. Retrieved November 18, 2013. 
  3. ^ McCarthy, G. J. (20 October 1993). "Langford-Smith, Fritz (1904 - 1966)". Encyclopedia of Australian Science. University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre. Retrieved November 18, 2013. 
  4. ^ Peter Ward (June 24, 2013). "Valve Technical History" (PDF). electron Tube Data sheets. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 18, 2013. Retrieved November 18, 2013. 
  5. ^ Vacuum Tube Valley (Issues 8-12). Charles Kittleson. 1997. p. 18. Retrieved November 18, 2013. 
  6. ^ Radio-electronics (Volume 24, Issues 7-12). Radcraft Publications. 1953. p. 161. Retrieved November 18, 2013. 
  7. ^ Aspen Pittman (2003). The Tube Amp Book. The Tube Amp Book. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 230 ("RDH4"). Retrieved November 18, 2013. 
  8. ^ Radiotron Designers Handbook, 1954 edition. Free scanned book at Internet Archive.

External links[edit]