T. O'Conor Sloane

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T. O'Conor Sloane c.1928

Thomas O'Conor Sloane (November 21, 1851 – August 7, 1940) was the editor of Amazing Stories from 1929 through 1938. In that year, publisher Ziff-Davis bought the magazine and moved its production to Chicago, naming Raymond A. Palmer as Sloane's successor.

Life and career[edit]

Sloane was involved with Amazing Stories from the very beginning, serving as Hugo Gernsback's managing editor. His own role in the magazine production grew and in 1929, he was named editor. Shortly after, in an editorial, he wrote that he believed that man would never achieve spaceflight. Nevertheless, he published first stories by luminaries such as Jack Williamson, John W. Campbell, Jr., Clifford D. Simak, and E.E. "Doc" Smith.

It is thought that Sloane collaborated with Gernsback in originating the term scientifiction which was superseded by science fiction to describe this genre, as suggested in part by the first issue of Amazing Stories.[1]

Sloane was the author of The Standard Electrical Dictionary, first published in 1892, as well as How to become a Successful Electrician, Arithmetic of Electricity, Electricity Simplified, Electric Toy Making, Speed and Fun with Figures, Fortunes in Formulas, Motion Picture Projection, Liquid Air and the Liquefaction of Gases and numerous others; including a translation into English of Saint Francis of Assisi: A Biography written by Johannes Jorgensen. Sloane was also a prodigious contributor to many and various scientific and other publications such as the Encyclopedia Britannica, Alden's Cyclopedia and The Catholic Encyclopedia.

Sloane was the editor of Scientific American and The Experimenter, an associate editor of Science and Invention and served on the editorial staff of several more popular periodicals such as Everyday Engineering Magazine.

Sloane, an 1872 graduate of Columbia University, where he earned his Ph.D. in 1876, was a professor of natural sciences at Seton Hall University and held an A.M., an E.M., and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering, as well as an LL.D.

Sloane's best known invention was the Self-Recording Photometer for Gas Power – the first instrument to record mechanically on an index card the illuminating power of gas.[2] In 1877, he described a new process for determining sulphur in natural gas.

Sloane died in 1940 in New York City.

Sloane's son, John Eyre Sloane, an airplane factory owner, was married to Thomas Alva Edison's daughter Madeleine in 1914; their four sons were Edison's only grandchildren.[3]


  1. ^ "A New Sort of Magazine", Amazing Stories: The Magazine of Scientifiction, Gernsback, Hugo, and T. O'Conor Sloane, eds., issue 1, page 3, April 1926.
  2. ^ The New York Times, et al.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ Davis & Sanford (August 8, 1940). "Dr. T.O'C. Sloane, Scientist, Author". The New York Times. p. 19.  Inventor of the Self-Recording Photometer for Gas Power Dies in South Orange. Wrote Technical Books. Ex-Associate Editor of Science and Invention Translated Foreign Works as Hobby.

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