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C. L. Stong

Cresco, PA
United States

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Stong, Clair L.     (Easy Link:

Interests: Electrostatics
Nationality: USA
Born: Friday, March 28, 1902
Died: Thursday, December 1, 1977 (Age 75)

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1960The Amateur Scientist


In 1955 C.L. Stong began editing The Amateur Scientist column in Scientific American. Stong was an electrical engineer from 1926 to 1962 for Westinghouse. He extended the column, frequently peppering it with extremely sophisticated projects including home-built lasers and atom smashers. Many working professional scientists say that they first got hooked on science through Stong's amazing columns. One of the activities Strong promoted during the International Geophysical Year was a program for amateur astronomers called Operation Moonwatch. It involved the tracking of satellites by amateurs.

In 1960 Stong compiled a book titled The Amateur Scientist, (Simon and Schuster) the only collection of articles that has ever been published from this column prior to Carlson's complete CD-collection (see below). However, limited to paper and ink, Stong could only fit in 57 projects. Despite being only a partial anthology, never being advertised in Scientific American, and appearing long before the rise of home schooling, Stong's book was reviewed in New Scientist as "most fascinating" and sold well. It went out of print in 1972 and is much sought-after today by amateur scientists and collectors.

Books by Clair L. Stong

View count: 290
The Amateur Scientist

by C. L. Stong

Pages: 584
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Year: 1960

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"Experimenters...can procure a speck of radioactive material...must enclose...self-addressed envelope"! This a footnote in the chapter that explains how to build your own cloud chamber with dry ice and a plungers. My uncle gave me this incredible book long ago that explains how to build an x-ray machine, generate more than 100'000 volts, create a computer with relays, build earthquake detector, etc. Yes, all of this can be found on the internet but only this book of articles from Scientific American from 1952 to 1960 will bring you back into those innocent times. - amazon
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