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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

McMurdo Silver -- A Man with The Knack

In the latest podcast I talked about McMurdo Silver. I noted that many radio pioneers (and many modern-day radio wizards) have very strong and distinctive names. This guy's name is clearly in that category. Here is a 1929 bio on OM McMurdo:

And here is some additional info. From http://hhscott.com/e_h_scott_2.htm:

E.H. Scott had several competitors. The most significant among them was a dashing young genius named McMurdo Silver. Silver was a continuous contributor to technical articles to Radio News magazine (the predecessor of Popular Electronics) throughout the 1930's. He was a polo player, gun collector, and is said to have been quite a bon vivant. Formerly the president of Silver-Marshall, Inc., he set up the McMurdo Silver Corp. and began building custom high-fidelity receivers in competition with Scott.

While good, his receivers were never quite the equal of Scott’s. One of Silver’s most famous owners was Dr. Lee DeForest, inventor of the vacuum tube. DeForest owned a Silver Masterpiece V and praised it in the final chapters of his autobiography. Throughout the 1930s, Scott’s and Silver’s advertisements would do battle trying to “one up” the other’s in technical achievement. Features were stolen and lawsuits initiated. Finally, Scott won the battle and bought out the failing Silver in 1940. Scott then introduced a new, bottom-of-the-line receiver and designated it as the Scott Masterpiece. I do not know if the gesture was meant as a tribute to his archenemy or to rub salt in the wounds. Silver eventually committed suicide in 1947.

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  1. McMurdo Silver. Sounds like an early 70s soft rock band.

    But let's not leave out Philo. You know, Philo T. Farnsworth. The man essentially responsible for "Jersey Shore". :-)

    73 from somewhere northwest of Television City.......Steve Smith WB6TNL
    "Snort Rosin'

  2. Did you mean to type "Silver Masterpiece" instead of Scott Masterpiece. Doesn't seem to make sense otherwise.


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