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Philip Ray Coursey

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Philip Ray Coursey (1892 - 1960) was an electronic engineer specialising in capacitor design, fabrication and their application. He was also a respected technical author and, in the early days of radio in the United Kingdom, a prominent amateur radio operator.

Born: 7th May 1892.

Educated at University College, London, he was awarded Diploma in Electrical Engineering with Distinction, graduating with first-class Honours in Electrical Engineering from the University of London. He subsequently acted as Assistant to Dr. J. A. Fleming, F.R.S., at University College.

From 1915-18 served as Inspector of Wireless Telegraph Apparatus for the Admiralty; afterwards appointed to the staff of H.M. Signal School, Portsmouth, as Research Physicist.

A long-time employee of The Dubilier Condenser Co. Ltd., he variously held the roles of Research Engineer, Chief Engineer (1922-) and Technical Director (1931-). He retired from the company in 1957.

A prominent member of the amateur radio fraternity, he held the pre-WWI call sign GYX, later operating as 2JK and G5AT[1] An early member of The Wireless Society of London and its successor organisation, the Radio Society of Great Britain, he joined the Committee in 1920 and became Honorary Secretary in 1924. He was a driving force behind the "Transatlantic tests" that saw the first communication between radio amateurs in the United Kingdom and the United States during the years 1921 - 1926. [2][3]

He was the author of many papers on Radio telegraphy and telephony, read before a number of Societies, and was the Assistant Editor for the early radio journal Radio Review: A Monthly Record of Scientific Progress in Radiotelegraphy and Telephony between October 1919 and March 1922. When the periodical was absorbed by Wireless World in 1922, he became the Research Editor for that publication (until 1925). He also authored several books during his career: Telephony without Wires (1919), The Radio Experimenter's Handbook (1922), The Wireless Telephone (1922), How to Build Amateur Valve Stations (1923) and the monographs Electrical Condensers their construction, design and industrial uses (1927) and Electrolytic Condensers their Properties, Design and Practical Uses (1937,1939). He was granted a number of patents on condenser (capacitor) design and construction.

He was a member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers from 1910, initially as a student before being elected associate member in 1918 and full member in 1926. He was also a member of the Royal Institution of Great Britain, sometime associate member of the Institute of Radio Engineers, New York, and a Fellow of the Physical Society of London.


Died: 3rd January 1960

See Also

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Sources of Information

Who's Who in Wireless Telegraphy, 1925

(1960) Obituary. J. Inst. of Electrical Engineers. 60(63):179

  1. Clarricoats, John. (1967). World at their Fingertips. London: Radio Society of Great Britain. p.15; p.85.
  2. (2013). Transatlantic Tests. How amateur radio first spanned the Atlantic - not always entirely legally - reproduced from the research of Philip Coursey in 1921-1926." RadCom. 89(7): 62-65.
  3. Clarricoats, John. (1967). World at their Fingertips. London: Radio Society of Great Britain. pp. 62-72.