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RALPH SLADE 1908 - 1965


Ralph Slade, who is commemorated in the Slade Memorial Lecture held annually by the New Zealand Electronics Institute, was not only one of New Zealands radio pioneers, but one who played a major role in the growth of this countrys electronics industry.

While still at school in Timaru in 1921, Ralph Slade was the first New Zealander to log the reception in this country of American radio amateurs. This was on 150 metres.

He started as a cadet in the Dunedin Post Office in 1922.

In 1924 he was the first to hear signals from a first-year student, Cecil Goyder 2SZ, in London. He alerted Frank Bell 4AA of the possibility of communication with England. Frank Bell, who had a better antenna, made the first two-way contact on 92 metres 24 hours before Ralph Slade 4AG. Later Ralph Slade became the first to establish two way phone contact with England, previous communication having used Morse.

In 1929, Ralph Slade joined the emerging New Zealand branch of the world wide electronics firm of Philips, whose developing activities in the engineering field suited his enterprising spirit.

In Wellington in 1931, at the time of the Napier earthquake, he maintained a round-the-clock contact both sending and receiving, with Mr W.M. Dawson at the scene.

At the beginning of World War II, everything electronic for the armed services in New Zealand was imported. Lack of supplies from overseas meant local production so the Government set up a committee with all local manufacturers represented.

Combining the best features of several prototypes resulted in New Zealands famous ZC1 set. As the Ministry of Supply now needed a Controller of Radio Production, Ralph Slade was seconded for the job. The controllers duties were of the highest importance in the countrys war effort in radio and Ralph Slades energetic approach to the problems of organising resources and finding components for ZC1s and other productions played a large part in the industrys successful response to the demands of war.

Ralph Slade returned to Philips in 1946 to grapple with the problems of post-war reconstruction. In 1954 EDAC (Electronic Development and Applications Company) was formed with Ralph Slade as Managing Director, a position he held until his premature death in 1965.

Ralph Slade was a Foundation Member of the New Zealand Electronics Institute and one of the fifteen signatories to the original application for its incorporation in 1949. To pay honour to this pioneer in electronics in New Zealand, the Institute inaugurated the annual Slade Memorial Lecture to perpetuate the memory of his contribution to the industry. Each year a speaker of established reputation was invited to address the profession on some topic of the speaker's own choice related to developments in electronics.


 

NZEI RALPH SLADE MEMORIAL LECTURES

 

Year

Title
(Click on title to view the lecture)

Presenter

1966

Television Receiver Circuit Development
(Copy not available - Contact secretary@nzelectronics.org.nz if you have access to a copy we could upload)

JJ Howe

1968

An Era in Radio Communications
(Copy not available - Contact secretary@nzelectronics.org.nz if you have access to a copy we could upload)

TR Clarkson

1969

From Cats-Whisker to Computers
(Copy not available - Contact secretary@nzelectronics.org.nz if you have access to a copy we could upload)

Prof JB Earnshaw

1970

The Electronics Industry in New Zealand - A Stocktaking FL Fuller

1971

Tools for the Climate Change Industry 
(Copy requires further editing - Contact secretary@nzelectronics.org.nz if you have access to a copy we could use to correct scanning omissions)
Dr KJ Mitchell

1973

The University/Industry Interface - The Flow of Science or People
(Copy not available - Contact secretary@nzelectronics.org.nz if you have access to a copy we could upload)

Prof L Kay

1974

The Role of Electronics in Industry JS Gordon

1975

Development of an Electronics Industry Dr MC Probine

1976

The Late Ralph Slade - Half a Century of Radio & Electronics in New Zealand
(Copy not available - Contact secretary@nzelectronics.org.nz if you have access to a copy we could upload)
BT Withers

1977

Missionary Efforts in Sharing Knowledge - The Ordinary Persons Satellite(Copy not available - Contact secretary@nzelectronics.org.nz if you have access to a copy we could upload) TM Kimble

1978

A New Zealand Perspective on Broadcasting Technology K Richardson

1979

Monitoring Earth Resources from Space - Now and in the Future
(Copy not available - Contact secretary@nzelectronics.org.nz if you have access to a copy we could upload)
Dr P Ellis

1980

The Electronic Plateau Prof JF Duncan OBE

1981

The Electronics Industry - A Particular View AM Tait

1982

Electronics at the Crossroads RA Morris

1983

A Background to the Electronics Industry Prof HA Whale

1984

Communications - The Electronic Explosion in Harness GT McPherson

1985

Electronic Design for the '90s MH Allardice

1986

Technology and the Economy - Where We Are Dr DJ Barnes

1987

Can New Zealand Have a Silicon Valley After the Beatty Report? Dr The Hon I Shearer

1988

Satellite Communications Prof CA Franklin

1989

 Publicity for Electronics BS Furby

1990

Telecomms Development in the Smaller South Pacific Nations R Motion

1991

Computers That Talk - New Development and Application Dr RP Smith

1992

A Satellite Network Project - Development and Application P Williams

1993

(Title unknown and copy not available - Contact secretary@nzelectronics.org.nz if you know the title and/or have access to a copy we could upload) Dr M Collins

1994

A Flood of New Opportunities
(Copy not available - Contact secretary@nzelectronics.org.nz if you have access to a copy we could upload)
D Hollander

1995

A Background in Technology at a High Level is Necessary for the Country to Prosper    Prof HA Whale

1996

Engineering Radar in the Second World War EH Hitchcock

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