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New Photo of John T. Frye


Reader George Cohn sent me a photo of John T. Frye that I had not seen before. It’s from the May, 1948 issue of Radio News, which contained the second installment of his very long-running “Mac’s Service Shop” column. Assuming the photo was recent when published, Frye would have been 38.

For those who don’t recognize his name, John T. Frye was the author of the Carl & Jerry educational stories from Popular Electronics, “Phone Phunnies” from QST, and a whole metric passel of other things in other places, including two books on tube-era radio servicing that from what I can tell have passed into the public domain. See my article on Frye and his creations Carl & Jerry. I republished all 119 stories in five books several years ago (plus one new storyI wrote myself, and another one from the late George Ewing WA8WTE) and they’re still selling. Frye was a paraplegic who never walked, and how he did what he did in his life is one of the great success stories of disabled people who just didn’t let anything get them down. Legs? We don’t need no steenking legs!


  1. Tom R. says:

    Jeff, I bought your five Carl and Jerry books as soon as I learned about them and have read most of the stories over again — thanks for the memories!

    I also remember a column in what was probably “Radio Electronics” that might have been Mac’ Service Shop or its sequel. The only story I remember was about the “Ham Club” in the back room with a picture of a ham and a club on the door. That issue would probably date from sometime in the 1960’s.

    I never saw Phone Phunnies in QST, but my oldest issue was from when I was first licensed in about 1962 or perhaps latter.

    1. “Phone Phunnies” was a short-lived short feature in QST, from the midlate 1940s, I think 1946 or 47, certainly pre-1950. I don’t have the issues in my collection here.

  2. Bob Fegert says:

    It’s amazing what he was able to accomplish even though he had such a serious disability. His story makes one want to stand and cheer.

    Makes me feel pretty pathetic in comparison….

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