Object Record

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Accession number 2003-1
Catalog Number 2003-1-604
Collection Perham Collection of Early Electronics
Object Name Tube, Vacuum
Title Heintz & Kaufman VT-158 "Zahl" Tube
Description "Zahl" radar tube manufactured by Heintz & Kaufman. Invented in 1940 by Major Harold Zahl during World War II for use in detecting small planes. The radar tube was modified in 1943 as the essential component of a light assult type radar that could be airlifted to a battle zone and then hand-carried to the front. Zahl became director of the Army's Research and Development Laboratories in Ft. Monmouth, N.J.

According to "The Secret Tube that Changed The War" (Popular Electronics, March 1964), "the radically new tube -- four triodes in parallel with tuned plate and grid lines to make it an oscillator -- marked a point of departure for modern tube designs containing resonant circuitry within the tube." The Americans managed to keep it a secret from the Germans for the duration of the war.

The tube -- designated the VT-158 -- was manufactured in mass quantities during the war by Eitel-McCullough, Inc. as well as Heintz & Kaufman.
Artist Heintz & Kaufman, Ltd.
Dimensions W-7 L-8.5 Dia-4 inches
Credit line Perham Collection of Early Electronics