Harold Beverage

Harold Beverage
Born 14 October 1893
North Haven, ME
Died 27 January 1993(1993-01-27) (aged 99)
Port Jefferson, NY
Residence Stony Brook, NY
Nationality American
Fields Electrical engineering
Institutions RCA
Alma mater University of Maine
Notable awards IEEE Medal of Honor (1945)

Harold Henry "Bev" Beverage (October 14, 1893 – January 27, 1993) is perhaps most widely known today for his invention and development of the wave antenna, which came to be known as the Beverage antenna and which for the last few decades has seen a resurgence in use within the amateur radio and broadcast DXing hobbyist communities. Less widely known (outside of the community of science history researchers) is that Bev was a pioneer of radio engineering and his engineering research paralleled the development of radio transmission technology throughout his professional career with significant contributions not only in the field of radio frequency antennas but also radio frequency propagation and systems engineering.


Harold Beverage was born on October 14, 1893, in North Haven, Maine, to Fremont Beverage and his wife, Lottie Smith. He received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maine in 1915, and went to work for General Electric Company the following year as a radio-laboratory assistant to Dr. Ernst Alexanderson. In 1920, he was placed in charge of developing receivers for transoceanic communications at the Radio Corporation of America in Riverhead, New York. Three years later, at the age of 30, he received the IRE Morris N. Liebmann Memorial Prize "for his work on directional antennas."

RCA named Beverage chief research engineer of communications in 1929, a position he held until 1940. At that time, he was promoted to vice president in charge of research and development at RCA Communications Inc., a subsidiary of the Radio Corporation of America. Beverage retired in 1958 from that position and as director of radio research, but continued to work in communications as a consultant.

In 1938, the Radio Club of America presented him with its Armstrong Medal for his work in the development of antenna systems. The Beverage antenna, the citation said, was "the precursor of wave antennas of all types." Beverage was awarded the IRE Medal of Honor in 1945, "In recognition of his achievements in radio research and invention, of his practical applications of engineering developments that greatly extended and increased the efficiency of domestic and world-wide radio communications and of his devotion to the affairs of the Institute of Radio Engineers." In awarding him its AIEE Lamme Medal in 1956 the American Institute of Electrical Engineers cited him "for his pioneering and outstanding engineering achievements in the conception and application of principles basic to progress in national and worldwide radio communications."

Beverage died on January 27, 1993, at the John T. Mather Hospital in Port Jefferson, L.I. He was 99, and lived in Stony Brook, New York.

List of patents

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