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Herman A. Affel

Coaxial Cable

U.S. Patent No. 1,835,031
Inducted in 2006
Born Aug. 4, 1893 - Died Oct. 13, 1972

Herman Affel and Lloyd Espenschied invented coaxial cable at AT&T Bell Telephone Laboratories in 1929. The coaxial cable opened a wide spectrum of frequencies for long distance telephone service, making it possible to carry thousands of simultaneous phone calls on long distance circuits.

Affel was born in Brooklyn, New York and studied electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. As a consultant to Bell Labs, Affel worked with Espenschied devising efficient means to carry high frequencies needed for broadband communications systems. Affel and Espenschied created a transmission system using a coaxial conductor, consisting of two concentric cylinders of conducting material separated by air. This structure reduced frequency losses and prevented outside interference.

Broadband coaxial cable created a higher capacity for local and long distance circuits. During his career at Bell Labs, Affel worked with other engineers to combine coaxial cable with microwave relays, making high-volume transcontinental telephone and television transmission signals possible. He earned several other patents for electronic devices, including advanced transmitters and innovative antennas.

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