Ben H. Tongue and Blonder-Tongue Labs

Photo of Ben H. Tongue
Ben's first job after college (BSEE from Northeastern Univ. in 1945 and BSEE from Brooklyn Polytechnic Inst. in 1948) was as a jr. Engineer at Federal Telephone and Radio Corp. in Newark NJ.  The end of WW II and consequent US Government contract cancellations quickly ended that job. Employment was then obtained at Panoramic Radio Corp. from late1945 through late 1949, where he progressed from jr. to Chief Engineer.  He then co-founded Blonder-Tongue Labs with Isaac S. Blonder in early 1950.  That Company specialized in products related to TV reception and distribution in both home and commercial/educational environments He and Ike Blonder retired in 1989. The company continues operations under the new management at its plant in Old Bridge, NJ.  Ben is a Life Member of IEEE and Fellow in the Radio Club of America.  Blonder Tongue's Website

If you would like to see pictures of the first products Ben designed, in their entirety, at Panoramic Radio Corp, click here

Here are some early Blonder-Tongue Products to look at.
Electronic design by co-founder Ben H. Tongue.

This first Blonder-Tongue product was a low-noise, broadband, fixed-tuned 12 channel VHF TV booster amplifier that used four tubes. It employs a patented RF coupling circuit invented by Ben H. Tongue and was used to improve fringe area TV reception.  This unit and its successors were produced from 1950 through about 1960: Model HA-1L
Here is the first B-T UHF tube type converter housed in a plastic cabinet.  It was used to enable TV sets of its time to receive the then new UHF TV stations broadcasting on channels 14-83.  Various tubed and solid state B-T UHF converters for home use were in continuous production from 1952 through about 1980: Model BTU-2
Here is the 'Audio Baton', model B-9.  It was the first 'no-inductor' graphic audio equalizer for hi-fi and broadcast use.  The unit uses six vacuum tubes and an audio band-pass filter circuit invented and patented by Ben H. Tongue. Nine one-octave bands are individually controlled. Manufactured from about 1959 through 1961. Listen to the demo LP supplied with every B-9 here
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Patented Inventions by Ben H. Tongue*
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Patent #
Brief description
Product(s) using the invention
Thermorelay element - Invented by Ike Blonder
Wide band audio spectrum analyzer
Model AP-1, (mfg. by Panoramic Radio Corp), released in 1948
Wide band amplifying system for low noise fixed-tuned VHF TV boosters and MATV systems
HA1-L - This is the first product manufactured by B-T
Wide band amplifying system using a quadruple tuned circuit
AB-1, CA1-B, DA8-b, HA-2-M, HA-3
Cable attenuation equalizer circuit
LLE-1, ME-1, ME-2
Amplifier system
CS-1 and UC-1 - Plug-in channel amplifiers for MA4-1
Wide band neutralized radio frequency amplifier
MLA, first version
Multi-signal electric system
MA4-1 - Combiner for CS-1 and UC-1 channelized products
High frequency transmission line coupling network
MDC-2 Two port hybrid splitter for VHF TV
Neutralized amplifier system
not used
Tunable elecrrical circuit elements
BTU-2, BTC-99 home-type UHF TV Converters
Neutralization of a pentode using the supressor grid
MCS single channel VHF amplifier, Hot-Shot VHF single channel amp, Powerhouse, high output VHF broadband amp. covering channels 2-13.
Wide band distribution amplifier system for VHF TV signals
DA2-1-M, DA8-1-M Two and eight output VHF dist. amps.
Amplitude stabilizer oscillating circuit (crystal oscillator)
Balanced mixer
MLC (converts any Low band VHF channel to another)
Transmission line tapoff,
MIT-4 (low insertion loss & good backmatch)
Transmission line & method of making same
A-102, A-104 signal splitters for feeding several TV sets
Electronic tuned circuit using one triode and no physical inductor
B-9 Audio Baton vacuum tube audio EQ
Coupling reducing apparatus
MLA-b, BT-3, HAB, AB-3
Electron tube stabilized amplifier (neutralize a shielded-grid tube)
BTU-2T home-type UHF TV Converter
Phase shift reducing apparatus (audio amp inverse feedback)
not used
System for wide-band neutralization
not used
Unilateralized transistor relay system
not used
Transistor power supply configuration, minimizes distortion
BT-3, Very early Broadband VHF MATV transistorized amplifier
Tunnel diode converter systems
BTD-44 home-type UHF converter using a tunnel diode powered by a single D cell
Balanced to unbalanced impedance transformer
BTX-111, BTC-999 and BT-666 solid-state home-type UHF TV converters
Wide band transistor amplifier (inductive coupled emitter feedback)
Many broadband VHF transistor amplifier products
Wide band low distortion alternating curent amplifier
not used
Broadband aperiodic attenuator apparatus
not used
Constant resistance adjustable slope equalizer
not used
* means 'Invention by someone other than Ben H. Tongue'

Some early Blonder-Tongue product literature**
Product Name
Patent(s) used
A-102, A-104 passive signal splitters for feeding several TVs from one antenna
A-1 - 10 Watt HI-Fi audio amplifier/preamp
BT3 - Very early transistorized VHF TV amplifier for MATV
B-9, Audio Baton graphic equalizer. Listen to the LP supplied with every Blonder-Tongue Audio Baton here
BTD-44, UHF Converter using a tunnel diode, powered by one D cell
BTU-2, the first B-T tuneable UHF converters for home use
CA-1B, broadband amplifier, second version, for use in MATV systems. The patents were used in many other B-T VHF broadband amps.
2,710,314 2,710,315
HA1-L, first catalog sheets for the first B-T product
MCA, VHF TV strip amplifier; first production version
MLA-b, Second version, broadband VHF TV amp, channels 2-13
PVM, Projection Video Monitor
TVC-1B, First vacuum tube B-T vidicon TV camera and TV monitors
TTVC-1, B-T's first Transistorized TV camera
U-Boost, UHF TV booster tuneable from channel 14-83
* means 'Invention by someone other than Ben H. Tongue'
**To view some of these documents, one must be able to read .doc documents (Microsoft Word) and Adobe (.pdf) files. Some documents are fairly large, please be patient. Some documents are multi-paged - Scroll down to view them.


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Published: 07/10/1999;  Revised: 10/22/2011