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A. Frederick Collins

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A. Frederick Collins
BornArchie Frederick Collins
January 08, 1869
South Bend, Indiana
DiedJanuary 3, 1952 (age 82)
Nyack, New York
CategoriesBooks by A. Frederick Collins

A. Frederick Collins (1869-1952) wrote The Book of Magic for the general public in 1916.


Collins was an early experimenter in wireless telephony and a prolific author of books and articles on a wide range of scientific and technical subjects.

He began writing for the technical pres about wireless telegraphy and telephony and other scientific topics in 1901. He wrote articles about wireless telephony for Electrical World, Scientific American, Encyclopedia Americana, and other encyclopedias. He wrote a great many technical articles and books on wireless telegraphy and wireless telephony in the first decade of the 20th century. He wrote about 100 books on scientific and technical subjects, hobbies, and sports, and over 500 articles in technical and scientific magazines and journals, well into the 1940's.

He wrote scientific adventure series novels such as "Jack Heaton, Wireless Operator(1919)" which told of the training and adventures of a 15 year old wireless amateur. Many of his books, such as "The Boy Scientist," (1925) had lots of illustrations and few equations, with an emphasis on "hands-on" experimentation, at a level intended for high school students. After discussing the "Einstein Theory," Collins tells his readers how to build a spectroscope, a radio, and a x-ray machine for home experimentation. Collins encouraged his readers to use their home-built x-ray machine to examine their own bone structure with a fluoroscope.

Stock Fraud

Collins toured the United States. putting on demonstrations and selling stock in the Collins Wireless Telephone Co. The company had a small shop in Newark. New Jersey. In December, 1909 Collins Wireless Telephone Company became a part of the Continental Wireless Tel. & Tel. Company, with Collins as Technical Director.

The stock prospectus promised A Collins wireless telephone was to be installed in each Continental station. None were installed.

In December, 1911 four officers of the Continental Wireless Co. were indicted for using the mail to defraud in selling worthless stock. Collins was charged with giving a fraudulent demonstration of his wireless telephone on Oct. 14, 1909 at the Electrical Show in Madison Square Garden, New York, for the purpose of selling stock in the Collins Wireless Telephone Co.

Collins was sentenced to three years in jail in Atlanta. After serving one year he was released. He went on to write an amazing number of books on a variety of subjects such as electricity, wireless, astronomy and many other topics.


  • The Book of Wireless
  • The Book of Stars
  • The Book of Electricty
  • The Book of Magic (1915)


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