Saturday, March 24, 2007

Tom Kneitel - almost everyone has heard of him. He was my hero in the 60's-70's because of his column in S9 Magazine, where he let loose on a variety of subjects, and didn't pull any punches.
From S9, I backtracked him to a brief stint with CB Horizons Magazine, and before that, Popular Electronics and Electronics Illustrated in the 50's. When 11m CB became official in 1958, he began writing about it (as did Don Stoner) and you could tell he was enthusiastic about the new band.

But what else do we know about "Tomcat"?
Well, for starters, Tom was born on January 28, 1933 in Brooklyn, New York, and he married his wife, Judy, in 1961. As we all know, communications was his passion - from Popular Electronics, CB Horizons, S9 Magazine, S9 CB Radio Magazine (when CB Magazine folded their subscribers were drafted into the ranks of S9 readers), and then when CB began to die off, the magazine re-invented itself into Popular Communications, which covered a variety of topics related to radio communication. Unfortunately, only a few pages were devoted to CB.

An early "Tomcat" Article


Tom Kneitel is the grandson of Max Fleischer (animated cartoon producer), the son of Seymour Kneitel who was an animator and Director (he drew some of the Popeye images and directed the Baby Huey Show, and Casper the Friendly Ghost and others as well), and the nephew of Director Richard Fleischer (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Fantastic Voyage) so, while Tom chose communications, it's now easy to see how he came about his cartoon drawing talent in S9 Magazine. His mother, Ruth, wrote several uncredited scripts for some cartoons as well. Tom also wrote several films for the U.S. Army Signal Corps. Judy and Tom had a total of seven children. In the early 70's he and his wife Judy were briefly in charge of a WICCA "Coven" under the names "Theos" (Judy) and "Phoenix" (Tom). There's not a lot of information about the Coven and I don't really know much more than that, regardless, that information does not diminish my respect and admiration for all that Tom has done for 2-way radio communications.

Besides magazine articles, Tom is an accomplished author, having written many books. Here's a listing of just some of them...

  1. Air Scan Guide to Aeronautical Communications

  2. Tomcat's Big CB Handbook: Everything They Never Told You

  3. 103 simple transistor projects

  4. National directory of survival radio frequencies

  5. CBers' SSB handbook (my favorite)

  6. Radio Station Treasury 1900-1946

  7. Air-scan directory of aero band scanner frequencies

  8. 101 Easy Audio Projects (Hardcover)

  9. Rail-scan directory of railroad scanner frequencies

  10. The "top secret" registry of U.S. Government radio frequencies: 25 to 470 MHZ


  12. Directory of U. S. Army Forts, Camps, and Airfields 1789 to 1945

  13. Electronic circuits handbook


Just to name a few of them.


The CBer's SSB Handbook, from the mid-70's is one of my all time favorite books to read. I came across this book by accident, in the early 80's when I was killing some time at a local parts store. In the back they had some books marked "Clearance" and of course the title of the book and it's author caught my eye immediately - I had to own it! I liked it so much that I've bought several copies of it so when my 4Sale page is activated, I'll have them listed in the book section. I just recently picked up another used copy, signed by Tomcat himself! Where is he now? Tom has retired and currently lives in Florida (strange, how both he and Don Stoner retired to the same State).


Well, this is where the information ends. I hope I've given you a good look at Tom, as well as at least a couple things you didn't know until reading this article.

'Nuff Said





  1. I just won some old issues of CB magazine on ebay. The Febuary 1964 is VOL.1 Number 1. Whats interesting is that it's addressed to : Tom Kneital 300 W 43rd Ave.

    Could this be the same person? It's spelled with an "A".

    I've enjoyed the CB Gazette for over 10 years! Crazybob.

  2. Yes, Larry Van Horn (not to be confused with Keith Van Horn) has reported on his blog that Tom has passed. The hobby lost two great ones within a month...TomCat and Gene Hughes.

  3. Having grown up in the 60's 70's I was part of the CB craze. S9 was located at 300 W 43rd St. I lived on W.28th St. In NYC. Tom kneitel always took a moment to answer a question or just say HI when I would go to their office.
    S9 was my big event. Running to the local Candy Store & News Stand to get the latest copy.
    I admired Tom's ideas & great writings. His issuing Un Official SWL Call Signs. His many cirtificates from S9 Magazine.
    You will be truly missed.
    73's my Good Buddy,
    Lenny Waller