Maxwell K. Goldstein


Maxwell K. Goldstein
Maxwell K. Goldstein
Death date
Associated organizations
Naval Research Laboratory, Balco Research Laboratories
Fields of study


Maxwell Karl Goldstein received a B.E. at the Johns Hopkins University in 1930 and four later received his doctorate degree in electrical engineering after defending his dissertation on "The Development of a Duplex Triple Grid Tube with External Control of Its Characteristics." He subsequently joined the Air Navigation Development Board in 1935-37, helping develop automatic remote indicating systems for antiaircraft gun control apparatus at the U.S. Army Air Force's Wright Field near Riverside, Ohio, USA. Over the next two years he Air continued these developments and their applications to civil aviation with the Navigation Development Board of the Department of Commerce's Civil Aeronautics Authority.

In 1939 he joined the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) and during World War II was put in charge of its Radio Direction Finder Section, which was essential to making HF/DF detection of German U-boats as practical as and more effective than shipboard radar during the Battle of the Atlantic. After the war, in 1947, Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal awarded Goldstein the Distinguished Civilian Service Award "for distinguished contributions to the Naval Service in developing high-frequency direction finding as a vital weapon for combating the German submarine menace during the crucial Battle of the Atlantic."

With that work largely concluded, in 1944 Goldstein was made head of the Navigation Section, a position held until he joined the Office of Naval Research (ONR) early in 1948 to lead the organization of the programs research work of the Naval Science Division. In 1949 Dr. Goldstein took a leave of absence from the ONR to become the senior technical staff member on the Air Navigation Development Board. This new organization was established jointly by the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Commerce to research and develop solutions for their common air navigation problems.

In 1951 he co-founded with M. H. Kimball Balco Research Laboratories of 49 Edison Place, Newark, New Jersey, where he initially acted as vice president and technical director of research, later becoming president of the company. Balco specialized in high resistance, military grade capacitors, becoming sole supplier to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1962 and supplying capacitors for the U.S. Navy's Polaris nuclear missile program.

Dr. Goldstein joined the Institute of Radio Engineers as an Associate Member in 1930 while he was an undergraduate at Johns Hopkins, and became a Senior Member in 1946. He was also a member of Sigma Xi.

Further reading

Balco Research Laboratories, Development of Subminiature High Temperature Capacitors: Summary Report (Newark, NJ: Balco Research Laboratories, 1955).

Martin Pope: a Biographical Sketch

Maxwell K. Goldstein personal website

Geoffrey B. Mason, "HF/DF or HUFF DUFF - High Frequency Radio Direction Finding in Royal Navy Warships".

Kathleen Broome Williams, Secret Weapon: U.S. High‐Frequency Direction Finding in the Battle of the Atlantic (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1996).