Whatever plane the President of the United States flies on is designated “Air Force One”. Whatever Min-X the President of Min-X flies may similarly be called “Min-X One”.
The President of Min-X was Jimmy Northmore and these are his personal Astromite VI and Pulsemite 1200A. These transmitters have the dual distinction of also being the first production units ever made of their type as Mr. Northmore noted on their cases when he autographed them. As head of the company he exercised his prerogative of taking the first units off the production line to be his personal radios. He also did this to flight test each new model since he was the best pilot at Min-X.
Here is a July 1960 newspaper story about Min-X’s early days.
Both of these transmitters were designed by Min-X’s other ace engineer – Jack Lemon. See Prototype Astromite. Here is an unusual product review from the August 1967, M.A.N. The Astromite VI is reviewed in a Dee Bee stinger. This airplane was produced by Quadruplex’s Don Brown who was no longer making radios and was one of the first ARF’s ever made.
Here is a picture of Astromite One from the April 1969 RCM being used by Mr. Northmore’s sons to control a seaplane.
These transmitters may have the third distinction of being the actual models appearing in the first advertisements. In addition to his R/C accomplishments, Jimmy Northmore happened to be the leading commercial photographer in the world. It is unlikely he had someone else photograph the first Astromite VI and Pulsemite ads and it would have been convenient for him to have used his own transmitters for the pictures.
Here is the first Astromite VI advertisement as it appeared in the February 66 RCM.
Still, we are not certain these transmitters were the actual magazine models. Mr. Northmore does not recall for sure and, if you look at the trim and auxiliary controls in the above picture the thumb tips appear shorter. This may be a fluke of photography or camera angles, however, since we have eight Astromite VI transmitters, produced at various times, and all have the same controls with the same thumb tips as you see on Min-X One. Speaking of photography and cameral angles…
Jimmy Northmore co-founded Boulevard Photographic – the number one automotive photography firm in the world. Boulevard alone made over half of all automobile advertisement photos, from all manufacturers, worldwide. Before Northmore, auto advertisers had to settle for drawings because the chrome trim never looked right in photos. It always contained unattractive colors and reflections unlike what the human eye sees.
Jimmy Northmore invented a photographic technique to make chrome look right. He fork-lifted a 1949 Mercury onto a stage, built a white muslin tent around it and installed a special lighting apparatus. Here’s the result, which gave Boulevard Photographic its start:
Northmore invented other techniques now taken for granted, including the illusion of speed.
Here are two more Northmore works, the famous Mustang ad and a Lincoln ad with actor Tom Selleck.