Having electronics and hardware background made my programming so much easier as it was easier to understand some concepts and choices that to "pure software" engineers appeared weird.
These days I love to combine hardware and software integration and boy oh boy, it pays so much better. Not many programmers out there that will offer a bill acceptor and/or magnetic card reader integration for a POS solution when your local restaurant wants to modernize their shop.
Show these kind of books to your kids, you'll never know where the rabbit jumps from.
The reason is twofold: germanium diodes generally have a softer turn-on than silicon diodes, and they have a lower forward voltage drop than silicon diodes.
This makes them useful in audio applications for clipping circuits (more sensitive and warmer sounding distortion), but also in simple one-diode envelope-detector circuits. One rather famous guitar compressor effect from the 1970s (the 'Orange Squeezer') used a germanium diode as an envelope-detector in this manner.
This a million times, and it also applies to germanium transistors too. I keep reading that all it needs to emulate the germanium sound in a guitar fuzz made with silicon transistors is adding a small cap between base and collector, which is only part of the story: those are non linear devices, and there's a non trivial difference between Ge and Si V/I curves, which translate into different sound which can't be emulated just by adding a cap. A softer curve creates a much gentler distortion which doesn't ruin the sound when playing chords for example.
You can get an idea of this kind of fuzz sound in the song "Spirit in the Sky" by Norman Greenbaum.
Sylvania's 1N34 diode became available in 1946, so the document may date from as early as then.
At the end, I see that a fellow Amateur Radio was a previous owner.
So it has me more interested now.
Thanks for sharing.
(I usually check Tayda first, before ordering from Mouser/Digikey. Often cheaper, although parts take a little longer to arrive.)
You would have it installed near your high power transmitter. Having worked on high power AM transmitters, the fences surrounding the antenna can pick up the signal and corroded joints act as a detector, the result is the fence becomes a receiver. So I have no doubt a relay could be powered.
It could actually have been arcing:
I have Babani's 1st and 2nd Book of Transistor Equivalents and Substitutes  and several National Semiconductor data books and application books from the 70s, '80s and '90s.
I almost never refer to them any more but they were so central to my life as an electronics engineer that I can't bear to throw them out.