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Author Topic: old 1920s and 1930s era AM radios  (Read 429 times)
K9FON
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Posts: 1012




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« on: February 16, 2010, 01:47:52 PM »

Hello.
My mother asked me to find some info for her about AM radios from the 1920s and 1930s for the local historic museum we are involved with. So far, i have not had much luck Googling. Anyone know or know a place that i can find some good info on the old receivers that were popular back in the day?
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K9YLI
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« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2010, 02:27:21 PM »

google old radios. there is a collectors group and an old radio  magazine..
sold one of my;  wood case zenith to a collector in  calif.
zenith,,  rca , coronado,  wards  airline,
crosley,   setchell carlson,   arvin.
to name a few..
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KM5Z
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« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2010, 02:28:28 PM »

Check http://antiqueradios.com, in the forums area.

There are many quite knowledgeable folks there, but you might have to be a bit more specific in your question...

Mike Y
KM5Z
Dallas, Texas
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SWMAN
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« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2010, 04:06:06 PM »

Don't forget one of the very best !! Atwater Kent.
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K9FON
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« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2010, 02:55:17 PM »

She just wanted me to get some generic info on the AM boom days of the 1920s and 1930s era of AM radio plus some pics of old radios. Shes doing a display at our local county history museum on early radio.
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AE4RV
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« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2010, 03:11:13 PM »

An excellent documentary to watch is Ken Burns' America: Empire of the Air. From the Netflix description:

Using newsreels, interviews and historical footage, Jason Robards narrates this journey to pre-television days where viewers meet the titans of the airwaves: David Sarnoff, Lee de Forest and Edwin Howard Armstrong. See how radio served as the medium that informed and entertained Americans during much of the 20th century.

Not much technical info on the receiving sets but very enjoyable and informative on the industry and pioneers.
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W5FYI
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« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2010, 03:11:34 PM »

A year or two ago I bought an "art book" full of descriptions of the old plastic radios. I've looked through my home library and couldn't find it, so it may be stored in the attic or garage. I'll see if I can locate it and let you know its title and author.

The point is, there is at least one fairly recent book on the subject. You may be able to locate it and others at Amazon or elsewhere. If I find mine, I'll let you know more about it.

Wikipedia may be a source of some information....
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KA5N
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« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2010, 04:51:45 PM »

Radios of the 1920's and 1930's usually had cabinets made of wood, later came bakelite.  Early on many areas in the US weren't supplied with electricity and used what was called a "farm pack" which supplied filament voltage and B+ (I know because it was my job to buy and carry such a battery to my grandparents every two or three months and those dudes were heavy).  Many farm houses were equiped with a "wind charger" to keep the radio's batteries charged up.  (Everything old is new again).
But don't forget Philco radios after all Philo Farnsworth invented TV (there is somedispute about this) and Edwin Armstrong gaves us the superhet and FM.
Allen
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W0FM
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« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2010, 12:54:51 PM »

Amateur Electronic Supply has a number of good old time radio books in their publications section (toward the back of their printed catalog).  I have several of them.  Many have history and photos of great radios from that era.  

www.aesham.com

73,

Terry, WØFM

Edit:  that should have read "Universal Radio".  AES does not feature the collection of old time radio books I was thinking about.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2010, 10:47:56 AM by Terry Schieler » Logged
AA4PB
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« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2010, 01:19:07 PM »

Also check with www.tubesandmore.com
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KD0FAT
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« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2010, 07:26:50 AM »

An excellent website is at radioblvd.com, or just google the Western Historic Radio Museum. Lots and lots of old radio info from these folks. Another good site is www.pavekmuseum.org  I have visited the Pavek (it's in Minneapolis Mn. area) and they have a huge collection that includes the very earliest types on up to the 1960's. They also have a very fine operational amateur station (Collins equipment) that may be available to amateur visitors on occaision. I recommend a visit there if you are in the Twin Cities area.   Al/KD0FAT
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