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Author Topic: Radio in the 1920's  (Read 7593 times)
KJ4RQV
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Posts: 130




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« on: October 06, 2010, 07:57:42 PM »

I just posted a question about tubes and it jogged my memory about something I have that might interest some of you. I was given a ledger book by a friend that has newspaper clippings from Chicago newspapers about building radios in the 1922-29 time frame.
Radio was such a hot topic that the local papers carried weekly articles about building radios using various circuits such as the Kopprash, Steinborn and Minor. No, I don't know who they were or really what they were even thogh the schematics are there. Many of articles are written by a Frank D. Pearne, who was the Chief Instructor, Department of Electricity, Lane Technical High School.
The ledger also lists radio stations of the day such as WMAQ and KYW and the hours of transmission each day.
There are hand drawn circuits such as the Hoppwood Hookup and spider web hookup with double variometer using a 100 foot ariel for 200-650 meters. (HUH!)
It is a fun thing to go through if you have an interest in radio history/development, I wish I had a way to share it with more people.
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N2EY
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« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2010, 08:09:39 PM »

By "Radio", you mean "broadcasting". Which was the cat's pajamas in the 1920s. A lot like the Internet in the 1990s.

In 1920, broadcasting was just beginning to appear. It was expensive, unreliable and limited in many ways. By 1930 it was almost everywhere, prices had come down dramatically and the modern system of commercial operation, networks and such had been developed. By 1940 there was FM broadcasting.

In the early 1920s the technology was so new and changing so fast that just getting a set to work was a major project. But within a few years things were so developed that the focus was on content.

Think what life was like before radio broadcasting, and how much it changed life for everyone. One little box brought news, weather, sports, opinion, music, entertainment and much more, all for the price of the set and some electricity to run it.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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KG6AF
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Posts: 356




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« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2010, 10:03:46 PM »

Radio was such an integral part of popular culture in the 1920's that there were no fewer than four newspaper comic strips devoted to it: Life on the Radio Wave, Radio Ralf, Radio Raymond, and Otto Watt.  You can find examples of these at http://www.barnaclepress.com/.

By the way, they're all awful.  You've been warned.

 
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NJ3U
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Posts: 123




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« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2010, 08:20:44 AM »

Thanks for the link to BarnclePress.  I actually liked a couple of the strips, for instance how was Raymond to know about the quality of Chinese Tubes, such as the 572B's in the Twenties ?   Grin

http://www.barnaclepress.com/cmcvlt/RadioRaymond/ray241026.jpg

73
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KG4YMC
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Posts: 297




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« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2010, 10:18:33 AM »

I have to make one more comment. Oh, no. My dad had a manual that was published in the 30s from Radio Insitute of america . It had in it for teaching the radio tec. repairman  about going to the "little lady of the house " and offering to check her  radio tubes . Boy that would go over good these days, " hey honey , let me check your tubes?"  try that in will  kill ya county fla and they would kill you  hi hi .. kg4ymc    or anywere else ..
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N8NSN
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« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2010, 04:05:46 AM »

By "Radio", you mean "broadcasting". Which was the cat's pajamas in the 1920s. A lot like the Internet in the 1990s.

In 1920, broadcasting was just beginning to appear. It was expensive, unreliable and limited in many ways. By 1930 it was almost everywhere, prices had come down dramatically and the modern system of commercial operation, networks and such had been developed. By 1940 there was FM broadcasting.

In the early 1920s the technology was so new and changing so fast that just getting a set to work was a major project. But within a few years things were so developed that the focus was on content.

Think what life was like before radio broadcasting, and how much it changed life for everyone. One little box brought news, weather, sports, opinion, music, entertainment and much more, all for the price of the set and some electricity to run it.

73 de Jim, N2EY

"Think what life was like before radio broadcasting, and how much it changed life for everyone. One little box brought news, weather, sports, opinion, music, entertainment and much more, all for the price of the set and some electricity to run it. "

Very interesting... 

One MAJOR component of "Broadcasting" was left out of those 'venues available to the consumer'

The MAIN reason Broadcasting was produced - - No pun intended with the word 'produced'...

A D V E R T I S I N G

period.

If you think TV and broadcast radio stays on the air for "The entertainment of the consumer"

Nope...  Its for the money that advertisers pour into the industry.

ALWAYS has been and ALWAYS will be.
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GW0DIV
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Posts: 122




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« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2010, 07:03:45 AM »

Unless you are the BBC

Rhys
GW0DIV
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W3LK
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Posts: 5639




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« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2010, 08:43:03 AM »

Unless you are the BBC

Rhys
GW0DIV

(1) If I remember correctly, the BBC is totally funded by the UK government.

(2) The current BBC is a pale shadow of what used to be the premier broadcasting company in the world. I grew up listening to the World Service of the BBC.

(3) The current BBC is nothing more than a mouthpiece for the radical left. Any semblence of objectivity went away years ago. It's no longer worth listening to.
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KB1TXK
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« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2010, 09:27:43 AM »

Two things in this thread made me laugh.

One was a link that let me enjoy this: http://www.barnaclepress.com/images/block_OttoWatt.gif

The other was: "The current BBC is nothing more than a mouthpiece for the radical left."

 I laughed because one was funny, and the other ridiculous. I 'll let folks figure out which was which.
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G1YHE
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Posts: 28




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« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2010, 11:01:52 AM »


(1) If I remember correctly, the BBC is totally funded by the UK government.


If only that was true, it is financed by charging a licence fee, this is basically a TV receiver tax that is payable annually.




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W3LK
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Posts: 5639




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« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2010, 12:00:12 PM »


(1) If I remember correctly, the BBC is totally funded by the UK government.


If only that was true, it is financed by charging a licence fee, this is basically a TV receiver tax that is payable annually.


Thank you for the correction. I think the net effect is the same though - supported by a government-enforced tax ... I mean fee. Smiley
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A smoking section in a restaurant makes as much sense as a peeing section in a swimming pool.
W3LK
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Posts: 5639




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« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2010, 12:02:23 PM »

Two things in this thread made me laugh.

One was a link that let me enjoy this: http://www.barnaclepress.com/images/block_OttoWatt.gif

The other was: "The current BBC is nothing more than a mouthpiece for the radical left."

 I laughed because one was funny, and the other ridiculous. I 'll let folks figure out which was which.

Considering I have been listening to them on a pretty regular basis for something over 50 years, I'll stick with my assessment. You are more than welcome to disagree.
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A smoking section in a restaurant makes as much sense as a peeing section in a swimming pool.
N2EY
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Posts: 3879




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« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2010, 09:05:06 PM »

Think what life was like before radio broadcasting, and how much it changed life for everyone. One little box brought news, weather, sports, opinion, music, entertainment and much more, all for the price of the set and some electricity to run it.

Very interesting... 

One MAJOR component of "Broadcasting" was left out of those 'venues available to the consumer'

The MAIN reason Broadcasting was produced - - No pun intended with the word 'produced'...

A D V E R T I S I N G

period.

If you think TV and broadcast radio stays on the air for "The entertainment of the consumer"

Nope...  Its for the money that advertisers pour into the industry.

ALWAYS has been and ALWAYS will be.

Not always.

In the very early days of broadcasting, they really hadn't figured out how to make it pay, and all sorts of folks put broadcast stations on the air. Of course since they couldn't charge for reception (in the USA, anyway), advertising became the prime focus.

And as you say, the programming exists to get you to listen to the ads.

But there's also the public-radio stations, which don't depend on advertising. They are funded by a mix of government grants, corporate underwriting and membership drives. The result is a cluster of spots between shows but no advertising interruptions during them.

73 de Jim, N2EY


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AC5UP
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Posts: 3870




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« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2010, 09:56:14 PM »

...They are funded by a mix of government grants, corporate underwriting and membership drives. The result is a cluster of spots between shows but no advertising interruptions during them.

The NPR clock now has six minutes at the top of the hour for local news (or similar) then one minute breaks at 20 and 40 past. Been that way for maybe a year now and this is true for Diane Rehm, Car Talk, Prairie Home Companion, Fresh Air, etc...

Used to have breaks at the top & bottom of the hour and I think it interesting how it takes 'a while' (at least it did for me) to notice the format change.
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