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Author Topic: "Touring" the Atwater Kent Plant in 1925  (Read 3480 times)
K0OD
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Posts: 2532




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« on: June 26, 2011, 09:12:16 PM »

Shorpy.com is a renowned high-resolution photo archive with thousands of HD images from the dawn of photography thru the 1960s. The quality and detail of vintage glass plate photos is extraordinary... like stepping back in time. Clicking the online pictures enlarges them to immense size that requires a great deal of scrolling. 

Here are some stunning images from 8"X10" glass plates showing radios being made in 1925.

http://www.shorpy.com/node/3534?size=_original
http://www.shorpy.com/node/3670?size=_original

Mr. Atwater Kent himself in the Testing Room:
http://www.shorpy.com/node/3895?size=_original
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WD5GWY
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« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2011, 11:34:36 AM »

Thanks for posting the links to those photos. Very nice!!!
I have bookmarked the website and just from my first pass
looking thru what they have, it is amazing to say the least!
james
WD5GWY
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K0OD
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Posts: 2532




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« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2011, 01:35:03 PM »

The huge photographs are windows into the past. Easy to spend a lot of time studying each.

For example, this shot of the Atwater Kent manufacturing process. Why are women in the front and men in the back rows? Was it an assembly line? Did a worker hand her completed part to the worker behind? Perhaps men did the heavier work. All employees are white. AK did some automotive parts. Perhaps that's what they're building here:
http://www.shorpy.com/node/3670?size=_original

This shot generated many comments on Shorpy: Women working and lots of men standing around (sounds good to me!). Note that some of the men are wearing ties. All have white shirts. Is that a conveyer belt running down the center of the bench? The fourth girl on left dared look at the camera. People are intrigued by her. Several noted the "bobbed" flapper hair styles made the rage by silent actress Louise Brooks.   
http://www.shorpy.com/node/3534?size=_original

What are they making?  One commentator on Shorpy knows his old radios:
Quote
"These are Model 20C compact radios. Assembled faceplates are on the shelf behind them. The set used the two individual sockets plus the 3 socket island and a large round rheostat. They are attaching components to the metal faceplates with brass bolts. After this, someone would solder the wiring on."

Go to the search box on Shorpy. Fabulous photos on just about any subject in remarkable detail. Several great shots of spark equipment including:
http://www.shorpy.com/node/10634?size=_original
 
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KB4QAA
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« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2011, 03:37:39 PM »

What a treasure to see these photos.  Now every time I see an Atwater Kent I will have these anonymous but skilled workers in mind.   Smiley

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K9EZ
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« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2011, 07:49:59 AM »

Thanks for posting!  Great stuff!
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K0OD
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« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2011, 07:10:58 PM »

Where's all the electronics? The soldering?  Well there wasn't much in a 1925 TRF. The 20C used 5 identical tubes, all triodes. A very simple radio. 
http://img198.imageshack.us/img198/558/ak20png.png

It must have cost a fortune in batteries to run one. Five different types of batteries were required.

How did you tune a 1925 TRF with all those knobs? Here's a YT video of a gorgeous restored Atwater Kent 20C in action:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6iqHMgKUWg

I thought it was interesting that the large coils you see attached to the back of tuning capacitors were actually 600 ohm wire wound resistors.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2011, 07:14:31 PM by K0OD » Logged
K8AC
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« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2011, 08:01:03 PM »

I have one of the model 20s pictured.  Still works well after all these years, but I run it with a special power supply that supplies the required voltages.  With a 15 foot piece of wire strung around a door frame, it picks up stations from a few hundred miles away - too bad there's nothing to listen to these days.

73, K8AC
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K0OD
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« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2011, 10:35:55 PM »

"too bad there's nothing to listen to these days."

Ah 1925.... Rudy Vallee, Paul Whiteman, Jolson and 90 Volts of B+ coming thru the headphones (notice the schematic) http://img198.imageshack.us/img198/558/ak20png.png
« Last Edit: July 04, 2011, 10:37:33 PM by K0OD » Logged
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