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Patents Can Produce Odd Bedfellows–The Precision ACE D1 Radio

PRECISION ACE

I try to avoid writing strictly technical articles in this blog since it is aimed at those who only have a casual interest in technical history. However, I recently obtained a little radio that is unusual enough that I wanted to provide some documentation for other collectors.

The radio is the Radio ACE […]

Trash and Treasure

Nearly all that is now treasure was trash once upon a time. I happened upon an article about the used radio vendors of Cortlandt Street in 1932 New York. Nineteen thirties Cortlandt Street would seem to be a dream world for those of us who collect 1920s radios. The pace of technology had been swift. […]

Wet Electronics–The Philco Battery Eliminator

So, what is this jar? It’s a power diode. What?

I’ll explain in a minute. First, some background. Early radios ran on batteries. Power supplies that allowed radios to be powered from an electrical outlet added too much cost at first to be added to an already expensive radio. By the late 1920s AC-powered […]

Going for that Next Upgrade–Tube Adapters from the 1920s

Some time ago I showed another engineer RCA’s data book for receiving tubes from 1934. She was stunned that most of the active electronic devices available to designers of that time fit into this ¼ inch thick volume. Having grown up on component data manuals larger than New York’s phone book, it was hard to […]

Now That was Different–The Kellogg Wave Master

I’ve said before that the early years of a technology produces some pretty strange animals. Designers are trying new things and companies are rather open to experimentation as they try to catch the consumer market. At the same time they are saddled with the fluctuating economics of the new tech. I enjoy collecting such radios […]

Two Wooden Boxes–How Fast Technology Can Run When It’s New!

Here are two wooden boxes (missing their leather handles).

They are both portable radios marketed by RCA in the 1920s. Each contained up to date technology at the time it was made. They are only separated by two and a half years. If those two and a half years occurred sometime in […]

Motorola and the Handheld Two-Way Radio

The image of an official using a handheld two-way radio has been familiar for half a century.

As you can imagine, radios were not always so handy. Motorola was a major player in the development of these radios. Let’s look at Motorola’s path toward a modern handheld two-way radio.

Motorola’s first handheld […]

Who Left the Luggage in the Living Room? RCA’s Curious Hybrid

RCA introduced the first mass produced super heterodyne radio in 1924. Since the superhet was the first decent radio that could contain its own antenna, the next imperative would be a self-contained portable radio. RCA soon introduced two.

Each was designed and made by two of RCA’s owners, Westinghouse and General Electric. As long as […]

Sometimes You Just Need a Jumping-Off Place–Motorola and Raytheon

Some technologies only last for a year or so. Clever individuals can use those temporary footholds to jump into better things.

Pop Quiz–What was Motorola’s first product, and why was there a need for it?

Before Galvin brothers designed their Motorola car radio, they started life making B Battery eliminators.

What?

In […]

Patience Can Pay Off–Radiola 28

Here are pictures of my RCA Radiola 28. The Radiola 28 was one of RCA’s early super-heterodyne radios, first offered to the public in 1925. Early super-hets were quite different animals than later units. You tuned the radio and tuned the local oscillator with separate controls enabling you to vary the intermodulation soup that makes […]