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How Small Can You Go? Raytheon’s 1952 Military Portable

One of my previous blogs featured Motorola’s early contribution to handheld two-way radios. Lest anyone consider me biased towards Motorola, let’s look at a portable Raytheon created during the era of tube radios.

Raytheon developed the AN/PRC-6 handheld FM transceiver for the military. It saw long use from the Korean War into the […]

How did Craftspeople make such tiny parts? A Handmade Watch from the Early Nineteenth Century

A few years ago a friend of mine showed me a watch made in the late 1700s. I was fascinated by its construction. He was able to find a similar watch for me to purchase. This one is mine, from 1810–about as early as I could afford.

It is quite interesting to hold […]

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 […]

What on Earth Were They Thinking? Transitional Technologies

What is a transitional technology? A transitional technology has one foot in the old and the other in the new. It bridges a gap when a new technology appears, but that gap usually closes pretty quickly making the transitional technology obsolete.

Such a device shows up for one of three reasons. Sometimes it […]