Our Member's Collections

"Radios Our Grandparents Listened To"

Member John Dilks displayed a portion of his collection last winter at the Atlantic County Library. The exhibit, titled: "Radios Our Grandparents Listened To", proved to be very popular. Featured are: radio tubes, a horn speaker, battery powered sets from as early as 1921 through table-top radios of the 1950's. Dilks is holding his oldest piece, a "Loose Coupler" manufactured by the Signal Co. in 1912. The loose coupler along with a variable condenser, a detector and a pair of ear phones was the radio receiver of the time. Signals heard on this type of set were Morse-code transmissions from ships, land stations and radio amateurs. (Photo: Jeff Dilks)

Loose Coupler (from above), about 1912

Speakers, Books, Tubes, Morse keys and Microphone.

The tall speaker in the center is an RCA model 1325 from the early 1920's. To it's left is another RCA speaker, a model 103 from the middle 1920's. This has a flower-design-tapistry cover over the speaker cone. To the right of center is an Atwater-Kent speaker from the mid-to-late 1920's. On the extreme left is a "John Rider's Perpetual Trouble Shooters Manual". This book, one of 23, contains schematic diagrams for many of the old radios in my collection. Front-center is an early "Shure Brothers" microphone. This is the type used by many early broadcast stations. In front ot the tall speaker is a 1920's Morse Code key. This particular key was owned and used on board a ship by a "Wireless" operator. Another, straight, key is to it's right. Also included are several vacuum tubes form the same era. On the right is an early technical book from 1920.