Chicago’s Airmail Pick-up Catapults Mail Bags To Planes (Mar, 1935)

It would be so cool if airmail really worked this way.

Chicago’s Airmail Pick-up Catapults Mail Bags To Planes
DRAWINGS revealing the operation of the pick-up device used at the 1934 Century of Progress in delivering and receiving mail from planes in flight have been revealed by the inventor, Dr. Lytle S. Adams of Chicago.

Most ingenious feature of the device is the method by which the incoming bag is released and the outgoing mail tossed into the air. As the plane flies directly over the chute, the comparatively fragile wire dangling from the plane is broken at the mail bag as it reaches the end of a narrowing chute in the pick-up device, releasing the bag. A steel ball on the dangling wire trips a lever which catapults a new sack out of the chute and into the air. Shock absorbers on the plane take up any jars not offset by the catapult when picking up a new bag of mail.

Dog’s Tail Forms Radio Receiver (Nov, 1934)

Dog’s Tail Forms Radio Receiver
A DOG’S tail serves as a radio receiver for Frank G. Kerk, Los Angeles experimenter. Kerk attaches an aerial to the collar of his Great Dane and hooks an ear phone to the animal’s tail. The canine radio is then complete and all that is necessary is to place the phone to the ear and listen.

The “TALKING MACHINE” Comes Back (Feb, 1941)

Next time you sit down in front of Pro-Tools to create your mash-up masterpiece, just remember: Real recording engineers use a blow torch, none of this namby-pamby software crap!


HOW would you like to make a record of your favorite radio program to play on your phonograph? Or reproduce an historic radio speech, or the voice of a friend singing to the accompaniment of a world-famous orchestra?

You can do all that and more with the latest all-purpose musical instrument, the combination radio, phonograph, and home recorder. Using the recorder attachment, you can collect and save the voices of children, reproduce music from the radio or from other phonograph records, and create music and dialogue for home movies. Your records will have almost the same quality as professional recordings and you can play them back on the phonograph as soon as you have made them. The disks cost as little as fifteen cents for a size that plays one and one-half minutes. Each record may be played a hundred times or more before it wears out.

Spooks on the Airways (Aug, 1950)

This is a bizzare article about people and household objects that suddenly become radio receivers. It reminds me a lot of the the movie Real Genius, where poor Kent has his braces turned into a radio antenna.

My question is: Does this really happen? Can my bathtub suddenly start singing to me?

Spooks on the Airways

By Irv Leiberman
Illustrations By Chic Stone

THE lady sat down in her luxurious bubble bath and soaked contentedly. “I’m forever blowing bubbles,” crooned a soothing voice from underneath. She screamed and hopped out of the tub but the voice had stopped. Imagining herself the victim of her own delusions, she climbed back into the bathtub only to be startled by the same voice again. As it reached the end of the number, this time another voice boomed out with a commercial for a cigarette manufacturer.

FM Walkie-Talkie (Aug, 1950)

I thought that a walkie talkie implied something you could carry, not strap on your back and lug around.

FM Walkie-Talkie just announced by Motorola, Inc., of Chicago, 111., will be popular among law enforcement agencies, fire protection departments, forestry services, railroads, etc. It has 24 tubes and weighs 19 lbs. A tip-up loudspeaker broadcasts over the operator’s shoulder or to nearby listeners. It has a range of from five to seven miles, depending upon altitude and presence of physical obstructions.

Ad: The Switchboard (Oct, 1927)

The Switchboard
An Advertisement of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company

A web of cords plugged into numbered holes. A hand ready to answer signals which flash from tiny lamps. A mind alert for prompt and accurate performance of a vital service. A devotion to duty inspired by a sense of the public’s reliance on that service.

“Carryphone” Aids Trainmen (Apr, 1947)

Wow! Look how portable and convenient it is!

“Carryphone” Aids Trainmen
Engineers and trainmen can keep in constant touch with their own crews or talk with the crews of other trains with the “Carry-phone,” a portable telephone announced by the Pennsylvania Railroad. The device uses railroad tracks or wires as its communication channels, but transmits and receives messages through the air by induction, using a large metal loop.

RCA Radiotron (Oct, 1927)

This is some brilliant marketing here. Other brands of radio tubes may be as good as Radiotron, and yeah they may be cheaper, but that just means we’re the standard.

Ok, but why shouldn’t I buy the cheaper ones again?

RCA Radiotron

From time to time other tubes will be offered to you as being “as good as Radiotrons,” sometimes at a lower price. Which proves that the Radiotron is the acknowledged standard in performance.

The American people have used millions of Radiotrons in the last five years. Is it reasonable to suppose that imitators could give you Radiotron quality for the same money?

Tiniest Tube Paves Way For Wrist-Watch Radio (Nov, 1947)

Tiniest Tube Paves Way For Wrist-Watch Radio

At right is shown the comparative sizes of a wrist watch and the new miniature radio transceiver being developed by the U. S. Bureau of Standards. The set both sends and receives short waves and also picks up standard radio broadcasts. It was designed around the tiny radio tube, not much larger than a grain of rice, that is shown actual size in inset at lower left.

Radios in Your Hair (Jul, 1948)

Radios in Your Hair

RADIO receivers, tinier than a penny matchbox have been developed by Paramount sound men in Hollywood. These replace the megaphones that directors used in the days of silent pictures to shout instructions to their stars. The resulting confusion on crowded sets was nerve racking to both the director and members of the cast. When sound was added, the megaphone had to go. It was then replaced by intricate signaling systems and many necessary interruptions and expensive retakes. Now this tiny inductive-type receiver, that uses no batteries or tubes, is concealed on the actor’s person. It is claimed that it can pick up signals as far as 300 feet away from the transmitter which is placed near the movie studio stage.