Inventors on the Air (Nov, 1937)

Inventors on the Air


THROUGH the microphones of broadcasting station WQXR in New York City, amateur inventors describe their new devices to radio listeners in a regular weekly program aptly named “Can It Be Done?”

In addition to placing their ideas before a potentially large audience, they benefit by the criticisms and suggestions of an advisory board of manufacturers, merchandisers, and business executives. A phonograph recording made before the broadcast protects each inventor in his claim to prior conception.

Although comparatively new, the novel radio feature is said to have resulted in the sale of several inventions to manufacturers. Some of the devices presented on the program are shown on these pages.

Broadcasting Station Uses Novel Headset (Mar, 1924)

Broadcasting Station Uses Novel Headset

WDAP, the broadcasting station of the Chicago Board of Trade, located at the Drake Hotel, Chicago, has a couple of novel headsets which are used to test the transmission from any point in the studio.

The set is a combination phone and receiver; the receiver unit is a 50-turn coil, wound on a bakelite tube firmly fastened to the head-hand, and connected to a small crystal detector screwed to a piece of wood spanning the top of the tube. With the headset on, the transmission of the concerts, lectures, etc., can be checked from any part of the studio or instrument room, without the necessity of sitting down at the standard receiving set. The connections are simple, and are shown in the upper detail of the illustration.

Vacation Sets Are Compact and Efficient (Oct, 1924)

Wow, the model with a speaker only weighs 21 lbs! That’s practically nothing! I love the picture of the girls rocking out on the beach.

Vacation Sets Are Compact and Efficient

With the growing demand of radio fans for sets that they can take away with them on their vacations, manufacturers have been bending their efforts to the production of neat portable receivers, and two such sets are shown in our illustration.

The smaller one is a one-tube set which weighs only 4-3/4 lb. and is said to have a range of several hundred miles without an aerial, and 1,000 miles or more with an aerial. Batteries, tube, phones, aerial and ground wires are all packed neatly inside the case, which, when closed, resembles a medium-sized camera. The set is easy to operate, and is highly selective.

Radio Gets Robot Sound Technician (Feb, 1936)

Radio Gets Robot Sound Technician

A ROBOT sound effects technician for broadcasting studios has been perfected to eliminate more than 800 gadgets now required in the presentation of various programs.

The new device consists of two turntables for records and three automatic pick-up arms. Each record is divided into numerous channels, and each channel contains a special bit of sound, such as street noises, gurgling water, railroad trains, and the like.

In the event the program called for a street parade in a large city, one pick-up arm would be placed on a street noise channel, another on the marching feet channel, and the third would pick up martial music.


For some reason You Cylinder never caught on.


You can make a phonographic record of your own voice or record your favorite radio program through an attachment on a new combination radio and phonograph. The attachment does not interfere with the ordinary use of the instrument for playing a record or program.

For record making, a microphone picks up voices and transmits them to a blank record through an electric “pick-up” similar to the reproducing arm of a standard electrified phonograph.


The guy who invented this would have been rich if it hadn’t been for those pesky speaker pushers.

An ornamental wooden headset stand, for use as a distribution center when a number of receivers are used simultaneously, and as a rack for holding the headphones when these are idle, has been introduced. This appliance eliminates any crowding near the equipment. The’ stand may be moved around a room at will, and when the concert is finished, it may be conveniently placed in a corner or closet, out of the way. The outfit has a switch to disconnect any receivers not in use.

Weird Radio Pictorial (Oct, 1924)

The old issues of Popular Mechanics are organized rather badly. In this case there was a section called “Radio News” with two or three pages of articles and then this pictorial with no preface or explaination. The pictures are pretty great though so I hope you enjoy them.

Top, Girls in a High School Have Set Out to Prove That Building Radio Sets Is Not an Art for Boys Alone, and They Show Surprising Aptitude at the Job; Center, a Prisoner on Governor’s Island, New York, Building a Radio Set in the Shops Where Earnest Endeavor Is Made to Turn Wayward Energies into Useful Channels; Below, Even the Smallest and Most Remote Country School Can Now Have Its Own Drill Orchestra

A New Type of Loud Speaker Entertains New York Fans Gathered on the Street Below. The Inventor Is Paul De Kilduchevsky

A Candidate in the French Elections “Stumps” His District by Radio Auto

SPORTS RADIO is Combination Cane and Seat (Mar, 1940)

SPORTS RADIO is Combination Cane and Seat


CONSISTING of a compact yet powerful battery receiver mounted on a conventional cane-seat which can be purchased for a dollar or two, the radio illustrated forms a handy set for hikers, sports spectators, and campers. The circuit, designed around three of the new American-made midget tubes, consists of a pentode regenerative detector, resistance coupled to a pentode amplifier which in turn is resistance coupled to a second audio-amplifier stage. Regeneration is controlled by a 25,000-ohm potentiometer. Since the commercial type of antenna coil shown in the diagram has no tickler winding it will be necessary to provide one by winding approximately thirty-five turns of No. 38 double-silk-covered wire around the lower end of the long, flat grid coil.

Wireless Box Runs Radio by Remote Control (Aug, 1938)

Wireless Box Runs Radio by Remote Control

A radio receiver in the living room may be operated from the kitchen, a bedroom or any other part of the home with the aid of a small remote-control cabinet which has no wires leading to the receiver or any other physical connection with it. Since it is unnecessary to “plug in” the portable control unit or to attach it to the receiver, it is as easy to play the radio while sitting on the front porch as when in the living room beside it. With the aid of the wireless box, a Philco receiver designed for this form of remote control can be operated from a distance or tuned with controls built in the cabinet, whichever is handier. With the remote-control unit, any one of several stations can be selected, a change can be made from one station to another, volume can be adjusted or the set can be turned off, simply by operating a dial in the top of the wireless box. The makers claim each unit will operate only the set for which it is designed.



So that a pedestrian may enjoy broadcast programs wherever he goes, a German, inventor, Alfred Mintus, has devised what he calls a “radio walking stick.” Outwardly it resembles an ordinary cane, but the interior contains a miniature receiver and batteries. The user has merely to plant the stick in the ground, adjust a pair of pocket ‘phones to his ears, and listen in, as illustrated in the photograph. It only remains now for the inventor to perfect the apparatus so the pedestrian need not interrupt his walk while listening in, a possibility foreseen by the inventor of the cane.