Fifty-Cent Phonograph May Pierce Iron Curtain (Jan, 1956)
Fifty-Cent Phonograph May Pierce Iron Curtain
A new weapon for sending messages behind the Iron Curtain without danger of radio jamming has been offered to the U. S. by RCA. It’s a refinement of the basic hand phonograph and could be mass-produced for 50 cents each.
The little machine is in three unbreakable plastic parts—base, turntable and tone arm —and can be packed to drop by parachute.
Heart of the design is a clear-plastic semi-circular vibrator screwed inside the top end of a guard. A plastic cube cemented on takes the needle in a force fit. RCA designers say that they get best results from a common steel needle of the long-playing kind. A metal crank spins the table.
Records are 78-r.p.m. unbreakable-plastic seven-inchers costing five cents, but the arm can take a 10-inch record. The speed, common in Europe, is easy for hand turning.