Radio-Newspaper Receiver for Home Use (May, 1939)

Radio-Newspaper Receiver for Home Use

Designed to fit the top of a commercial table receiver which it matches in cabinet style, a complete radio-newspaper receiver for home use has just been placed on the market. All necessary apparatus for receiving and printing news bulletins and pictures transmitted over the air are contained in the unit. The news is automatically printed on a continuous sheet of paper that unwinds from a roll as it is received. The instrument can be used in conjunction with any radio receiver, the manufacturer declares, provided it has an output of at least five watts.

6 comments
  1. Eamon says: February 17, 20087:42 am

    Something about this seems fishy to me. A fax machine in 1939 for public consumption that converts radio to text and images? Does anyone have any more information about this?

  2. Blurgle says: February 17, 20087:59 am

    This is actually documented history. W9XZY in St. Louis, Missouri transmitted the first radio fax newspaper (the Post-Dispatch) in December 1938 and began regular transmissions in February 1939. More information can be found here. The last photo on the page shows the receiver, which looked just like this one.

    Radio fax technology was fairly advanced by this time. The cabinet this receiver is in is actually larger than strictly necessary. Only two years later, the Canadian Army (and probably other military institutions) began to use portable radiofaxes to send weather maps and the like to forward installations. The Museum of the Regiments in Calgary has one of the earlier models on display – it’s about the size of a large backpack and was carried as such by a member of the signal corps.

    Fax is much older than most people realize. The technology dates back to the middle of the 19th century.

  3. Firebrand38 says: February 17, 200812:09 pm
  4. mrdweeb says: February 17, 20086:10 pm

    Printing or viewing newspapers (or magazines) at home is a problem for which there is still no perfect solution. pdf files and electronic books are trying, but “electronic paper” is no where to be seen.

  5. Blurgle says: February 17, 20086:19 pm

    You can get all kinds of newspapers on Kindle – if you live in the US. In Canada, forget it: the private companies that own the required bandwidths have priced them out of affordability.

    That’s one reason why the iPhone isn’t available in Canada – the bandwidth that costs about $20 a month in the US would cost up to $500 a month depending on the province.

  6. Casandro says: February 19, 20083:40 am

    My parents recently build a mobile telephone which seems to have a buildt-in electronic paper display.

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