August 2017 Speaker
Jim Rankin
and his Radio Collection

1921 - Western Electric microphone

1924 - Model III cost $25

1925 - Erla Crystal Set, Electrical Research Labs Chicago, IL

1925 - Crystal Set had a range of 2-3 miles.

1925 - Grebe Synchrophase MU-1

1925 - Atwater Kent Model 20

In the beginning, you listened on a headset. For the ladies, RCA developed a single earphone.

By the mid '20s, you could plug in a speaker.

This antenna frame was offered as a door stop at a flea market.

Here is a "door stop" with a speaker cone behind it.

1925 - Atwater Kent Model 35, Atwater Kent Mfg. Company, Philadelphia, PA
In 1925, you could buy the first radios that plugged into the household power.

1934 - Philco Model 45 "Butterfly," Philco Corporation, Philadelphia, PA

Jim has over 6000 vacuum tubes.

Jim has collected about 600 radios, and 42 of them are in his living room.

1935 - Wilcox-Gay Model A-46, Wilcox-Gay Corporation, Charlotte, MI

1938 - Arvin Model 518A, "Phantom Girl," Arvin Industries, Columbus, IN

1940 - This classic microphone was very popular.

1946 - Crosley Victory Model 56 TN-L, Crosley Corporation, Cincinnati, OH
This is their first radio model that went into production after the war.

1948 - Jim is the orginal owner.

1949 - This radio was sold at checkout. It cost $15, and now you might pay $400.

RCA introduced the 45 rpm record player in 1949.
The first record you could get was a first release by Perry Como.

1949 - This $17 radio might sell for $400 now.
William Boyd played Hopalong Cassidy from 1935 to 1948.
Hopalong was created in 1904 by author Clarence Mulford. In his early writings,
the character had a wooden leg which caused him to walk with a hop.

1951 - Arvin 540T in pink, Arvin Industries, Columbus, IN

1954 - These radios were called metal midgets.

The ship's rigging is the antenna.

Note the slot for a dime at the top of this Dahlberg Pillow Speaker Radio.
The speaker is the disk in front that you lay on your pillow.
Someone asked him if it worked. His reply, "It doesn't know the words, it just hums."

Fred Thompson discusses radios with Jim Rankin.

Further reading about the history of radio

A motel on Route 66 where there's only a radio in every room.