Need help with items from the '30s for a period piece book I'm writing

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by McDaniel, Apr 26, 2011.

  1. McDaniel

    McDaniel New in Town

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    KY and NY
    New here, so if I'm doing this wrong please point me in the proper direction.
    With a major tip of the Fedora to all the writers who started the Spade/Continental Op etc, I'm doing a full length novel in that genre.
    Amazon wants to publish it in "Episode" form, much like was done in Black Mask magazine back in the day. Reading Hammett for soaking up the feeling of the time.
    First quesion...What kind of table/desk top radio was available in 1930?
    Were there any electric ones or were they all the D battery kind?
    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    The most common all-electric table radios you'd find in 1930 would be the metal-box/separate speaker style widely sold in the late twenties.

    [​IMG]

    This particular model is a Crosley, but RCA and Philco models were also very common.

    The familiar wooden "cathedral" radios were introduced in the fall of 1930 and quickly became very popular. The term "cathedral" was not used, though -- it was an invention of collectors in the seventies. When these radios were first introduced, they were most often called "midget" radios. Note that they were midget only in comparison to consoles -- a Philco Model 20, the first really successful "midget", is eighteen inches tall and weighs about twenty pounds. The Crosley pictured above weighs closer to thirty pounds.

    Note also that either of these types of radio were generally too big to fit comfortably while allowing sufficient workspace on the average desk. The cheap little desktop-size radios didn't become common until 1935-37.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2011
  3. MikeBravo

    MikeBravo One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,301
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    My father was born in 1929 and grew up in the 30's. He lived on a farm and was a big fan of the radio serials. He told me how the radio ran on a wet cell battery which had to be taken into town every 2 weeks or so for recharging. I don't know the type but it was battery operated.
     
  4. McDaniel

    McDaniel New in Town

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    KY and NY
    Thank you very much. I found out about the RCA but
    am having trouble finding out if it was a plug in or battery.
    Thank you
     
  5. McDaniel

    McDaniel New in Town

    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    KY and NY
    Thank you very much. In order to be authentic I may have to go with the 'wet cell' in order to
    maintain the period.
    Thank you
     
  6. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    What's the model number of the RCA? AC radios were sold by RCA beginning in 1926.Units prior to that date would be battery powered.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2011

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