Wednesday, February 28, 2007

1926 Radio Broadcast Magazine - 35 cents

Radio broadcasting was still in a formative stage in 1926, but its importance and potential were foreseen at that time.

Here the winged gossamer god of the airwaves narrowly avoids electrocution as he makes a spark filled connection between a broadcasting antenna and a Western Electric 1B carbon microphone, against the backdrop of the modern city of Gotham. Surrounding this explicit depiction of the the magic of radio are various vignettes of the effects of radio - dancing, listening in bed, exciting auto races, and running (?).

It is both literal and fantastic, a blend of the reality and hope of the new science and futurism of the early 20th Century, an enthusiasm later to be diminished by a world depression, and then a world war.

These images seem quaint and innocent, and unaware of what was to come.

4 comments:

tona said...

What a gem! If you have the entire issue, not only the cover, I'd be interested in seeing more of it. I teach a course on radio history and I'd be interested in using it in my course.

Thanks - thangen (at) worcester (dot) edu

Bob Crowley said...

I have a good collection of old Radio News and other older radio broadcasting magazines. Some contain inventions that we have only recently heard about, such as phantom powered ribbon microphones - first shown in 1938!

If you want to look at them I can arrange to have them at the lab. It's a lot of work to scan them all in and this is actually a photo of the cover of one that I do NOT have, but I do have many others. This particular cover is spectacular.

kelly said...

I have one page (!) of the October 1926 issue, that I dug up out of someone's personal archive--and have been trying to find the page number for a citation in something I'm writing. Do you have this issue? And if I send you chocolate, would you share the knowledge?

Bob Crowley said...

Kelly
I regret that I don't have that date, and I really wanted some chocolate too....