Thursday, October 01, 2009

Motorola Dome

I have quite a few old radios lying about, and some of them have interesting details such as this Motorola table radio from the 1950s, complete with an atomic domed tuning window against a greenish plastic cold war motif.  If you look closely, you can see the mandatory Conelrad marking on the dial, put there in  US radios as part of an early warning system in the event of incoming Russian ICBMs.  Remnants of Conelrad, which is a contraction of "Control of Electromagnetic Radiation", can be heard in the occasional Emergency Broadcast System alert.  For many years, we also had a weekly warning siren that could be heard across America, usually at noon, on Fridays. We called it "the twelve o'clock whistle".

1 comment:

Chris Regan said...

Quite interesting, can you post a full shot of these radios

From Wikipedia:

In the event of an emergency, all United States television and FM radio stations were required to stop broadcasting. Upon alert, most AM medium wave stations shut down. The stations that stayed on the air would transmit on either 640 or 1240 kHz. They would transmit for several minutes, and then go off the air and another station would take over on the same frequency in a "round robin" chain. This was to confuse enemy aircraft who might be navigating using Radio Direction Finding. By law, radio sets manufactured between 1953 and 1963 had these frequencies marked by the triangle-in-circle ("CD Mark") symbol of Civil Defense.[3]