Thursday 27 October 2016, 1.00pm

Radio-Glo Company Inc. of , Benton Harbor, Michigan made a unique radio with stained glass side panels during the 1930s. The radio itself was undistinguished, using a 5 tube super-heterodyne, circuit and designed only to receive broadcast wavelengths. It had a permanent magnet dynamic loudspeaker. The cabinet dimensions are 13" (w) x 9.75" (H) x 7.5" (D).

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This is the classic Philco radio, symbolic of that which was in the homes ofthousands and thousands of Americans during the 1930s. This particular model was made in 1937 and has the designation Model 37-60B. We can just imagine the soft golden glow of the dial in adarkened room as folks gathered around the set to listen to"The Green Hornet" or "Fibber McGee andMolly" or maybe to hear the results of the Lindberghkidnapping trial or the Hindenburg disaster. Perhaps this radioactually broadcast Orson Welles' "War of the Worlds"program and its original owners got scared out of their wits.

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I found this in a junk store in Denver in 1979 and paidabout $3 for it. The burgundy and butterscotch color scheme is myfavorite of the lot, although they came in a wide variety ofcolors. White and Butterscotch is also a desirable color scheme. It still works.

Kent Martin's "Deco to the Max" Zenith
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Posted December 15, 2008The First Wireless Remote ControlThis was "top-of-the-line" for Philco's 1939 production year. Featuring a true, wireless remote control dubbed "Mystery Control", the 39-116 used 14 tubes - eight tubes were used in the radio receiver, five tubes in the remote receiver (part of the radio receiver chassis) and one tube in the remote transmitter (which was battery operated.)The "remote station" used a telephone-like dial that actuated a stepper unit switching between eight pre-set tuners. The "remote" was actually a small low-frequency broadcasting station. We are indebted to our reader Judy for sending in a nice photo of her "mystery control" and we have located the Patent Diagrams for this device, invented by David Grimes and Elmer Thompson, employees of Philco. (Patents 2,297,618 and 2,250,371)The Philco "mystery control" has a small comic relief role in the film . Poor Cosmo Topper is drunk again with his ghostly friend Marion Kerby, this time in an upscale deco-themed bar. Topper tries to use the telephone but instead dials a radio station, mistaking the mystery control for the telephone dial. The bartender explains how the wireless control works, because most of the folks in the audience had never seen one. The whole scene takes about 10 minutes, so this was quite a product placement coup for Philco.This was a very expensive set. The presets had to be installed by a factory technician and it took a considerable amount of "fiddling" to get the thing to work properly. In New York, rich people in the same swank apartment buildings would be annoyed when someone else's "mystery control" changed their station, as the range of the control was not limited to any one apartment. Also, the RF signal given off by faulty auto distributors could also change the channel. In addition, "Mystery Controls" were available for other appliances. We like this approach to the "smart house" circa 1939 using thechnology very similar to the RCA controller.In the 1960s, Zenith tried to solve this annoying interference problem with a wireless remote that used sound instead of RF. The Zenith remote (the "") used tuned "reeds" to produce a sound that was theoretically undetectable by humans. The receiver had similar reeds tuned to the frequency. The device controlled on/off and volume. Alas, it was found that pets could certainly hear the reeds and that parrots could learn to imitate the sound. Other remotes using light pulses (problems during daytime) were also tried without success. The remote came into its own when infrared technology was developed. HOWEVER, these were only developments in the type of signal to be used -- the basic circuits and controls within the receiver (i.e. the mechanism to step the tuner or turn the set off) remained largely unchanged in theory from the Model 39-116. Probably less than 1,000 of the Philco 39-116 sets were produced and they are museum-class rarities.

Parental kidnappings in particular have increased by leaps and bounds over the twentieth century.

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The 1476 is a console radio and uses a 12 tube superheterodyne circuit. An additional 4 tube frequency splitter and power amplifier drives three speakers, a large electrodynamic midrange speaker and two tweeters. In addition, the VG-1 tube was used as a tuning indicator. All of this was extremely High Tech for 1935 and many years in advance of similar innovations by other companies.

Fass, Paula S. Kidnapped: Child Abduction in America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.

Memorial (Grade 5-8 Readability)