Novelty crystal radio set, c 1924.

Novelty crystal radio set, c 1924.
3 0 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 22cm


Crystal set in the form of a book, by Kenmac Radio Ltd, Hammersmith, London. The crystal radio set was simple and cheap. It consisted basically of a tuned circuit and a crystal detector, and had no batteries, the power delivered to its headphones all coming from the transmitter. Most designs used a wire 'cat's whisker' touching a favourable spot on the crystal at just the right pressure. The slightest vibration, such as slamming a nearby door, could lose the programme being listened to altogether until patient adjustment brought it back.

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© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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