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Crystal radio sets, c 1920s.

Crystal radio sets, c 1920s.
3 1 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 23cm


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 presure. 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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