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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • FLY CANADIAN PACIFIC, c. 1950s

Cockaday and Banning: 1924

Cockaday and Banning: 1924

New York circa 1924. "L.M. Cockaday and Maj. Kendall Banning." 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.

 

Radio components identified

The Detector/1-Stage Audio Amplifier was a Superadio Corporation D/A as seen on the logo on the set. The Superadio Corporation was the successor to the L. M. Cockaday Co. starting January of 1921 as seen in a January 1921 Pacific Radio News advertisement. The radio on the desk was also a Superadio Corp. product as can be seen by the same logo. On top of the device with two meters sits a Wireless Specialty Apparatus Clark Tone-Tester which is a miniature crystal radio to monitor the tone of the transmitted signal.

ARRL Member

In the middle of the wall is a Membership Certificate in the American Radio Relay League, the pioneer Ham Radio organization, headquartered in Connecticut.

Re Flat Top

Mister Cockaday was much more than just a telegraph key pilot. That component to the left of the desk (shown below) was one of the radio products of L.M. Cockaday and Company, 2674 Bailey Avenue, New York City. It was described in a Cockaday ad in the January 1921 issue of Wireless Age as "...the BEST detector and single stage amplifier in the WORLD" and cost $45, about $523 today.

Major Banning

With that shiny jacket and matching trousers, he must have been quite the rake at the big post-war 1919 national wireless radio convention. But, alas, by 1924 what once was stylish apparently was demoted to throw-something-on-for-work. A veteran of World War One (signal corps), Banning was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution (the Banning lineage in the U.S. goes back at least to the late 17th Century). Also he was an author, possibly most famous for "Censored Mother Goose Rhymes", per this, found online:

Censored Mother Goose Rhymes by Kendall Banning (1929)
Flipped through an interactive version of this very funny book today at the Ransom Center’s wonderful “Banned, Burned, Seized, and Censored” exhibit. (It’s out of print, so you can read the whole thing online.)

Originally published in 1926 and dedicated to “The Censors who have taught us how to ready naughty meanings into harmless words,” Banning reprinted it in support of the efforts to revise parts of tariff legislation that allowed customs agents to ban “obscene” books from the US—the book was distributed to congressmen in the middle of the debate.1

Banning (1879-1944) wasn’t some underground prankster: he was a war veteran, a poet (a New York Times review in 1913 said of his work, “no other poet in America at the moment has such a gift of pure melody”), an author of over a dozen books (he wrote books on Annapolis and West Point), and an editor of Cosmopolitan, Popular Radio, and Hearst Magazine.

Fun fact: Gertrude Stein owned a copy.

Major Banning is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, and here's his grave:

Unusual name ?

Banning

Kendall Banning

was the editor of Popular Radio magazine at this time.

Flat Top

The guy in the light shirt could almost fit in perfectly in appearance with young men in the early 60's.

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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