SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Radio Daze: 1921

Radio Daze: 1921

Circa 1921 in New York, the British pianist and conductor Ethel Leginska, last seen here. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

A&B batteries

A was low voltage, high current, for powering the tube filament. B was high voltage, low current, supply for the plates (anodes) of the tubes.

Spider-wound tabletop

Remarkably similar to coils likely buried inside that Bakelite case!


I understand

That she is probably posing just a tad, but can you imagine how an 'ordinary' person would react the first time they heard a radio in action. I'm sure it was considered magic or some kind of trick.

You Can Be Sure If It's Westinghouse

She's listening to an Aeriola Senior one-tube (WD-11) receiver. It was the step up from the Aeriola Junior cat-whisker crystal set. They were manufactured by Westinghouse and sold by RCA. The slogan was "A radio in every home."

Thanks God for radio

She probably would not have done well in television.

Batteries Not Included

Attached is a Red Seal Battery advertisement from about the time of this photo, possibly a billboard or counter card. It is evidently for automobile ignition systems and shows a race car driver praising the Guarantee.

Not just another pretty name

Her given name was Liggins but she struggled for fame at a time when the popular pianists had Slavic names; hence the change. A great talent, she became known as "The Paderewski of Women Pianists." Judging from her rapt expression in this photo, she had a gift for the theatrical - or perhaps she was listening to the World Series on WBZ.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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