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About the Photos

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

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.

 

Spider-wound tabletop

Remarkably similar to coils likely buried inside that Bakelite case!

DaveB

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.

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
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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