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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 • THE TOY DEPARTMENT, 1913

Marconi Control Table: 1939

Marconi Control Table: 1939

"Marconi Control Table" at a radio station in British Mandate Palestine circa 1939. View full size. | Alternate view. Glass negative from the archives of the Matson Photo Service, which documented the American Colony in Jerusalem.

 

Radio Smell

My grandfather was a radio preacher from the 1930's through the early 1980's. When I was a kid (1960's) I used to go with him to deliver his taped sermons to the old big-signal radios stations throughout the south (LA,MS,AR,TN). He would record a couple of months of Sunday sermons and a whole bunch of weekday morning "5 Gospel Minutes" programs. Sometimes he mailed them, but I think he just liked to drive his big ol' white Lincoln on a weeklong road trip a couple of times a year, anyway, this photo brings back the smell of those 50,000 watt stations in Shreveport, Memphis, Little Rock etc. - burned coffee, cigarette smoke, warm ionized "electric air", mildewed wool carpets, stale air and a big backlit "ON THE AIR" sign outside the control rooms. Thanks for the memory, Shorpy.

Goober Pea

Radio Station Comments

I've operated boards in radio stations that were built from the 50's thru the turn of the century and the funny thing is, they look remarkably similar....the free standing panels on each side are very similar to todays and the only really big difference in the board itself is the tall portion above the big dials is now about 1/3 that size and is digital readouts....amazing, and the photograph is incredibly sharp and clear.

Marconi Table

I wonder what the size of a comparable piece of equipment is today

Breuer Chair

Note the modern classic Breuer Chair. Designed in 1928 & still in production.

Marconi Table

Exceptional technology for that year.

[Not really. 1939 was a landmark year for television in the United States. - Dave]

 
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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