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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

The Test Table: 1925

The Test Table: 1925

1925. "Atwater Kent at test table." Namesake of the Atwater Kent radio empire at his Philadelphia factory. View full size. National Photo Company Collection.

 

AK Pictures

I hope to see more AK pictures like this posted soon. I'm going to buy some prints of some, if not all of them. Just can't decide what size I want.

Parting Thoughts

Today that young man behind Mr. Atwater would surely have a ponytail. Hair parted in the middle today means there's a lot more hair hanging down the back. Of course, any number of "older" guys have a VERY wide part down the middle of their head to go along with their pony tail. How did Springsteen put it? Oh, yeah, glory days. Which brings to mind, sadly, the recent demise of the hippy dippy weatherman, George Carlin. What that has to do with Mr. Atwater posing with his workforce, I haven't a clue.

AK Test Bench

There aren't any speakers visible so I imagine they were looking at their instruments to test the finished radio. On the bottom of each set would have been a tag with a number of who inspected the set. At least there is on mine.

Look busy/blurry, the boss is here

Looks like a line of Model 20s being built...

http://www.radiomuseum.org/r/atwater_20c_compact_20_c_7570.html

Zounds What Sounds?

If they are testing those radios aurally I have to wonder what that room sounded like, with all those guys switching around the dial making Theremin-like noises and static between tuning in to the handful of radio stations available. Maybe they made no sound at all and relied on gauges. I'd rather imagine cacophony, though.

[Each bench has a large thingamajig with dials. - Dave]

 
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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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