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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Learning Radio: 1921

Learning Radio: 1921

Washington circa 1921. "Loomis Radio School." Another look at the technical school run by Mary Texanna Loomis. National Photo Company. View full size.

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Maybe not mold.

I think that's dust from the plaster walls where things have been removed.

Even with wallboard I get that when I've been putting in or removing things, and it appears there was a bench or bar or table on the RH wall that's been removed. If it was used as a dance studio once, that's about the right height for a ballet bar, and would make sense with the double-screw holes.

It also appears there was a back room here once, you can see where there may have been a wall going from the left to the right, but nothing on the floors.

So, my imagination sees this as being a space with a back room w/sink, that was converted to a dance studio, and those folks refinished the floor after removing the wall, and they left (my imagination says the leaks might have been the culprit), and a radio school saw a place to get space on the cheap.

I wish I had a space like that with tall ceilings and wood floors and big windows.

Wet Cells

Way back then, radios were powered by batteries. To power the tubes of the radio, you had to have voltage for the filaments- the A-battery - usually 1 or 2 volts, and 6 and 12 later, and you had to have the high voltage for the tube to operate - the B-Plus voltage. You got this by stringing a group of 6-volt wet-cell batteries in series, plus to minus, so their voltage added up.

These big, smelly wet-cell batteries had to be maintained, the acid renewed as they were charged. I suspect the stains on the floor are the leftovers from classroom instruction in acid-filled battery maintenance. Don't wear your good suit to that class!

I had to take care of the intercom-telephones' batteries in high school, specific gravity, distilled water, sulfuric-acid fumes, the works. I could have blown the basement up!

Loomis School Adverts

A number of men have attempted to master wireless telegraphy in so-called radio schools that employed as instructors men who knew very little about the science. They have invariably found this uphill and discouraging work. The Loomis Radio School, 401-411 9th st. has built a great reputation for thorough instruction, and maintains on its staff of instructors men who stand at the top of the radio profession. If you are thinking of taking up this study it would be well to make a most thorough investigation of various schools before enrolling in any. We conduct classes daily, 10 to 12 a.m., 1 to 3 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. The school is thoroughly equipped with apparatus for practical instruction, which his always at the disposal of the students, and it is the only government licensed technical and training station in Washington. Tuition moderate, payments easy. We make a specialty of training advanced students and those holding only the second-grade radio license. Catologue on request. Loomis Radio School. 401-411 9th st,; entrance in lobby of Strand Theater.

Display Ad, Washington Post, Jan 23, 1921

Among the principal recommendations in the President's message to Congress was one calling for the "establishment and maintenance of a great merchant marine." This should interest men who have been thinking of training to be radio operators. The Loomis Radio School gives a thorough course in this line of work, and if one prefers to be a radio inspector, or prepare for radio construction work, our course in radio mechanics will qualify you. Read what the President says in his message concerning the merchant marine and radio communications, then drop in on us and talk it over. Gratitude placed in positions. Loomis Radio School, 401-411 9th st. The only government licensed technical and training radio station in Washington.

Display Ad, Washington Post, Apr 21, 1921

Not a bad lab.

Other than the horrible plumbing problems, the lab itself is reasonably well equipped, albeit on a low budget.

I see a lathe, a drill press, a well-organized selection of hand tools, and several test meters.

Nice and roomy.

They should rent out space to those cramped fellows at the Bureau of Investigation.

Loomis, We Have a Problem

There appears to be a very advanced water leak, either dripping from the ceiling or seeping up from the ground, on the right side of the picture. Not only is there a multitude of dark water spots in several various places on the floor, there appears to be MOLD growing on the wall and other places. I think they need to invest some of that tuition they collect from students into building repairs.

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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