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Washington, D.C., circa 1919. "George Parezo & Co., Ninth Street N.W." An electrical appliance store in the early years of that retail category (top sellers included irons, coffeepots, vacuums, table lamps and toasters), on the eve of the emergence of a new a mass communications medium. "Wireless" transmissions, at first mostly marine and military telegraphy, now included civilian audio broadcasts heard on crystal-set headphones. Before long loudspeakers connected to vacuum tube receivers entered the mainstream, and "radio" was born. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.