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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Final Inspector: 1936

Final Inspector: 1936

1936. Camden, New Jersey. "RCA Victor Final Inspector -- testing radio frequency alignment and making final test of chassis. This takes place in a room entirely surrounded by copper screening in order to protect testing from any interference. This is the job requiring the highest skill. Even technical training, such as an electrical engineering course, must be supplemented by a course of training at the plant for this particular work." Photo by Lewis Hine. View full size.

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Not even warm

As has already been noted, the chassis is equipped with a power transformer - so the chassis would never be live, no matter what the orientation of the mains, ( line ), AC connected to it. Amongst other things, safety concerns were a major reason for having a mains transformer.

Rubber Stamp

After testing the chassis was usually stamped with a "passed" stamp. I remember seeing that on a few radios that I have worked on.

Engineering 101

The copper mesh room is called a Faraday Cage in which an electric field can not exist, so no interference. The tingle is from the half-wave rectifier. The wall plugs were not polarized so one way around gave you a hot chassis.

High end radio

This is one of their better radios. It has the shape of a cathedral radio, and has five bands. It's not surprising that a test person would take a few minutes to make sure it sounds good.


Can you imagine having to wear those headphones all day? Heavy, and no cushioning? No, thanks!

Live Chassis?

I see a power transformer, so probably not a live chassis.

Ahh, the good old days!

That live chassis and its lovely parts brings back fond memories. Now all that cool stuff is in something called a "chip."

OSHA would not approve

Nice watch...but he should take it off with all the high voltage hazards in the area.

I remember using those things.

To far left of picture…the once ubiquitous rubber stamp and pad.

Volt Tingle

He's checking for voltage tingle, holding the lamp base and grounding himself to the chassis, possibly because he likes it or perhaps it's a posed photograph.

Final Inspector: 1936

Dave. What source are you using for the Lewis Hine photos taken in the 1930s? I can't seem to find one primary website for the photos he took for the TVA, the WPA, and the FSA. -Joe Manning

SHORPY OLD 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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