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About the Photos

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.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Radio Nut: 1924

Radio Nut: 1924

June 1924. Washington, D.C. "Radio nut -- this set with everything necessary for receiving music and speech by radio has been put into a coconut shell. It was built by H. Zamora, a native of Manila, Philippine Islands." Marketing suggests we call this the iNut. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

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The message:

Submit, puny Earthlings! Resistance is futile.

Cast-off Cabinetry

There's a long-standing tradition among the real nuts of radio -- ham radio operators -- of building homebrew circuitry into odd, discarded containers. Tuna fish cans are a favorite, although things get a little funky once the resistors heat up... what's that smell? Margarine tubs, cereal boxes -- hams are nothing if not thrifty.

The cat's whisker

The gizmo that she's fondling is likely to be the cat's whisker, a metal pin that is poked onto a galena crystal to make a crude rectifier for demodulating the AM signal. It needs to be moved now and then to get good audio. At least it's something to do.

Banana phones?

I suppose their clocks were powered by potatoes.

Staring eyes

Looks as if she is receiving messages from outer space!


Panasonic Panapet.

Gilligan's Island

The Professor did this practically every week.

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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