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Radio Daze: 1921

Radio Daze: 1921

Circa 1921 in New York, the British pianist and conductor Ethel Leginska, last seen here. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.


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A&B batteries

A was low voltage, high current, for powering the tube filament. B was high voltage, low current, supply for the plates (anodes) of the tubes.

Spider-wound tabletop

Remarkably similar to coils likely buried inside that Bakelite case!


I understand

That she is probably posing just a tad, but can you imagine how an 'ordinary' person would react the first time they heard a radio in action. I'm sure it was considered magic or some kind of trick.

You Can Be Sure If It's Westinghouse

She's listening to an Aeriola Senior one-tube (WD-11) receiver. It was the step up from the Aeriola Junior cat-whisker crystal set. They were manufactured by Westinghouse and sold by RCA. The slogan was "A radio in every home."

Thanks God for radio

She probably would not have done well in television.

Batteries Not Included

Attached is a Red Seal Battery advertisement from about the time of this photo, possibly a billboard or counter card. It is evidently for automobile ignition systems and shows a race car driver praising the Guarantee.

Not just another pretty name

Her given name was Liggins but she struggled for fame at a time when the popular pianists had Slavic names; hence the change. A great talent, she became known as "The Paderewski of Women Pianists." Judging from her rapt expression in this photo, she had a gift for the theatrical - or perhaps she was listening to the World Series on WBZ.

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