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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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Marconi Control Table: 1939

Marconi Control Table: 1939

"Marconi Control Table" at a radio station in British Mandate Palestine circa 1939. View full size. | Alternate view. Glass negative from the archives of the Matson Photo Service, which documented the American Colony in Jerusalem.

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Radio Smell

My grandfather was a radio preacher from the 1930's through the early 1980's. When I was a kid (1960's) I used to go with him to deliver his taped sermons to the old big-signal radios stations throughout the south (LA,MS,AR,TN). He would record a couple of months of Sunday sermons and a whole bunch of weekday morning "5 Gospel Minutes" programs. Sometimes he mailed them, but I think he just liked to drive his big ol' white Lincoln on a weeklong road trip a couple of times a year, anyway, this photo brings back the smell of those 50,000 watt stations in Shreveport, Memphis, Little Rock etc. - burned coffee, cigarette smoke, warm ionized "electric air", mildewed wool carpets, stale air and a big backlit "ON THE AIR" sign outside the control rooms. Thanks for the memory, Shorpy.

Goober Pea

Radio Station Comments

I've operated boards in radio stations that were built from the 50's thru the turn of the century and the funny thing is, they look remarkably similar....the free standing panels on each side are very similar to todays and the only really big difference in the board itself is the tall portion above the big dials is now about 1/3 that size and is digital readouts....amazing, and the photograph is incredibly sharp and clear.

Marconi Table

I wonder what the size of a comparable piece of equipment is today

Breuer Chair

Note the modern classic Breuer Chair. Designed in 1928 & still in production.

Marconi Table

Exceptional technology for that year.

[Not really. 1939 was a landmark year for television in the United States. - Dave]

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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