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Between Two Ferns: 1926

Between Two Ferns: 1926

Washington, D.C., circa 1926. "Home of Mary Roberts Rinehart," prolific writer of mysteries. A room last glimpsed here. 8x10 inch glass negative. View full size.


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Cosmopolitan Magazine

That appears to be the June 1925 issue on the shelf below the radio.

Atwater-Kent promo photo

This is an A-K promotional photo, the receiving set and speaker horn are not connected for operation. Notice that the radio and horn are the only new and clean items in the entire room! A-K staged their radio sets in the formal rooms of famous persons' homes to demonstrate that they were designed more like furniture than appliances. They never could conceal the messy batteries, wires and antenna connections, so these were simply omitted from the promo.

Hidden batteries?

There's a coiled wire hanging behind the table that seems to lead into the grilled space under the window sill. Given that there are doors several places on this lower wall, it could well be that the batteries are hidden behind the grill work.

She earned it

Mary Roberts Rinehart was a deservedly successful mystery writer. And her work has held up over the years and her books are still worth reading.

What is

The round device behind the radio, a dish antenna?

[A loudspeaker. - Dave]

Don't look at me!

The parrot made the mess on the floor. I'm innocent!!

But does it work?

Right on with the identification of the Atwater Kent model 30 however, since this model is a battery operated set, where are all the wires leading to and fro? Usually the batteries would be located below and close to the receiver. We had the room with the lower shelf to do the job, but no batteries.
Atwater Kent, in it's advertising campaigns, would use the houses of famous people of the era to advertise their radios and place their product in an ideal room just to give you an idea of how well it would look in your abode. (bird not included)
By the way, notice the radio horn just to the left of the radio. That's a Model L design.

Great title, Dave.

Even though he's sitting stage right, the pooch's name just has to be Zach. The parrot could have any of 30-plus names.

The Radio

An Atwater-Kent Model 30 (or thereabouts).

Again with the filthy floors

I can understand, maybe, filthy floors in banks and factories in the early part of the 20th century that I see in Shorpy photos, but in the private homes of the well-to-do? Didn't even successful mystery writers have maids?


What is the device sitting on the wicker table? I'm guessing it's some kind of radio.

[It is. -tterrace]

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