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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.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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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]

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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