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Tommy Dorsey: 1942

Tommy Dorsey: 1942

April 1942. "Chicago, Illinois -- Mr. Thomas Dorsey, radio technician, in William H. Green's radio and electrical store. Mr. Dorsey is an expert radio repairman and studied at the Tilden technical school in Chicago." Medium format acetate negative by Jack Delano. View full size.


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Test equipment

I can recognize a tube tester, an oscilloscope and a voltmeter. What is the Philco device the clock is sitting on? Some kind of signal generator? Maybe a frequency generator?

[The nameplate says PHILCO SIGNAL GENERATOR. - Dave]


I had one of those "flipper" clocks in 1970, and I thought they were a new type of clock. Now I see that they date back to the forties.

[The numerals on these don't flip. They rotate. - Dave]

Oscilloscope is gathering dust

That oscilloscope at the left was a newfangled diagnostic tool at the time, but not much use on AM radios. It would be a lot more useful ten years later when television became the shop's priority.

Ahead of His Time

Just noticed the cool-looking digital clock on top of one of the pieces of Philco test equipment on the right.

What's In A Name?

Mr. Thomas Dorsey working hard to make sure the store's customers have their radios repaired to hear Tommy Dorsey, the "Sentimental Gentleman of Swing" on the radio.

The latter Dorsey worked steadily in radio during the 1940s, playing live “remote” broadcasts and hosting shows of his own. During 1946, Tommy Dorsey had no fewer than four weekly programs over the Mutual Broadcasting System and NBC.

Yet Another Thomas Dorsey

Thomas A. Dorsey (1899-1993) was a musician and composer of religious music. His best known song, "Take My Hand, Precious Lord," was sung by Mahalia Jackson at the funeral of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tilden Tech

My father-in-law went to Tilden Tech back in the 1940s. It was a preparatory high school that specialized in industrial technology, preparing its pupils for a career in the industrial trades. My father who also grew up in Chicago, went to Lane Tech which also was a preparatory high school that offered similar industrial trade training programs. It is a crying shame that we do not have more of these schools today.

Mrs. Dorsey's Lament

"Thomas, you've been putting your wire cutters in your coat pocket again."

Electro-mechanical events

Or maybe sometimes a mouse chewed up a dial cord.

Tommy's Alma Mater

Still going strong as Tilden Career Community Academy High School. Established in 1881 as Lake High School, renamed Tilden High School in 1915, became an all-boys technical school in 1919, coed in 1960.

Probably a few bad filter caps

Now that's a cool shop, Mr. Dorsey! The test equipment they have is pretty impressive. I hope that both Dorsey and Green made a decent living from their radio repairs.

Before ICs

It's always a tube or blown filter condenser. Caution, the chassis metal is directly connected to a random side of the AC line.

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