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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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Queens of the Radio: 1925

Queens of the Radio: 1925

"Radio set assembling room, 1925." Another view of the Atwater Kent factory in Philadelphia. View full size. National Photo Company Collection glass negative.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5
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Fourth Girl

That fourth girl on the left is hot! Yeah, if she's still alive she'd be over 100. And, at my age, when this picture was taken, I'm old enough to be her father... But, jeez louise, she's hot. I wonder if she was the photographer's girlfriend. That's certainly a familiar look on her face. What a babe!

Atwater Kent 20C

These are Model 20C compact radios. Assembled faceplates are on the shelf behind them. The set used the two individual sockets plus the 3 socket island and a large round rheostat. They are attaching components to the metal faceplates with brass bolts. After this, someone would solder the wiring on.

Atwater Kent

I really like Atwater Kent radios. Have repaired quite a few since 1990. A good hobby.

Atwater Kent

My family had an Atwater Kent. I was told it was one of the first radios in the state. The model we had was made in 1921 though. You could have killed somebody with the metal horn speaker it had.

Flapper Bobs

I love how so many of the girls have the flapper style haircut, now most often associated with Louise Brooks. It's funny how the changing styles of coiffure always date a photo, much as the cars do when they are visible. This one screams "mid-1920s." (But that fourth girl on the left did have something special going on.)

I was looking at a 1978 High School yearbook yesterday and every girl had the same Farrah Fawcett 'do.

Spooky 2

I have this same though about many of the photos on Shorpy. What would these people think if you could have told them that thousands of people would be looking at their face on something called a "computer" over 80 years in the future.

In this case, it is somewhat possible (although very unlikely) that one or two of these people are still around.

Atwater Kent

I wish I'd had this photo when I was a radio-electronics-obsessed little girl in the 1950's and my 1920's-educated dad kept telling me that radio assembly was a boy's hobby.


Arthur Atwater Kent

What a great photo.

Awater Kent closed the plants and shut down the company when his workers tried to unionize in 1936 (and after a decline in sales of high-end radios).

He quit the business, moved to California and lived out his days. Fascinating story and interesting radios.

I think this (1925) photo was just around the time they switched from making 'breadboard' radios, where everything was laid out on a board and operated by batteries (yup, 90v batteries).

After about 1925, they discovered that homemakers often didn't want to dust tubes and open bits of radios, and he started building enclosed cabinets.

I think the company that made the cabinets is still in business making furniture.

Mike Y
Dallas, Texas

[He also made millions off his patents for automobile ignitions, which is how he got his start. - Dave]

Everyone Look Busy

Almost everyone held still for the picture, the girls just did a better job of looking busy. The actual busy folks are the men in the far back who did not bother to stop and left a blur of motion as a testament.

Smirking gal

That gal is a go-getter. They called her 'ol two at a time Tula


Spooky if you think that every one of those people is now dead....

We've come a long way...

Did anyone notice there's not a fat person in the picture. I bet the percentage of fat Americans was considerably smaller back then.

Talk Radio


The men are done already with what they need to do and are waiting for the women to catch up. Maybe if they would stop talking so much they could get done too.

Radio Girls

Looks like one of the ladies in the foreground knows the photographer.

Fifth in line

There is at least one busy guy working the assembly line. Fifth person on the right. And I love the look the girl is giving the camera (fourth in line on the left).

Working Girls. But Not the Guys.

I'm a dude myself and couldn't help notice. Geez, gents - at least look busy!

Just like my house.

So, why are all the women busy while almost all of the men are doing nothing but standing around and watching?

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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