Sunday, June 15, 2014

radio, radio (a fathers' day piece)

When Skyping with my parents this morning, I can't quire remember how we got onto the theme of radios, except we were talking about computers, downloading tv broadcasts, reception - and then the clarity of crystal sets.  I know that my father and his brother, Don, made their own radio in the early 30s, but on this occasion, he wasn't talking about that particular piece of technology, but about something else he remembered from that time - gas-powered radios.  Apparently gas came in from the mains; you lit it so that the flames came out of lots of tiny jets, which in turn powered a thermocouple.  No one would believe this contraption when my father later talked about it, until he met two men in a pub in the 1950s.  But I found evidence - and sent it him - that proved it wasn't a mirage ...

My mother, for her part, didn't exactly contribute recollection, since she was still in the womb ... but when her mother was seven months pregnant with her, my grandfather bought the first radio in Batley, and had all his friends round (not to my pregnant grandmother's best pleasure) to listen to the General Election results in November 1922.  I don't think that they would have been very pleased that Batley returned a Labor MP.

The interference in the picture of our own retro-style radio?  Moth's hind legs.

No comments:

Post a Comment