Forums :: NEW! Web Resources :: Features :: Photo Gallery :: Vintage Radio Shows :: Archives
Support This Site: Contributors :: Advertise


It is currently Jul Fri 30, 2021 10:22 am


All times are UTC [ DST ]





Post New Topic Post Reply  [ 15 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: The hot new thing in 1934
PostPosted: Jun Sat 12, 2021 5:24 pm 
New Member

Joined: Jun Sat 12, 2021 5:17 pm
Posts: 1
I'm working on a piece of fiction that takes place in 1934. In it, a character brings a new radio to another character as a gift to replace her older, perhaps out-of-date radio. I'd like to be accurate about the technology involved, and how the new one is an improvement. I'm wondering if anyone here can help.

Specifically, what would an older or out-of-date radio in 1934 be? What would the new one have that the old one didn't that makes it better? Would it have better sound quality? Better reception? Would it be smaller? Prettier?

Any thoughts are helpful, and much appreciated.

j


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The hot new thing in 1934
PostPosted: Jun Sat 12, 2021 7:37 pm 
Member
User avatar

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 3575
Location: Oak Creek, WI USA
Heh, that list is endless. Of the top of my head: 1934 was the year everyone wanted one of the new all-wave radios (receives foreign broadcasts via shortwave along with the domestic broadcast band) but everything new that year offered better reception, more convenient tuning, and more realistic audio quality than sets even just three or four years older.

Smaller was not necessarily better. Sets of the same quality were about the same size as older sets.


Last edited by Paul Dietenberger on Jun Sat 12, 2021 7:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The hot new thing in 1934
PostPosted: Jun Sat 12, 2021 7:40 pm 
Member
User avatar

Joined: Jun Wed 08, 2011 2:33 am
Posts: 11968
Location: Ohio 45177
A radio that was only 4-5 years old in 1934 would have most likely been a TRF type with a large chassis and low gain tubes. A 1934 radio would likely be much smaller, more efficient, and be a superhet type like more modern radios up to this time. It would still require a piece of wire for an antenna, as it would be a few more years till built in antennas became more commonplace. The superhet radio would likely have been more sensitive, better reliability, if not a bargain basement model, and better selectivity between stations. Also another thing is alot of radios before 1930 did not have the loudspeaker built into the cabinet with the radio, but as a separate cathedral shaped box or others. However after about 1927 or 28 a great number of the radio models had switched from battery power to internal AC power supplies, to plug in to an outlet in electrified homes. Between about 1929 and mid 30s there was a great deal of new developments like better tubes and smaller parts and just overall performance improvements. The 1930s loudspeakers sounded better than the older 20s types too. If we are talking a radio that was more than 5 years old in 34, the improvements would be vast for the end users.

_________________
Reddy Kilowatt says; You smell smoke? Sorry about that!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The hot new thing in 1934
PostPosted: Jun Sat 12, 2021 7:49 pm 
Member
User avatar

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 3575
Location: Oak Creek, WI USA
Here’s an idea. Just do a Google image search for 1934 radio ad, and read the ad copy. That will tell you what was exciting to radio buyers that year. Let’s just say that that was a year where it’s easy to find a good excuse to get a new radio.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The hot new thing in 1934
PostPosted: Jun Sat 12, 2021 8:16 pm 
Member
User avatar

Joined: Jan Tue 31, 2012 1:55 am
Posts: 17471
Location: Mountains of Mourne. Ireland.
Search or download. - - - Radio Retailing magazine...
https://worldradiohistory.com/Radio_Ret ... gazine.htm
from: https://worldradiohistory.com/

1934 models would have been announced the the fall of 1933


Fiction:
1. literature in the form of prose, especially novels, that describes imaginary events and people.
2. something that is invented or untrue.

:) Greg.


Edit: or... Radio News.
https://worldradiohistory.com/Radio_New ... _Guide.htm


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The hot new thing in 1934
PostPosted: Jun Sat 12, 2021 9:03 pm 
Member
User avatar

Joined: Apr Sun 01, 2012 9:55 pm
Posts: 12864
Location: Seattle, WA
I guess well-to-do people might have been replacing 5-year-old radios in 1934, but not the average Joe. I think the average person in 1934 would've made a radio investment last longer than 5 years... I'd be surprised if most people were replacing anything less than 8-10 years old.

Which means that they would most likely have been replacing a battery radio... Radios from the 1924-1926 timeframe were almost universally battery radios, because not a lot of houses had electricity yet in the mid '20s. If the story is set in a city, the characters would likely have gotten electricity before 1934. The mid-'20s battery radio they were replacing may have been outfitted with an AC power supply called a "battery eliminator" sometime between when it was bought in 1926 and when they were looking to replace it in 1934. They would've been shopping for an AC radio that didn't need a separate power supply. OTOH, if the story is set in a rural area, then there's a good chance they still would not have had electricity yet in 1934, and they'd be shopping for a battery radio still. Not an old one, but a modern one for the time.

And I agree that the biggest difference, regardless of how old the radio being replaced was, would be that the new radio would likely have been a multi-band radio that picked up shortwave frequencies in addition to the commercial AM broadcast band. The older radio, even if it was as new as 1932, would have been a single-band radio that received only the AM broadcast band.

_________________
Rodney -- KG7EPW
Measure it with a micrometer, mark it with chalk, cut it with a chainsaw.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The hot new thing in 1934
PostPosted: Jun Sat 12, 2021 9:11 pm 
Member
User avatar

Joined: Jul Tue 15, 2008 6:13 pm
Posts: 9224
Location: Gretna, Nebraska
1934 during the depths of the depression. Unemployment was pretty high and money was also tight for many Americans during that time.
Only the fairly affluent were buying the upscale models. Not sure what the socio-economic class of the novel's character is, but the radio should match the wallet of the character.

_________________
http://www.vintagerestorationservices.com
Paul
...... how hard can it be?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The hot new thing in 1934
PostPosted: Jun Sat 12, 2021 9:45 pm 
Member

Joined: Nov Tue 14, 2017 5:09 am
Posts: 3866
Location: Austin, Texas
There were a lot of radios offered for sale in 1934. If you want to see a list of them, go to https://www.radiomuseum.org/ and fill in the search box:
Attachment:
1934 Radios.jpg
1934 Radios.jpg [ 86.69 KiB | Viewed 680 times ]


At the top of the list, click on Picture Gallery. That will get you pictures of over 900 radios sold in 1934.

Jay


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The hot new thing in 1934
PostPosted: Jun Sat 12, 2021 10:22 pm 
Member
User avatar

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 3575
Location: Oak Creek, WI USA
processhead wrote:
1934 during the depths of the depression. Unemployment was pretty high and money was also tight for many Americans during that time.
Only the fairly affluent were buying the upscale models. Not sure what the socio-economic class of the novel's character is, but the radio should match the wallet of the character.


Well, it wasn’t that horrible of a year, all things considered. Third highest year of unit sales up to that time. Prices were way down, to be sure, since small table radios as second sets were starting to become a thing. True that radio sales really took off just after that, but it’s not like no one was buying. 1932 was the deepest part of the depression. Things were looking up a little bit in 1934.

From January 38 Radio Retailing: units and dollar sales of home radios in the US. Unit sales were much smaller before 1928.


Attachments:
544F8F79-5021-444E-A53E-C5FAEF25E285.jpeg
544F8F79-5021-444E-A53E-C5FAEF25E285.jpeg [ 295.5 KiB | Viewed 670 times ]
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The hot new thing in 1934
PostPosted: Jun Sat 12, 2021 11:04 pm 
Member
User avatar

Joined: Dec Sat 24, 2011 9:17 pm
Posts: 7990
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
Right, she could be buying a Kadette curtain burner, or something slightly bigger like a Crosley 5-er.
Women weren't big earners. She wouldn't want a console unless she owns the home.
If she's rich and really wants to impress, sure, a big 6-leg console, delivered by truck. Coming by even a large saloon type car, it's a 2 man job to get it out of the car and up the front stairs.
Make it a super-het table radio. But a Bakelite or pressed wood Kadette would be a nice gift, compact, she could bring it in herself in a handbag.

_________________
Watch the doughnut, not the hole.
Burl Ives, RIP, oldtimer.
[:l>)


Last edited by westcoastjohn on Jun Sat 12, 2021 11:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The hot new thing in 1934
PostPosted: Jun Sat 12, 2021 11:05 pm 
Member
User avatar

Joined: Sep Thu 14, 2006 3:27 pm
Posts: 14300
Location: Carmel, Indiana
My suggestion:

New Radio: RCA 140 multiband tabletop radio. Retail $100 in 1934. It's multiband, a superhet, sing knob/dial tuning, AC powered, and the speaker is enclosed in the same cabinet as the radio chassis.

Old Radio: Atwater Kent 20. It's battery operated, requires three dials to tune in a station, one band, a TRF receiver, runs on batteries, and has an external speaker which would most likely be a horn speaker. Probably an Atwater Kent model "M" speaker.

Now that would be a definite improvement in his listening pleasure. Such an upgrade would cover just about all of the major improvements in radio receiver technology from 1925 to 1934 in one fell swoop.

_________________
Michael Feldt
www.indianaradios.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The hot new thing in 1934
PostPosted: Jun Sat 12, 2021 11:24 pm 
Member
User avatar

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 38686
Location: SoCal, 91387
Indiana Radios wrote:
My suggestion:

New Radio: RCA 140 multiband tabletop radio. Retail $100 in 1934. It's multiband, a superhet, sing knob/dial tuning, AC powered, and the speaker is enclosed in the same cabinet as the radio chassis.

Old Radio: Atwater Kent 20. It's battery operated, requires three dials to tune in a station, one band, a TRF receiver, runs on batteries, and has an external speaker which would most likely be a horn speaker. Probably an Atwater Kent model "M" speaker.

Now that would be a definite improvement in his listening pleasure. Such an upgrade would cover just about all of the major improvements in radio receiver technology from 1925 to 1934 in one fell swoop.


Good ideas. If the article will have illustrations, pictures of these would display the very obvious physical differences. In that way you wouldn't necessarily have to get too technical, describing TRF vs Superheterodyne operation.

_________________
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\He Who Dies With The Most Radios Wins/////////////////////////


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The hot new thing in 1934
PostPosted: Jun Sun 13, 2021 12:46 am 
Member
User avatar

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 10517
Location: Beaver Falls, PA. USA
Even the radios from 1928-30 were technically obsolete by 1934; the biggest advances were better tubes and speakers, and the widespread use of the Superhetrodyne circuit, once RCA let other manufacturers use it.

_________________
Tim KA3JRT


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The hot new thing in 1934
PostPosted: Jun Sun 13, 2021 1:49 am 
Member

Joined: Sep Fri 07, 2007 2:27 am
Posts: 6661
Location: Grand Chute, Wisconsin
Don't forget that one of the biggest changes was the available programming. Radio entertainment changed drastically in those years.

.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: The hot new thing in 1934
PostPosted: Jun Sun 13, 2021 4:10 am 
Member
User avatar

Joined: Mar Mon 21, 2016 2:41 pm
Posts: 197
Location: Cape Cod, MA
This is such a cool thread. Echoing the posts of others...an 'outdated' radio in 1934 would have been a TRF set (i.e. something from the 1920's) Atwater Kent etc...

When I think of radios in 1934, I think of my 1934 RCA 128, which is a gorgeous shouldered tombstone, 6 tubes, AM and shortwave.

-Alex


Top
 Profile  
 
Post New Topic Post Reply  [ 15 posts ]  Moderator: sofaslug

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 46 guests



Search for:
Jump to:  


































Privacy Policy :: Powered by phpBB