Vacuum Tube Radio Hat

Tuesday, February 16, 2010



The two tube radio receiver hat appeared within the pages of the 1949 June addition of Radio Electronics (Kind of a 1949 iPod.) cost $7.95 and was manufactured by the American Merri-Lei Corporation of Brooklyn, N.Y. It came in 8 colors; Lipstick Red, Tangerine, Flamingo, Canary Yellow, Chartreuse, Blush Pink, Rose Pink, and Tan. The radio was powered by an external battery pack.

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52 comments

Rick said...

Am I the only person who immediately checked Google Maps (being far away from NY) to check what might be located at the address in the ad???

March 6, 2010 at 6:50 AM
Fel J. Cruz said...

No, Rick, alas you are not. It looks as if someone back then was building these in their home, or at least was using the address to receive orders.

From the look of it, and based on what I would use given the tubes available at the time, it used 1.4 volt tubes, possibly a couple of dual triodes a regenerative detector and a amplifier. The hard part is supplying the required voltages for these tubes. A large 1.5V battery to supply the filaments along with a larger 22.5 - 45V battery for the plate voltage wouldn't be in the hat and is probably the wiring on the model's right side going down to her pocket where the batteries for this thing are.

The 20 mile radius is probably optimistic at best given the size of the antenna loop, the thing would only be good for urban areas, and even then the loudest stations would be the ones within a 5 mile radius. I could be wrong though, by 1949 multi-unit tubes would have made this radio the equivalent of a 3 or 4 tube set, however it would have been cost prohibitive. $7.95 in 1949 is $72.38 in 2010 dollars, so each dollar increase in 1949 is like adding an additional 9 bucks to the price in 2010.

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This comment has been removed by the author. June 28, 2010 at 10:51 AM
jean-marie said...

Lol
This is a cool old school ipod !!!
And she seems happy wearing it
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I like to use This Hat. Keep posting such a nice post.




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The hard part is supplying the required voltages for these tubes.company logo design

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I like tangerine coloured one. I bookmarked it for future reference.
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