The Book - Bart Beck

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About Bart Beck

RADIO AND TV

It was in the mid 1920's that we got our first radio. It was a five tube Freshman Masterpiece. My dad and I bought it from the Wolverine Motor Supply Company. The Wolverine was owned by Russ Weidenback and Miller Dunkle and was located on the east side of Main Street, near the south end of town.

The radio was powered by a six volt storage battery and two, 45 volt "B" batteries. It required at least 50 feet of outside antenna and a good, low resistance, ground connection. It had three stages of detection and each stage had to be tuned separately. Each time that you changed stations you had to re-tune all three stages. It was quite a few years before single dial tuning was available.

At that time, most everyone kept a log of the stations that they had been able to receive. The first radio that I can remember was a one tube set that Harold Sloan built and had operating in the Green house at the Riverside Cemetery. The Greenhouse was right across the street from our house so I would go over, when I knew that Harold was tinkering with his radio. It operated through ear phones only, and Harold would let me take one of the ear pieces. After much squealing and squaking, I would hear the man say "this is KDKA East Pittsburg, Pennsylvania".

The first TV that I recall seeing, was in Rossmoyne Ohio, in about 1945. The signal was being transmitted, on an experimental basis, by radio station WLW in Cincinnati, Ohio. All of the entertainers were local amateurs who entertained for free. One our neighbors, Johnny Daniels, was a real good vocalist, so he would go down to the studio to sing and all of his neighbors would go up to the furniture store, on the corner of Blue Ash and Kugler Mill Roads to watch him.

I think that it must have been about 1952 when we bought our first TV set. It was a Montgomery Ward, black and white set. It was several years before color TV became common.

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