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When broadcast listening broke big in 1922, it was a boon for newspaper cartoonists. Initially radio was more of a popular science hobby for middle-class males than a full-blown mass medium. You can read all about it in this obscure but fascinating book.

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15 Comments

  1. Initially radio was more of a popular science hobby for middle-class males than a full-blown mass medium.

    Just like computers and the Internet! The more things change, etc.

    • Yup. And hi-fi too. Radio was the first entry of consumer electronics into the home, and really set the template.

  2. Speaking of radios setting the template, have you seen some of the amazing case mods styled on art deco radios?

    • Nope! Got a link for me?

        • Jackie
        • Posted September 10, 2009 at 7:41 pm
        • Permalink

        The link should have been in my comment behind the text “case mods styled on art deco radios”. Did the link get stripped?

        • mrparallel
        • Posted September 10, 2009 at 7:55 pm
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        It’s there now. I’ve been seeing all kinds of glitches on the site today. Can’t currently edit now posts, for example.

        • mrparallel
        • Posted September 10, 2009 at 7:56 pm
        • Permalink

        Those are beautiful.

        • Jackie
        • Posted September 11, 2009 at 12:43 pm
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        I wish I had the money to commission a case mod like those. Products just aren’t designed with visual appeal in mind like they used to be. Modern computers may be capable of amazing things, but they’re not much to look at. Televisions (and probably radios, too) used to be sold at furniture stores because they were first and foremost part of the ensemble of living room furniture.

        • mrparallel
        • Posted September 11, 2009 at 1:03 pm
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        Yeah: the big aesthetic breakthrough with computers was the shift away from beige plastic.

  3. I second the recommendation for American Babel. I read it a couple of months ago.

    • You are a discerning reader.

  4. A: what the hell is a case mod? And B: I add to Rob T’s comment cell phones and digital cameras. Furthermore , we can see in the fourth cartoon a parallel with having a camera shoved in your face and being expected to admire an endless series of postage-stamp sized images.

    • Case mod = case modification. Transplanting ye computer guts into a beautiful vessel, like.

      Who’s been torturing you with a digital camera? The pitchers look bigger if you upload them onto a computer.

  5. Great idea! We could take our iMac and juff it into that massive 60’s cabinet stereo that’s been languishing around the house for 8 years.What a space savings!

    • Exactly.


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