Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My Other Newish Device

Yesterday (as you may recall) I talked about a radio that I recently acquired while looking for cartoonishly entertaining examples of technological inefficiencies.

Today (as you may have guessed from the title) I'd like to talk about the other radio that I acquired from the same seller at the same time.

I've always been a sucker for 2-for-1 sales. That's why I once ended up getting my hair cut twice on the same day.

Here's what that second radio looks like:

Give yourself a big round of applause if you immediately recognized that as a General Electric Model 321 from 1946.

And go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back if you remember that the Sears Silverstone Model 8051 that I talked about yesterday was made just two years later.

Did you notice that the GE has push buttons and the Silvertone does not? Well, so might a very young child. Don't let it go to your head.

Other differences are not so obvious, however, so go on and give yourself 10 big bonus points if you can see that the GE weighs almost 2 pounds more (8.8 pounds, to be exact, versus 7 pounds for its buddy).

Hell, I only weighed 6 pounds when I was born! (And I *still* can't bring in WLW no matter how hard I smack myself on the side.)

And just because I can tell that you're dying to know, the GE is bigger, too - 14" wide by 9" high by 8" deep vs. 12" wide, 9.5" high, and 7" deep for the buttonless Silvertone.

Imagine - 14" wide and all it does is allow you to hear a few local AM radio stations on a good day.

Of course I love 'em both (and they always play so well together!), but... the sheer size of the GE is what sustains my hope of someday finding a doorbell as big as a Cadillac Escalade.

Until that day comes, I shall take comfort in the fact that the drastic reduction in size that occurred in these two radios (1008 cubic inches of volume in 1946 down to just 798 cubic inches in 1948) didn't continue in a linear straight line over time. If it had, they would have been making extremely hard-to-find radios of -52 cubic inches by 1952.


  1. I wonder if negative space radios receive tachyons.
    You seem ripe for reading The Chip, by TR Reid, famous for living in Tokyo and talking to Bob Edwards once a week when Reid was the Tokyo Bureau Chief for the Washington Post.
    Amazon sellers offer like-new paperbacks of The Chip for 6.99 including shipping.
    Or maybe the Columbus Metropolitan Library has it.
    Yes, score!
    The captcha is muserie --could there be any better word for the library?

  2. I found a new favorite Penn Jilette quote:
    Net access for all? Not on your life. A bone-headed idea, says Penn. "I defy the Acid Head to name one fvcking show poor kids need to watch on cable," he said. "Taking television away from poor people is the BEST THING YOU COULD DO FOR THEM. Rich people turn the TV off SO THEY CAN READ."
    "The Acid Head" is Al Gore. The year was 1993, the year DARPANet became the public Internet. The quote is from a Wired Magazine interview archived at