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Vintage Remco Tiny Tim crystal radio was made in the USA in 1959. Crystal radios were the first radios. Early ones were quite serious looking--but they survive today in the form of toys. They use no batteries or other power to receive stations but are powered by the faint signals from the broadcasting stations themselves and can be heard only through earphones. From the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/crystal-radios.htm Vintage rocket crystal radio from Miniman (Japan). Crystal radios were the first radios. Early ones were quite serious looking--but they survive today in the form of toys. They use no batteries or other power to receive stations but are powered by the faint signals from the broadcasting stations themselves and can be heard only through earphones. From 'Crystal Radios' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/crystal-radios.htm Vintage pincushion crystal radio from Japan. With pins! Crystal radios were the first radios. Early ones were very serious looking-but they survive today in the form of toys. They use no batteries or other power to receive stations but are powered by the faint signals from broadcasting stations themselves and can be heard only through earphones. From 'Crystal Radios' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/crystal-radios.htm Vintage crystal radios: Tinymite  (Western Manufacturing), Easy Built Radio Kit (Da-Myco Products), Remco Tiny Tim box. Crystal radios were the first radios. Early ones were serious looking-but they survive today in the form of toys. They use no batteries or other power to receive stations but are powered by the faint signals from broadcasting stations themselves. From the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/crystal-radios.htm Collectible vintage electronics: The sealed 'crystal diode' replaced the old 'cat's whisker' in the 1950s in radio applications. This is an early '50s Sylvania 1N34A germanium diode. From 'Crystal Radios' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/crystal-radios.htm

Crystal radios were the first radios. They use no batteries or other power to receive stations; they are powered by the faint signals from the broadcasting stations themselves and can be heard only through earphones. Beginning in the 1920s, amplifiers were added to radios to make them loud enough to power speakers and those early, serious-looking crystal radios faded into history.

But as you see on this page, the crystal radio managed to survive in the form of a toy. Many a kid has been fascinated by these little radios, some of us even built our own.

 

Upper left is the Remco Tiny Tim, made in the USA in 1959. The box for it is shown below. Upper center is one of the many rocket-shaped crystal radios made during our early-’60s obsession with space travel. This rocket is the model MG-305 from Miniman (Japan). To its right, another gem from Japan, the Current NP-81 Pincushion Radio. This one is not only a radio, but is also an actual pincushion stuck with real pins, and it has a thimble and built-in retractable tape measure you can see peeking out on the right. For more on these delightful little radios, see my books, Toy Crystal Radios Volume 1 and Volume 2.

The beautiful red Tinymite you see here is from the prolific Western Manufacturing of Kearney, Nebraska (1949) who sold their wares through little mail-order ads in popular and hobbyist magazines. They made a lot of interesting crystal radios and some tube and transistor radios too. They even made some walkie-talkie and broadcast devices.

 

On the right with the “cat’s whisker” crystal is the breadboard-style commercially-made Easy Built Radio Kit (1945) from Da-Myco Products, New York, USA.

The sealed “crystal diode” replaced the old cat’s whisker in the 1950s. Enlarged below is an early ’50s Sylvania 1N34A germanium diode.