Nov 21-10

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2010: November: Nov 21-10
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Photo by George Ackerman

Charlie at Pasty Central (Chopper) on Sunday, November 21, 2010 - 09:05 am:

The National Archives dates today's Shoebox Memory around 1930, when USDA photographer George Ackerman captured a Michigan family's moment gathered around the radio. It had hardly been 10 years since the first commercial broadcast, the results of the 1920 presidential election. Toward the end of the roaring 20's, table-top and console radios hit stores in a wave that resembled the current proliferation of flat screen TV's. Even your average farm family could afford to hook up to the outside world.

Fast forward 80 years... what a different world. As I type this, a small smartphone in my pocket is playing music from a U.P. radio station, one of thousands of streams that can be heard around the world, no longer limited to the radius of a broadcasting tower. You'll find links to a half-dozen U.P. radio stations on Pasty Central's home page or at, in addition to several churches that stream their services. What amazing changes the last century has seen!

Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving, and have a good week :o)

By Thomas Baird (Thomas) on Sunday, November 21, 2010 - 09:16 am:

One thing about radio is that you could make your own pictures in your mind as you listened to the broadcast's description.

By Janie T. (Bobbysgirl) on Sunday, November 21, 2010 - 09:18 am:

Love the home decor of this era.

By RD, Iowa (Rdiowa) on Sunday, November 21, 2010 - 09:20 am:

Looks like they also had a phonograph, in the corner of the next room.

By DEAN SCHWARTZ SR. (Lulu) on Sunday, November 21, 2010 - 09:25 am:

I recall listning to the radio while in the car on long trip's and at home. The stories and series they had would make you use your imagination while the story is told. Also the music, I thank my Grand-mother Anna Schwartz for my love of the classic music. I still have her old Motorola radio and listen to it when I'am in my office at home.

By Eddyfitz (Eddyfitz) on Sunday, November 21, 2010 - 09:35 am:

I lived in a home like this in Hubbell in the 1940's and sat around the radio listening to FDR speaches, ball games staring Hank Greenburg and boxing matches with Joe Lewis defending his title many times. Oh how times change!!! I have written in the past how my father never left the U.P. until he was retired from C & H. I was able to sail the 5 great lakes by the time I was 21 and today our son now builds these satellites that give us instant world wide communications. (we always told him to eat his veggies and do his math while he was growing up)

By Shirley Waggoner (Shirlohio) on Sunday, November 21, 2010 - 09:56 am:

Sure brings back memories of the '40s. And like you, Thomas, I created 'pictures' in my mind, never dreaming that TV would do that for us in the coming years. Got rid of the TV 5 years ago but still enjoy the radios! :)

By Donna (Donna) on Sunday, November 21, 2010 - 10:08 am:

I love that decor too Janie!

All the electronics are amazing indeed...but I believe have also contributed to the decline of socializing and families. Human to human, face to face contact is becoming a lost art. Now..some kids get a text to "come and eat", or "there'll be whatever for you to nuke"...and back to the electronic babysitting device.

And I'm just as guilty. My computer wasn't working for a few days, and wow...I was LOST!

By Alex "UP-Goldwinger" (Alex) on Sunday, November 21, 2010 - 10:31 am:

Time it was and what a time it was, it was...
A time of innocence, a time of confidences.

Long ago it must be, I have a photograph
Preserve your memories, they're all that's left you.
Lyrics:Paul Simon

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Sunday, November 21, 2010 - 11:34 am:

What I find technologically amazing is that no matter where I travel across North America, I always have a radio station I can listen to. Both of our daily drivers have SiriusXM satellite radio with over 150 stations that we got crystal clear even in the far reaches of Labrador this summer. We decided to subscribe because all the radio stations around Houston spend more time badmouthing each other about how many commercials they play then actually playing music.

And I too am thankful for at least some technology; I did get to hear my Huskies hockey game last night via Pasty.Net!!! J

By mickill mouse (Ram4) on Sunday, November 21, 2010 - 11:48 am:

The Victrola, in the corner of the other room, looks just like the one I have of my mothers. I love to listen to the old records on it and think of the times my mom and I would listen to it together before she passed away.

By mickill mouse (Ram4) on Sunday, November 21, 2010 - 11:57 am:

This past summer when they had the broadcast from the Calumet Theater, the Red Jacket Trolley ride, as we were listening to it, I wanted to go, (drive) to each place the trolley took you. I love it when something like that can actually send you back in time.

We were sitting in the truck in Laurium listening to it.

By David Soumis (Davesou) on Sunday, November 21, 2010 - 12:23 pm:

i can rememeber sitting in my dad's car listening to Ernie Harwell braosdcasting the Tigers...back in the late 50s and early 60s.

My mom used to have the radio on when she baked and did ironing. Old radio dramas, and of course Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, old country music, and they played all that old 50s stuff...well , it was the 50s :)

We never had a big radio like that though. We had a small one that sat on the kitchen counter.

By David Soumis (Davesou) on Sunday, November 21, 2010 - 12:38 pm:

we did have an old Zenith like this, circa 1936


By Charlie at Pasty Central (Chopper) on Sunday, November 21, 2010 - 04:04 pm:

When I was growing up I had an old Atwater-Kent in my bedroom, that looked a lot like this. Swapping out the vacuum tubes, we were able to revive it and get some use, although it had a constant hum.

From the National Archives

Janie T. (Bobbysgirl) on Sunday, November 21, 2010 - 05:24 pm:

That is too cool Charlie!

By Cheryl Rozman (Cotton) on Sunday, November 21, 2010 - 05:43 pm:

The rocking chair the little girl is sitting on in the picture looks just like the one I have. It was my Aunt's chair when she was a little girl. It has to be at least one hundred years old. Now my little granddaughter Mallory has it & enjoys sitting on it. And she knows that it was her Great auntie's when she was her age. We sure treasure having it.
I remember listening to Santa read our Christmas letters on the radio every night before Christmas .And when he left the radio studio we ran to the window to see him & Rudolph fly away.
Some special memories that kids don't get now.

By mickill mouse (Ram4) on Sunday, November 21, 2010 - 06:00 pm:

I have memories of my mom taking us for a ride downtown Detroit and my mom telling us that the green giant use to go across Woodward and visit the naked lady in front of, what use to be the Mich-Con Building on Jefferson. (One year someone put tracks of some kind on the street.)

I also believe in the Easter bunny, because my mom made tracks on the front porch and took the carrot out of the mailbox. LOL;O)

By Janie T. (Bobbysgirl) on Sunday, November 21, 2010 - 07:32 pm:

Cheryl so true our generation grew up in good times.

By Ken ja Mimi from da UP (Kenjamimi) on Sunday, November 21, 2010 - 08:05 pm:

When I was a kid in Hubbell, we had a 5 or 6 band table radio on the dining room table. I had an antenna wire stretched out across the back yard. Used to like to listen to the shortwave broadcasts From Europe and Canada. 'Course I couldn't understand the language, but the music was good. Also listened to KXEL in Waterloo, WBZ in Boston and WSM in Nashville. And the Louisiana Hayride from 'way south. Used to love the Grand Ole Opry on WSM.

By Russell E. Emmons (Russemmons) on Monday, November 22, 2010 - 01:32 am:

Kenjamimi: Louisiana Hayride was from Shreveport Louisiana. WSM was 640-650 (?) on the AM dial. This was all before FM stations. WSM--"50,000 Watts clear channel" I think one can still get Grand Ol Opry direct on WSM AM Saturday nights. WJR 760 AM Detroit had 50,000 Watts also and could be heard across most of the country. Then there was WCKY AM Cincinnati Ohio too.

I had a wire run from my second floor window across the yard to the garage peak. Had a wire also ran down to a ground rod along the house. Had a little setup with just earphones, a coil and a crystal. NO power source at all needed.
Simple Low tech but I could get many stations with it--really!

I still have a bit more modern (70s!) combination band radio out in the garage that I can listen to Cuba, Poland, France, Germany etc.!

By Roland Burgan (Rburgan) on Monday, November 22, 2010 - 11:56 am:

I still have two table model 1937 Philco radios that both work just fine. Sound quality is better than most today. The shortwave bands brought in many overseas stations during WWII, and before, in my grandfathers home.

By Ray Laakaniemi (Rlaakan) on Tuesday, November 23, 2010 - 07:00 am:

My dad bought an upright Philco radio for $80 in 1935-36. We had it appraised five years ago. Worth about $80 the man said, Still works, too.

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