Tag Archives: Radio Nostalgia

Gary’s Arvin Model 61R35 brings back memories

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Gary Wise (W4EEY), who shares the following guest post:

It’s funny how much we radio folks share in common. The recent posts on Arvin radios made me smile because I have an Arvin radio too. An Arvin transistor was my very first radio, and here she is:

Arvin Transistor Radio

This is the Arvin Model 61R35 in Ice Blue (it also came in black). My parents bought it for me in roughly 1962 or 63. It was the first radio that was mine (though we did have an older Crosley tabletop in the living room of our house in Midland, Michigan that we all used). Mine had seven Germanium (!) transistors (as silicon transistors were not yet in wide production in the early 60s).

Arvin Model 61R35

And Made in America! Arvin was an Indiana company as I recall.

Arvin Transistor Radio

It used a Round 9V battery. They were hard to find even back then, and I expect impossible to find today.

Arvin transistor radio

I used to love to put my fingers on the PC board while the radio was on and listen to the buzzes and noise that I could create. Unfortunately, I think this is what killed the radio and required my folks to mail it off to the big city (Flint, Michigan) to have it repaired. No one in my “little” town could fix solid state radios back then.

Arvin Transistor Radio Repair Tag

I was fortunate not to lose this radio in my many moves throughout the years. I display in proudly in my ham shack.

Arvin Model 61R35 in leather case

Thanks for the memories!



And thank you for sharing your memories and the great photos of your Arvin Model 61R35, Gary! What a cute little radio–I’m glad you’ve taken care of it all of these years.

Memories and transistor radios

Magnovox 1R 1203Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors, Ron and Aaron, who shared a link to Jay Allen’s latest post–an update on his pocket AM/FM radios.

Like Jay, I’ve always had an affinity for pocket transistor radios.

The Realistic Model 23-464.

The Realistic Model 23-464.

My first one was an AM-only model: a Realistic Model 23-464. It was about the only new pocket radio I could afford–and purchase locally–when I was a kid.

It was surprisingly sensitive on the AM broadcast band, but the dial was a far cry from accurate. At some point, I either gave this radio to someone or lost it. Last year, I happened upon one on eBay and purchased it for $9 shipped. Its plastic body shows signs of wear, but it works and reminds me of my childhood.

My grandpa's Magnovox 1R 1203

My grandpa’s Magnovox 1R 1203

Another pocket AM/FM radio that brings back a flood of memories is the Magnovox 1R 1203. It belonged to my dear grandpa, who also shared and conveyed a love of radio. When I was a kid, we would sit around on his front porch on hot summer days and listen to local AM stations on this little radio, cicadas whirring in the background.

I still have his Magnavox–it sits here in my radio room and brings back memories every time I look at or listen to it.

Am I a nostalgic fellow? You bet!

Anyone else have memories associated with pocket radios? Please feel free to comment and share!

Download the 1923 “first Wireless Christmas” edition of The Radio Times


(Source: BBC Genome Blog via Mike Barraclough)

The much-loved Christmas edition of the Radio Times made its first appearance in 1923. 

It was all very different to today’s multi-channel, on-demand world. There was only radio, and London station 2LO had a meagre five-and-a-half hours of programmes on Christmas Day.

But to some extent, the first Christmas issue set many traditions which have prevailed for decades in various guises. The cover was a warm splash of colour and very festive in tone, while the publication’s austere masthead was festooned with snow and holly.

John Reith, who went on to become the BBC’s first director general, was given the first page to deliver a message to listeners, in which he deliberated the meaning of Christmas and then inevitably talked about the joy of broadcasting and the “first Wireless Christmas”.

“The loud speaker is such a convenient entertainer,” he wrote. “He doesn’t feel hurt if a cracker is pulled in the middle of a song, or offended if the fun grows riotous during his performance”.

While Reith was keen to talk up the virtues of broadcasting, the magazine was packed with adverts for radio sets and cartoons about the joys of consuming radio programmes.

But Christmas is all about giving, and we’d like to offer you the chance to download the first Christmas issue. It’s a fascinating document and we hope you will enjoy it. Happy Christmas fromBBC Genome!

Download a PDF version of the 1923 Christmas Radio Times by clicking on this link

Shortwave Radio Recordings: The Talking Machine Show

EdisonRecordSleeveLivingArtistFor your listening pleasure: 30 minutes of  The Talking Machine Show via WWCR. This broadcast was recorded October 18, 2014 at 2300 UTC, on the shortwave frequency of 9350 kHz.

A big hat tip to SWLing Post reader, Thomas Ally, who first informed me about The Talking Machine Show via WWCR. As many of you may know, I’m a sucker for early recordings and radio nostalgia!

This recording was made with the Elad FDM-S2 SDR and horizontal delta loop antenna. Click here to download the recording as an MP3, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

More 1968 recordings on the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive

IMG_0135I’ve now added a total of five recordings by David Firth, circa 1968, to the SW Radio Audio Archive. Click below for direct links:

Note that you can subscribe to the SW Radio Audio Archive as a podcast via iTunes or by using the following RSS feed: http://shortwavearchive.com/archive?format=rss