Perhaps I had ambitions to be an MP - or an undertaker!

Friday, September 21, 2012


Do you know what this gadget is?

It’s a crystal wireless set with earphones - sometimes just known as a cat’s whisker set.

This was an early radio which needed no battery or power source. The cat’s whisker was a thin wire which was used to find the exact place on the crystal which would result in receiving the wireless signal. A great deal of patience was needed, for the crystal required just the right pressure by the wire. An aerial was required as well, and of course only one person, using earphones, could hear the broadcast.

These wireless sets were very popular around 1920 and many of them were homemade.

This photo, courtesy of Wikipedia the Free Encyclopedia, was taken in a trench in France during the First World War and shows a soldier using a handmade crystal radio.


The falling leaves drift by the window,
The autumn leaves of red and gold;
I see your lips, the summer kisses,
The sun-burned hands I used to hold.

Since you went away the days grow long
And soon I'll hear old winter's song;
But I miss you most of all my darling
When autumn leaves start to fall.
(Johnnie Mercer)



I came across this unusual letter in a newspaper recently.

"I married a widow and she already had a grown-up daughter. Then my father, being a widower, married the daughter. So that made my father my son-in-law and made my step-daughter my step-mother.  And it follows that my step-mother's mother is my grandmother - and I'm married to her. So that then makes me my own grandfather."

To which the Editor added - "Don't be fooled, folks. This is a song from the 1940s."

I'm surprised that I've never heard of such a song.


Finally here's a song which belongs to the days of the cat's whisker. One of the most popular singers then was the Irish tenor Count John McCormack. In this clip, uploaded by warholsoup100, the song is "The Sunshine of Your Smile" which he recorded in 1916. Try viewing it on full screen.




1 comment:

Patty Ann said...

this was a wonderful post, I enjoyed it very much.

Thank you