December 1942 Radio-Craft
Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics.
See articles from Radio-Craft,
published 1929 - 1953. All copyrights are hereby acknowledged.
When my kids were young and we lived in a wooded
area, I bought a set of Motorola Family Radio Service (FRS) radios for
them to carry so that Melanie and I could keep track of them while they were outside playing. There
was a little fishing pond a few hundred feet into the woods that they liked to visit
(and occasionally catch a trout). The radios were palm-sized and had a
range of about a mile (newer models reach much farther) and operated on a few AAA batteries. That represents
a huge advance in
technology compared to the first 'portable' hand-held radios that appeared on the battlefields during
World War II - the Handy-Talkie. The development was such a big deal that the cover of the September
issue of Radio-Craft
had a photo of Winston Churchill communicating on a Handy-Talkie. Handy-Talkies used vacuum tubes and
dry cell batteries and were about the size, ironically, of the first commercial cellular phone introduced
by Motorola (the DynaTAC) in 1973. 'Walkie-Talkies' were a backpack-mounted
radio unit that had a dry cell or lead acid battery for power. Nowadays, of course, cellphone coverage
reaches just about everywhere that an FRS type radio would be useful, and since most kids carry phones,
the need for child location is filled by default.
See The Walkie-Talkie
in the March 1955 Popular Electronics,
A Self-Contained Handie-Talkie
in the June 1944 QST, and The
New Handy-Talkie in the December 1942 Radio-Craft, and
for Everyone in the April 1974 Popular Electronics.
The New Handy-Talkie
- Staff Sergeant Thomas W. Gloystein is shown in the field with the new portable, hand voice set. He
was formerly a fireman in Cincinnati, Ohio, and is now an instructor of Radio Communication at Fort
2 - An American soldier with the latest field transceiver used by forward observation patrols.
3 - Another view of an American soldier in the field with the new type transceiver used by forward
4 - The newest product of the Army Signal Corps - a hand-set radio receiver and transmitter combined
into a small, compact portable unit, is shown in action. The antenna telescopes into the back of the
set when it is "off the air." The soldier switches from receiving to the sending position by pushing
a "push-to-talk" button under his fingertips. This set has been informally named the "handy-talkie."
5 - Visiting generals witness paratroops mass jump exercises at Lawson Field during their stay at
Fort Benning, Georgia.
Posted January 5, 2015