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 Walkie-Talkies: Something for Everyone in the April 1974 Popular Electronics.
The New Handy-Talkie
1 - 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 Benning, Georgia.
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 observation patrols.
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