Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Westinghouse Duo ad, 1947: Phonograph with 'portable' radio

I love old hybrid audio equipment like this.

This model is just an older cousin to that fancy gadget you saw at the Megalo-Mart the other day; the table radio/CD player that'll also dock with your iPod.

So let's see - - the radio nests in the the front part of the phonograph cabinet.

Does the phonograph play through the radio's speaker? Or are they completely separate?

The radio can be removed and set up elsewhere, but it doesn't look like cordless battery operation is an option. I'm also amused that the radio doesn't seem to have any sort of handle for removal or portability. 'Lift out, carry about' - - yes, technically, though perhaps not handily. I guess maybe true portables were still a thing of the future, to say nothing of the boombox...

Gotta love the impressive 'automatic' play feature though: "This revolutionary set plays ten 12-inch or twelve 10-inch records... up to *50* minutes of uninterupted recorded music." Imagine!

- - But the geeky audiophile in me still cringes at the thought of the 'convenient automatic play' afforded by those horrid record-stacking spindles. As long as you're scraping all your discs together, why not just use a sandpaper turntable mat and be done with it?


Craig D said...

Hmmm... Maybe it's really a "TRIO" as the young lady's telephone looks to be hooked into this contraption as well!

My folks bought a really swank ZENITH television set back around 1960. It had an input so that my Dad could plug in his 45 rpm turntable and play it through the TV speakers. Pretty cool!

N5RLR said...

Hmm...if there was no "hard" connection [i.e., plug/socket] between the phonograph pickup and the radio, it could have used an RF [radio frequency] oscillator to which the radio was tuned. And then, if powerful enough, this circuit could perhaps be received in another room -- a remote record player, just imagine. :)

Zenith used this approach on a dual-tonearm console model in 1948, see:

Freshly-stirred links