A 1951 Crosley radio, donated by Mae Qualls, has a place in the Buffalo Island Museum. It represents a time when the radio played an important part in the Buffalo Island home. Today people take the television for granted, but it wasn't so long ago that the radio was in everyone's living room. After supper was over and all the chores were done, everyone gathered around the radio for the news, music, entertainment, and the latest information of the war. My husband still remembers hearing "Hi-yo Silver" on his favorite radio program. It was in the late 1940s and early 1950s that televisions began appearing in homes on Buffalo Island.
This Crosley radio is white plastic and still in excellent condition. The Crosley radio had a surprising beginning. In 1920, Powell Crosley was stunned at the $135. Price of the radio his son wanted for his birthday. He bought a booklet "The A.B.C. of Radio" and built his own for only $35. He already owned a company making auto accessories, so he began to manufacture radio components. His first radio was called the Harko. Just four years later in 1924, Crosley Radio Corp. had become the largest radio company in the world.
The invention of the radio is attributed to Guglielmo Marconi in 1904, although in later years, other inventors improved the radio. It was in 1920 that a Pittsburgh station, KDKA became the first United States licensed commercial radio station. The first radios were crystal sets. Later came vacuum tubes. In 1933 FM radio was patented by Edwin Armstrong. In the early 1950s the first transistor radio was invented. Arkansas had its first radio station in 1920. When television became popular, many thought it was the end of radio, but it is still a part of our life although we no longer sit spellbound in front of it.
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