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These Headphones From 1927 Look So Much Worse Than Earbuds

Throughout the 20th century, radio nerds were trying to figure out how to build the perfect headphones. Over-the-ear varieties could get hot and sweaty. In-ear varieties would fall out. And then there were these clamp-ons from 1927, which looked like the least comfortable of the bunch — despite what the manufacturers…

How One 1920s Feminist Imagined Our Futuristic High-Tech World

Josephine Daskam Bacon was an author known for her adventure serials that featured female protagonists. But in 1929, she took a break from her regular fiction writing and slipped on her futurist goggles for an article in Century magazine titled "In Nineteen Seventy-Nine." Bacon imagined just how much progress women…

The 1920s Tabloid Reporter Who Predicted TV Could Kill Newspapers

"What for example could be staler than to-morrow morning's newspaper account of a prize-fight or political convention one has already received over the radio?" wrote one commentator in 1928. Radio was overtaking print as the news medium of the day and some people insisted that newspapers were going to disappear…

America's First 'Wireless Newspaper' Killed Catalina's Carrier Pigeons

If you lived on the small Southern California island of Catalina at the turn of the century, news was hard to come by. The island had a rather unreliable carrier pigeon system and copies of the L.A. Times wouldn't arrive by boat until around 1:30 in the afternoon. News was slow moving. But all that changed on March…

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Hello Frisco! A 1924 Map of The First Coast-to-Coast Radio Broadcast

America got a little bit smaller on the night of February 8, 1924. Or at least it felt that way. From a banquet hall at the Congress Hotel in Chicago one man could be heard simultaneously in New York, Jacksonville, Denver, San Francisco, and even Havana, Cuba (which was no longer technically controlled by the U.S.…