The car radio turns 90 this year.


A history of that thing in your dashboard.

Car radios first appeared 90 years ago. But as Alan Cross explains, they looked a little different than this. . Global News

By 1920, vacuum tubes — which DeForest had a hand in inventing — were sufficiently robust that a few people made serious attempts at putting a radio in a car. There were all sorts of issues: mismatched voltages, electric interference from the engines, the heat generated by the tubes, and the size of the installation itself.

But the prospect of having tunes in the car pushed inventors forward. People recall George Frost, an 18-year-old radio fan from Chicago, who is said to have attached a radio to the passenger door of his Ford Model T in 1922. It was a jury-rigged solution, but it apparently worked.

Around the same time, Chevrolet offered an after-market radio option for $200, which is about $3,000 today. The antenna was bulky — it took up most of the roof — as did the radio itself, taking away a substantial amount of room for passengers. “The installation of this equipment in the Chevrolet car is so simple we may expect to see many cars similarly equipped in the future,” wrote The Literary Digest in September 1922. By 1926, custom-installed radios were a thing, but only for the well-off.

Read more  HERE.


  1. Ive been driving truck since May 22 1974. Local , long distance , and for three years 5 nights a week from PoCo to Seattle and back. The reception in the BC interior was never very good but the drive to Seattle was great. I would listen to NW till it dropped off then KIRO for talk and Danny Holiday for tunes. I cant imagine all these years without a radio. Ive owned a couple of my own trucks. One of them the plastic that showed what you were tuned in to fell off. It didnt matter because I drove locally and never would have dreamed of changing the station.
    Frosty, Rafe, Good, Warren, Berner, Mcrea it didnt get any better


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