Saturday, August 29, 2020

1950s Ad Whayland Drug Co and the Five Tube Superheterodyne Radio


Whaylands sold a lot of things other than drugs. The ten dollar AM radio was a classic of the 1950s.  Almost all homes had at least one of these radios and probably several. The Five tube Superhetrodyne radio was a shinning example of American Manufacturing.  Mass produced and using a circuit design that only used five tubes it was cheap and it worked. 

Sometimes call the "all american 5" (AA5) it was manufactured from the 1930s on into the 1960s when the transistor replaced tube radios.  The circuit design was such that if one tube burn out all the other tubes would fail to work.  At the time in many drug stores was a tube tester and you would remove the five tubes from your radio and test all five to find the bad one then buy a new tube (usually a dollar or less per tube) and reinstall the tubes in the radio and it would work. 

Another unique item about this type of radio was you could get an electrical shock from them easily.  In this time period electrical wiring was not grounded nor were there GFIs, most old farm houses in this area had maybe two electrical outlets per room and if it was a kitchen or bathroom there was a good chance the outlet was next to the sink and the radio was plugged into that outlet.  Simply trying to tune the radio to a station with one hand and turning the water on in the sink with the other would produced what today is called a life lesson  and back in the 1950s was called "I am never doing that again."

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