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The world's first portable radio?
2Bdecided
post Aug 1 2013, 16:10
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There are a number of utterly bizarre audio-related items in the Pathe newsreel archive, but I hadn't seen this one before...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAgBmK2wRFU

It says it's the first walkman, but I'm not so sure - this one might be the first walkwoman...
http://www.britishpathe.com/video/hikers-g...uery/gramophone

Cheers,
David.
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Aug 1 2013, 16:20
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Aug 1 2013, 11:10) *
There are a number of utterly bizarre audio-related items in the Pathe newsreel archive, but I hadn't seen this one before...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAgBmK2wRFU

It says it's the first walkman, but I'm not so sure - this one might be the first walkwoman...
http://www.britishpathe.com/video/hikers-g...uery/gramophone

Cheers,
David.



These early 1920s movies of alleged Walkmen can't be because Walkman is a trademarked word that is related to portable tape recorders, and practical magnetic tape recording wasn't even invented until 1928. ;-)

Authority: relevant articles in Wikipedia
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MichaelW
post Aug 2 2013, 01:50
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Aug 2 2013, 04:10) *
There are a number of utterly bizarre audio-related items in the Pathe newsreel archive, but I hadn't seen this one before...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAgBmK2wRFU


That clip looks very very suspicious indeed; image quality looks good modern with vignetting applied, face and acting look very modern doing retro, equipment looks unfeasibly small for the '20s. I could be wrong, but more likely I've just risen to the bait. :-)

Edited because the second clip now plays for me: that one looks more like a genuine '30s stunt. Check the heels they're wearing. Portable gramophones on boats, sure, but the silly season has a long history.

This post has been edited by MichaelW: Aug 2 2013, 01:53
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mzil
post Aug 2 2013, 06:01
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"Walkman", used in the generic sense, doesn't have to be a Sony product and doesn' t have to play cassettes. There were "FM walkmans", for example [radio alone, no tape], and many brands made, um, "portable cassette players" just like the Sony which most people called "Walkmans", even if Sony had the name rights.

I own one of these and the coolest thing about it is how the platter folds down into a stick shape:
1920's Portable Music Player playing the media of the day

It is about the size of a lunch pail and has a carry strap.

I've always been intrigued by similar playback devices which are even smaller than the media they play. Sony had the WMFX607 [?] cassette player which was smaller that a tape box [or about the same size when collapsed]
Sony walkman smaller than a tape before it gets expanded

and the D88 DiscMan:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSDVhpeYSLs

This post has been edited by mzil: Aug 2 2013, 06:44
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mzil
post Aug 2 2013, 06:39
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If we limit ourselves to Sony's trademarked name, the first "Walkman" was the TPS-L2 in 1979. It was based on, and very similar to, the previously released TCM-600 but lacked a tape counter and record function, adding a stereo tape head. The newly designed headphones which it came with [but could also be purchased separately to fill the secondary headphone jack, so a couple could listen together] were unusually small for Sony headphones, which they normally designated with the prefix "DR". These were the first 'phones to sport the current to this day moniker "MDR" prefix, the MDR-3, which stands for "Micro Dynamic Receiver".

This post has been edited by mzil: Aug 2 2013, 06:48
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2Bdecided
post Aug 2 2013, 09:40
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QUOTE (MichaelW @ Aug 2 2013, 01:50) *
That clip looks very very suspicious indeed
It's 100% genuine - here's the source...
http://www.britishpathe.com/video/girl-wit.../query/wireless

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MichaelW
post Aug 2 2013, 10:31
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Well, I'm sorry, you're right; the source shows more. It's a crystal set: the power source was one of the things that seemed implausible, but if you use a parasol as an aerial and sit right under the Eiffel Tower, then you don't need no stinking batteries, though you do have to pull up your skirt and fiddle with your cat's whisker. Presumably crystal sets were always portable, in principle. And, of course, an early use of semi-conductors.

There's just a flash of a French title frame that survives in the clip. I wonder if that would help track it down further.
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2Bdecided
post Aug 2 2013, 11:47
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QUOTE (mzil @ Aug 2 2013, 06:01) *
I own one of these and the coolest thing about it is how the platter folds down into a stick shape:
1920's Portable Music Player playing the media of the day
I have a similar model with a different horn. It sometimes takes a while to remember how to fit all the parts back into the case - like an early Rubik's puzzle! Of course it sounds terrible, even by gramophone standards. Fun for collecting, but I don't quite see the point of them when new - a case of records is much bigger than the machine, whereas larger portable gramophones have space for storing records built-in, so assuming you want to take some records with you, choosing a miniature gramophone doesn't save that much space overall. Fun though! Saves a bit of weight I guess.


Now you've mentioned devices where the media is bigger than the player, I have one of these, and it sounds half-decent...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fcse8veYxVU
It has a magnetic cartridge, but the lack of support for the record has a detriment to the sound. I did actually use it as my main turntable for a while when I was a student, but soon replaced it with a normal turntable. Sometimes I knocked the thing while it was playing, and the records got dusty while playing. It cost me 8, while the record deck cost me 20 + 30 for new cartridge and stylus. I still have both, and the SoundBurger is worth far more now, though the "proper" record deck is still better for playing records.

OT: It's surprising how the value of half-decent old turntables has gone up. I used to get them from junk markets for pence or a few pounds back in the late 1980s / early 1990s. They go for ~50 on eBay these days. Wish I'd filled my loft!


I had a small Panasonic "walkman" that was smaller than a cassette case, but can't find it on-line.

Cheers,
David.
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jkauff
post Aug 2 2013, 12:41
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QUOTE (MichaelW @ Aug 2 2013, 05:31) *
Well, I'm sorry, you're right; the source shows more. It's a crystal set: the power source was one of the things that seemed implausible, but if you use a parasol as an aerial and sit right under the Eiffel Tower, then you don't need no stinking batteries, though you do have to pull up your skirt and fiddle with your cat's whisker. Presumably crystal sets were always portable, in principle. And, of course, an early use of semi-conductors.

I built a crystal set when I was a kid for after-bedtime listening. Wonder if they still make the kits?

This post has been edited by jkauff: Aug 2 2013, 12:41
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mzil
post Aug 2 2013, 15:18
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They still sell them:
Crystal Radio Kits for sale on Google

Making one from a blue razor blade looks interesting:
http://compare.ebay.com/like/250495237073?...es&var=sbar

I had a crystal radio as a kid and wish I still did. It was a hand me down from my dad and I wish I still had it mostly for the headphones it used. They were deemed the "first headphones to employ the same basic, modern design still made to this today" [Think of the head band adjustment bar mechanism of a Grado headphone, for example]

This post has been edited by mzil: Aug 2 2013, 15:20
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mzil
post Aug 2 2013, 15:51
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Early terminology might call her device a "wireless phone", despite it being a one direction form of communication, but I'm pretty sure most people seeing this on YouTube don't realize that:

Wireless, um, "telephone"

Back then a "wireless" was what we call a "radio".

This post has been edited by mzil: Aug 2 2013, 16:41
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