Week 1: Coronado Console Radio

What kind of radio is this? Why is it so big?

What are radio waves?

What kinds of information can be transmitted via radio waves?



Answers:

What kind of radio is this? Why is it so big?

This is a console radio from the 1950s, made by the Gamble-Skogmo corporation under the "Coronado" brand name. It can receive AM and FM broadcasts, and the drawer in the middle conceals a record player. The four dials select between AM or FM band or the record player, and control the volume. When this console was made, radio played a big part in daily family entertainment, so it was typical to have a radio large enough that you'd think of it as furniture. What technologies that you use now might shrink or change shape in the future?

What are radio waves? What kinds of information can be transmitted via radio waves?

These days we may think of radio as a little outdated, but actually as technology advances, we keep finding new things to do with radio waves. Radio waves are just one part of the electromagnetic spectrum, which also includes x-rays, ultraviolet light, visible light, microwaves, and more. And within the radio spectrum itself, there are bands for all kinds of useful things, like garage door openers, baby monitors, bluetooth devices, cell phones, air traffic control, and even television!

You can visit the Karshner Museum today and see this radio on display as part of our "History of the World Through Technology" exhibit, alongside many other artifacts from plow to pocket-watch, fountain pen to floppy disk! What's a floppy disk?!