KIRK COLLECTION MEDIA
Explore the development of radio with Woodfin 'Woody' Walker, former curator of the Kirk Collection. In each video Woody guides you through a brief history of radio featuring items from the collection and archival film from the Prelinger archives.
Music and recorded sound had a long history before the invention of radio. Through musical instruments and voice people could express themselves with sound and song. The phonograph and gramophone allowed people a new way to record and share music, paving the way for radio. The Kirk Collection features some of the earliest types of musical boxes and players, including Columbia gramophones, Edison cylinder records and phonographs, and a hand crank musical instrument that plays three different instruments: strings, drums and triangle.
THE RISE OF RADIO
The 1920s and '30s saw dramatic changes in radio technology; the spread of available electricity and the move away from battery power lead to smaller table-top models and increased availability and popularity of radio. In this video, Woody gives a short description of the history of radio technology including the jump from battery to tube and electrical power, while displaying several radios from the collection.
By the end of World War II, 95% of all homes had a radio as the introduction of the transistor radio allowed for the production of smaller, cheaper models that could be used in cars or outdoors. In this video, Woody continues to discuss the evolution of radio technology.