Here’s a fun one for the DIY crowd, from the June 1938 issue of Popular Science.
The two-page instructions explained to readers how to build their very own Beer-Keg Radio. It was for your, you know, “game room.” Who doesn’t have one of those?
It seems DIY was a lot less spoon-fed with detailed instructions back in the 1930s. There were only vague directions, giving a lot of flexibility to the project. Here’s the parts list you’ll need to build the radio:
And here’s the schematic you’re meant to follow and duplicate:
The introduction is priceless, here’s how they start out:
Curiously, they actually tell readers to get a wine barrel and that they can later turn it into a beer keg. By 1938 were wooden beer barrels already that scarce? I honestly don’t know, obviously, but that seems like strange advice.
Here’s what it would look like, before closing the top of the keg.
After closing, the radio works with two knobs on top.
After it’s done, “‘you’ll get a barrel of fun’ from this novel radio.”
If you want to see the pages full size and build one yourself, here’s Page 1 and Page 2.
This sounds like a project for Dave Suurballe!
While at a swap meet today, I found a small version of this radio! I hadn’t seen any like it so I bought it. It looks just like the one above, but the barrel is smaller, with the speaker in the other end. I can hardly wait to take it apart and see the “works”.