Now they’re basically a punch line among failed music formats, but in 1971 8 track tapes were a seriously groovy audio source. Most people bought prerecorded music, but your cold roll your own thanks to home recording decks… Continue reading When 8 tracks were better than 1
This Montgomery Wards electronics catalog from 1948 assembles the vital components of a rudimentary home theater system. Just how rudimentary? Continue reading Introducing the Home Theater
The Diagnomoscope: what a great name for, well, whatever this gadget is. Sounds like something out of an early science fiction movie. (Looks like it, too, all streamlined curves like a 1930’s automobile hood.) In fact it’s… Continue reading “Quick, Watson, get me the Supreme Diagnomoscope”
In the 1950s, 60s, and even 70s, lots of men (invariably men) were encouraged to hone their hobbyist “Do It Yourself” skills. Heathkits were the pinnacle of DIY in electronics – everything from test equipment, oscilloscopes, an early analog computer (in the 1950s!)…and television sets. Continue reading Building your own TV…”Not as outrageously impractical as you might suspect”
There’s nothing in this hundred-year-old illustration that anyone today would recognize as a radio, but that is in fact what you are looking at. As we see again and again in catalogs, early technology was often awkward an unrefined. And yet it was also magic… Continue reading “An outfit for the person…who doesn’t believe in wireless”
It’s hard to appreciate how many modern conveniences, particularly of the electronic variety, began their lives so awkwardly. This Sears-Exclusive device brought closed-captioning to your existing TV for the not-insignificant price of $249… Continue reading At least 20 hours a week of captioned programs!
Radio Shack Computer Catalog, 1980. Oh sure, your iPhone or Galaxy is about a million times faster, and stores a several gazillion times more stuff, and has color displays and cameras and wireless connectivity and more apps installed than you can even remember , but you gotta start somewhere. And basically it started with this… Continue reading The Original Pocketable Computer