MCR1 'Biscuit Tin' Radio Receiver

Made:
1943
maker:
Philco Corporation
and
British Broadcasting Corporation

'Biscuit Tin' radio, British Government Miniature Communications Receiver, Mark 1 (MCR1), 1943. Box containing two receivers, two PSU and two extra tuning coil units. Came from BBC receiver section, Balham. System covers 150KHz to 15MHz in 4 bands (4 x different plug-in coil units). Mains/battery. Headphones out.

During World War II, these compact radios were dropped by a parachute hidden inside the biscuit tins. They were crucial to resistance fighters in Europe because the Germans had confiscated all normal civilian radios. BBC London's public broadcasts were used to communicate with resistance groups by using obscure "personal messages" which had secret meanings.

The receiver was developed in 1943, and by 1945, 30,000 of them had been made. After the war, they became a collector’s item due to their rarity.

Details

Category:
Television
Object Number:
2012-5118/151
Materials:
electrical component, paint, plastic (unidentified), rubber (unidentified) and steel (metal)
Measurements:
overall (Unit): 85 mm x 210 mm x 60 mm,
overall (Mains): 60 mm x 210 mm x 95 mm,
type:
radio receiver
taxonomy:
  • component - object
credit:
The BBC Collection