radio receiver made for Brighton Borough Police, 1933-1939

1933-1939 in United Kingdom

Radio receiver made for Brighton Borough Police, Wireless Telephone Company Limited, 1933-1939. Bakelite-case single-valve receiver marked 'no. 18'

Brighton Borough Police were early pioneers of police radio systems when they adopted these single-valve pocket radio receivers for communication. The receivers themselves worked well, but there were limitations that made widespread development impossible. Brighton shared a channel with Glasgow, meaning that policemen in Brighton would receive interesting but completely useless messages meant for their colleagues in Glasgow. 30 of the sets were in daily use. Because of the risk of transmissions being picked up by amateur radio users, a code was developed: burglary was brick, fraud was frog, murder was monk, and so on. Policemen were given cards with these codes on. Because the radios could only receive calls, officers were sent messages telling them to go to the nearest call box and ring the station. The sets remained in use until the start of the Second World War, when the wavelength they operated on was withdrawn

On display

Science Museum: Information Age Gallery: Cell

If you are visiting to see this object, please contact us in advance to make sure that it will be on display.


Radio Communication
Object Number:
bakelite and metal (unknown)
radio receiver
  • component - object

Cite this page


We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.

Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero

Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence

Using our data


Download catalogue entry as json

View manifest in IIIF viewer

Add to Animal Crossing Art Generator

Download manifest IIIF

Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.