earphone unit made for Brighton Borough Police, 1933-1939

1933-1939 in United Kingdom

Earphone unit from radio equipment made for Brighton Borough Police, made by the Wireless Telephone Company Limited, British, 1933-1939.

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 occasionally policemen in Brighton would receive interesting but completely useless messages meant for their colleagues in Glasgow. Thirty 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 The sets remained in use until the start of the Second World War, when the wavelength they operated on was withdrawn.

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Science Museum: Information Age Gallery: Cell

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Radio Communication
Object Number:
bakelite and metal (unknown)
overall (including cord): 370 mm x 65 mm x 40 mm, .42 kg
radio component
  • component - object
  • radio receiver
Donated by H. T. Lunson

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