Crystal radio receiver
- c.1923 in Salford
'Goltone' crystal radio receiver, made by Ward & Goldstone Ltd, Salford, c.1923.
Crystal sets such as this were some of the first publicly available radios. They could be made at home or purchased ready built, like this example. Because the technology was so new there were many different shapes and sizes of crystal radios, depending on what the manufacturer thought was the best design.
Crystal radios are remarkable because they do not need electricity to work. They rely on the power of the signal they receive to function. The downside of this is that the further the radio is from a transmitter the weaker signal you receive and the less useful your radio will be. It also means you cannot increase the volume on the radio, and so need to wear headphones to listen in.
Manchester was home to one of the UK’s first radio stations, 2ZY, which was set up by Metropolitan Vickers, a key engineering company in the region. Because of 2ZY, people in the North West region could use radios like this to get music, news and entertainment direct into their homes for the first time.