Wright's Aerials

Aerial photography - Ancient Gallery

Time was when wire aerials for AM radio were very common. This one is a bit odd because normally the insulators would be quite near the fixing points, in order that the active part of the aerial would be as long as possible. Often the fixing would consist of nothing more than a loop of wire around the chimney pot. There’s no sign of a downlead here. This usually connected at or near one of the insulators, making the whole thing an ‘inverted L’. Really, the object was simply to get as much wire out as possible. For medium wave frequencies any practical aerial is only a small fraction of a wavelength, so the longer it is the better. Smaller houses without two convenient chimneys would erect a wooden scaffold pole at the end of the garden. Rows of terraced houses had many such aerials behind them, often only a few feet apart. ‘Heterodyning’ – interference radiated by some early wireless sets – was a common problem.

It was unusual to employ any sort of aerial tuner, or attempt to make the aerial resonant at any particular frequency. Often a hole was drilled in the window frame and a hollow glass rod inserted. This acted as an insulator and the aerial wire was pushed through it. An earth spike below the window completed the installation.

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