Wright's Aerials

Albert's Attic Gallery

Electron Aerials

Here we have the 1939 catalogue of Electron Aerials of East Ham, London.

On page 2 the ‘All-wave long distance aerial’ is apparently designed for ‘all waves from 5 to 2,000 metres’ which would include the television signals from Alexandra Palace, which were on a wavelength of about 6 metres. Whether the company envisages this use isn’t clear, but I do know that many TV aerials of the time were actually wire aerials of the type used for short wave radio reception.

Page 3 tells us about ‘wonderful 7-stranded all-copper wire’. Nowadays of course we have to endure nonsensical claims for oxygen-free copper wire and gold plated coax plugs. It just shows that’s there’s nothing new under the sun, at least when it comes to exploiting the public’s lack of technical knowledge.

Page 4 features the Electron Globe Aerial. “Its receptive qualities are enormous due to its special non-directional spherical shape.” There were lots of products like this, and to my knowledge they were sold as late as the 1960s. The thing to be proudly hauled aloft could be a sphere or a pointy thing, or pretty well any shape really. It added little to the received signal, which was picked up on the unscreened wire that led down to the wireless set.

On page 7 a surprising claim is made for the Superial. Apparently it is lightning proof, because the insulation is so thick!

The back cover features a Pooterish character who apparently improves his reception by running a wire aerial around his sitting room. The last frame, in which I would have thought we would have seen his missus making him take it down again, seems to have been omitted. Nowadays an attempt to improve AM reception by running a ‘long wire’ aerial around the room would be unlikely to work because the limiting factor is likely to be background interference from TV sets, computers, and all the other essentials of modern life, rather than the sensitivity of the receiver. In 1939 however, domestic appliances were few, and ‘radio silence’ existed in many households. The worst interference causers were perhaps the passing trams, which certainly played havoc with the early car radios.

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