Radio Corporation of America (1919–1986). Radiola 26 Portable Radio, ca. 1925, Museum of Innovation and Science, Gift of George Acker, miS1997.560.1. (Photo: miSci)

Radiola Radio

Built in the mid-1920s, the Radiola 26 is one of the earliest commercial portable radios produced. It was entirely self-contained, with loudspeaker, tuner, antenna, and batteries all wrapped up into a 25-pound package. A particularly clever innovation of this radio is the position of the antenna; the loops of wire that pick up radio signals are encased inside the lid, and the panel on the lid rotates so the user could adjust it for better reception.