posted at 02:50
Author: Chris Wild
The radio hat was basically the geekiest gift of 1949
Portable transistor radios did not appear until 1954. The hat's radio relied on valve technology, and Hoeflich made the valves a prominent feature, as well as the loop aerial. Radio valve technology had advanced during WWII, allowing lower-powered versions. Although the Radio Hat was well received at the outset, the reception did not last, and advertisements ceased to run in the 1950s. A superior FM radio format was becoming available in the U.S. from the late 1930s, but the Radio Hat could only receive AM frequencies. The loop antenna was directional and signal could be lost as the user turned his or her head. The Radio Hat had an advertised range of 20 miles; sometimes when tuning, it picked up stations further away, but these would be received as an annoying squeal, as the hat did not have the necessary circuitry. Ultimately, the hat radio was not a new idea, either. Inventor H. Day was pictured with an adapted top hat in 1922, and the August 1930 issue of American magazine Modern Mechanics published a story about a Berlin engineer who had created a boater-style radio hat.

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