From homemade radio to VR stereo: evolution of the home entertainment appliance
Present intelligent stereo
Imported valve radio in the 1960s
Transistor radio in the 1970s
Radio in the early 1960s
Radio in the late 1950s
Artware radio in the 1990s
The imitative classic crystal radio made in China in the late 1990s (next to a semiconductor radio)
CHONGQING (CQNEWS) -- When you come home and turn on your smart TV and intelligent stereo, can you still remember those “home entertainment appliances” of the past years? Sun Zhijie, 66 years old, told the Chongqing Evening News reporter that when he was a child, the top entertainment appliance at home was a radio. At present, he also has a collection of old radios in his home, witnessing the development of technology and changing times.
Making crystal radio with soap box
Sun Zhijie lives in Jiahua Xincheng Residential Community of Yuzhong District and is now retired. In his home, there is a circle of antique shelves, the most conspicuous of which are radios of different ages on the shelf. The oldest one is from the 1950s, while the latest is from the 1990s. Among them there are two semiconductor radios, which Sun still uses to this day, starting his every morning with the sound of the radio.
When he was a child, Sun Zhijie lived in Yuzhong District. The first time he had a radio that seemed out of his reach was when he was in primary school. At that time, his uncle taught him how to make a radio with crystal, soap box and copper wire. Although it was only capable of picking up one channel, it was like a treasure for Sun. “I still remember its pithy formula ‘antenna connecting to the back of the crystal, the front of the crystal connecting to the headphones, and the ground wire connecting to the headphones’. Once installed, I could listen to the radio 24 hours a day with headphones by simply tuning the radio to the best signal point, and the best part was that I didn’t need to install batteries.”
Hand-held radios that used to rule the roost
In the 1960s, Sun Zhijie's father bought a radio of Kaige Brand, with one button to change channels and the other one to adjust the volume. The radio became a rarity in the entire courtyard, and all the neighbors came to congratulate and enjoy it. “The radio was much more advanced than my homemade crystal radio, for several channels were accessible,” Sun said.
Sun Zhijie said that after having a radio at home, it could broadcast latest news and music every morning and evening, bringing a lot of joy to the family. Later, as time progressed and television became more popular, the radio’s status took a hit. However, the invention of hand-held radio set off a new trend. “It's a very fashionable to go out with a radio. Some people were so addicted to it that they might chase you for more.”
Sun Zhijie's son, Mr. Sun, 36, said that in the 1990s, the family’s radio was upgraded to a radio-cassette recorder. In addition to receiving broadcasting program signal, it was also possible to play cassettes. Hand-held radios were also replaced by more advanced Walkman and later MP3. Later, however, televisions and other home entertainment appliances became more plentiful, so the radio gradually retired from the stage of common household devices.
Plentiful home entertainment appliances
Sun Zhijie said that compared with previous radios, the entertainment equipment in his home is more and more abundant and advanced. There are smart TVs that can broadcast programs on demand at any time, intelligent stereo that can broadcast any information with only one voice command, and smart phones with large screens that even can be linked with home appliances…
“But I still have to listen to the radio every day to reminisce about the past,” Sun Zhijie said. In his view, these radios exist not only for nostalgia, and as the “home entertainment appliance” of the past, they also witness the rapid pace of technological development and illustrate the true meaning of how technology has changed life. (Translated by Wang Huixin, Fathom Language Limited)