As vacuum tubes softly glow... and my guitar gently weeps
Since we started our Coolest Retro Devices series, we've been receiving many tips and info about bizarre devices from the last century, and even into the 1800s. It's a great subject; there is something passionate in contemplating retro technology - a strong nostalgia factor, of course, but also a "freedom of design" factor: there were no cast-in-stone design rules yet, and consumer electronics could be as wild and woolly, as consumers wanted them to be:
The Twin-Gramophone set-up, with a valve in the middle, allowing for the groovy cross-fades between the two: early DJ technology?
Japanese consumer electronics catalog from the early 1970s:
Portable LP, combined with solid-state radio (when you need to listen to your records ALL the time), and a 1975 prototype Hi-Fi Sphere (probably should be called "HyFy" nowadays, in light of the recent developments)
1968 Control Center of the JINR's (Joint Institute of Nuclear Research) synchrophasotron in Dubna, Russia (I'd say, they had ladders to access the central panel, or maybe they just levitated up and down on excited electrons)
More conventional Soviet nuclear plant control center, from the 1950s -
Scientific experiments in Russia, "Tekhnika Molodezhi", 1974
Left image is from the American 1950s pulp magazine. Right image - a real Soviet laboratory (of the kind described here) from the 1960s, complete with larger-than-life Faraday Spheres. Fantasy and reality go hand-in-hand here:
Dry cleaning? (well, then, why not get inside the machine yourself) -
Multi-processor computing in 1924:
Washington, D.C. "Bonus Bureau, Computing Division", image via Shorpy
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