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Sunday, February 8, 2009

"ELECTRONS ON PARADE" A Film from the Radio Corporation of America



Gee-willikers! This RCA movie is the cat's pajamas! Really great stuff. The guy who posted it on YouTube said it had been sitting on his shelf for years, apparently just waiting patiently for the broadband Internet.

I hadn't realized how labor intensive tube production was. Looks like every one of those fire bottles was, to a large extent, put together by hand. The contrast with the way solid state devices are produced is really striking -- the tubes seem like the product of artisans. And they somehow just seem to be more homebrew-friendly than modern solid-state devices.

Don't miss Part 2! Here we see "heroic hams" in action, saving people from serum shortages during floods, etc. Watch the policeman with the Tommy-Gun almost run over the kid on the bicycle. Yikes G-man, that was close!

The date on the film is 1942, and judging by the number of women shown working in the factories it does seem like a wartime film, but I was surprised by how infrequently the tube's role in the war effort was mentioned.

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