| 17 Apr 2024
The evolution of Car Radios

Mumbai: Music during commuting is a life-saver, especially if the listener resides in a metro city like Mumbai. Despite the heavy invasion of digital mediums, Radio has retained its position among music and news lovers. The cluster of radio channels is a proof for love and demand for this medium. However, the history of Radios in cars or locomotives is less known but interesting.

Automobile giant, Chevrolet, was the first one to bring the radio in cars. The revolution that happened in 1920’s, a few years to complete a century, has been modified, adapted and transformed over all the years. When it started in 1922, it cost a mammoth $ 200 expense (quite some then, quite some even today), an antenna that covered the entire rooftop surface, large batteries that barely fit under the front seat and two large speakers in the back. There are umpteen reasons for car-owners to not opt for it. Till a decade later, in 1930’s Galvin Brothers modified it to suit the pocket and practicality. Today, of course, the equipment is slick and mostly pre-installed in every car; from low to high segments.

An old article in Radio News (New York) that surfaced recently, speaks about the revolution that radio created. It speaks of the miracle of driving within the range of 100 miles of the broadcasting station and enjoying the radio. It also reinstates the power of the medium if used by political parties, to reach out the mass. The article is also a mirror to the simple times when the types of equipment were not pre-installed and thus removal and re-installing were of prime importance.

In today’s times, when music is literally at our fingertips, reading information about the evolution and transformation of vintage mediums makes us wonder how far we have reached.