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  • Belfast Between The Wars


Northern Whig, Monday 20th October 1930

With the long winter nights ahead of them Ulster people are being drawn as if by a magnet to the sixth annual radio exhibition now in progress at the Ulster Hall, Belfast, and on Saturday night the stands were beleaguered by wireless enthusiasts.

What impresses visitors most is the extraordinary development made in the sets offered for sale and the economy in price which has accompanied the trend towards wireless perfection. One had only to look back about eight years to recollect the time when the apparatus within the reach of the working man’s purse was some gallant, but not-too-dependable, little box, which would, with very delicate adjustment of a “cat’s whisker,” give tolerable reception from Belfast, say, at Ballygowan. And in those days what an advantage it was to get Chelmsford at Ballymena on Mr. Everyman’s set! The children were put under dire penalties to keep silence, and Mrs. Everyman had to rush to stop the clock while Mr. Everyman strained his ears into the solitary pair of earphones which the set would work.


What a change now! For reasonable prices all and sundry may purchase a set which will bring in music in sufficient volume to enable home dances to be held, and even in the most remote parts of County Donegal quite humble people are enjoying radio’s benefits.

One feature of the attendances at the Ulster Radio Show is the proportion of people from the country, to whom radio is much more a blessing than townsfolk when nights and long and the evening’s amusement presents a problem.

The radio-set manufacturers for town sales have to meet more fierce competition. Midget golf, the “talkies” and “the dogs” are but a few of the new “crazes” which have arisen to claim the dismal hours of the townspeople since the first flush of wireless telephony’s success. But the radio manufacturers know how to meet competition, and the keen-eyed and alert salesmen at the Ulster Hall Exhibition – which concludes tomorrow – have little difficulty in convincing all that no house, whether in a city avenue or in the heart of a desolate moor, is really complete without a radio set.


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