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Vintage Amateur and Military Radio Amateur/military receivers and transmitters, morse, and any other related vintage comms equipment.

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Old 22nd Sep 2022, 6:49 pm   #1
wireman
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Default Wind-up Radio?

For years I have been interested to know if there really was a wartime wind-up radio as I saw one on an old film but didn't remember what film it was from.

The film was "The sea shall not have them" which was recently broadcast on Freeview. The radio appears in scenes in a liferaft.
Fortunately the relevant scene appears in this video:

https://youtu.be/lHUmkW1S6KI

Was this a real radio?
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Old 22nd Sep 2022, 6:59 pm   #2
AdrianH
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Default Re: Wind-up Radio?

I am guessing the wind up distress transmitters?

I think called Gibson Girl Transmitter.

Adrian
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Old 22nd Sep 2022, 6:59 pm   #3
ms660
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Default Re: Wind-up Radio?

Gibson Girl:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survival_radio

?

EDIT: Post crossed.

Lawrence.
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Old 22nd Sep 2022, 7:01 pm   #4
roadster541
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Default Re: Wind-up Radio?

There weren't, as far as I know, any "wind up" lifeboat/liferaft transmitters, but they were usually hand cranked and in use until the 1970s. I sailed on several ships which had hand cranked Marcon Salvita lifeboat transmitters.
The transmitter in the film, with its top crank handle was probably a "Gibson girl".
Rod
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Old 22nd Sep 2022, 7:03 pm   #5
Reelman
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Default Re: Wind-up Radio?

Also have a look here which also shows the “competition”.

http://www.wftw.nl/gibsongirl.html

Peter
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Old 22nd Sep 2022, 7:07 pm   #6
wireman
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Default Re: Wind-up Radio?

Thanks for the pointers everyone!
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Old 22nd Sep 2022, 8:09 pm   #7
G3VKM_Roger
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Default Re: Wind-up Radio?

A Gibson Girl transmitter is also shown in use in the film "Island in the Sky", made in 1953 and starring John Wayne. This is based on a true story of a C-47 downed in the wilds of Labrador.

I have a couple of the collapsible box kites that were part of the survival kit, along with a hydrogen generator and a balloon to elevate the aerial.

Cheers

Roger
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Old 22nd Sep 2022, 9:16 pm   #8
kalee20
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Default Re: Wind-up Radio?

In the early days wind-up radios were a significant improvement on the coherer, in fact Marconi developed the magnetic detector with a moving iron band because the coherer was too unreliable. The Titanic's radio receiver used a wind-up clockwork motor (1912) and it's likely that these continued at least into the early years of the War - till valves were improved.

So yes, wind-up radios very much existed!
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Old 22nd Sep 2022, 9:46 pm   #9
Uncle Bulgaria
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Default Re: Wind-up Radio?

This put me in mind of this recent thread about a clockwork distress transmitter. There are also lots of interesting titbits if you search 'Gibson Girl' on the forum. Some members have some working!
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Old 23rd Sep 2022, 2:35 am   #10
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Default Re: Wind-up Radio?

I have a Gibson Girl radio in my collection. I have not looked at it for over 30 years, as it is in storage; but IIRC, it had a code wheel in it to send an SOS.
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Old 23rd Sep 2022, 5:42 am   #11
G3VKM_Roger
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Default Re: Wind-up Radio?

The history of the Gibson Girl transmitter is here, including how the name arose!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surviv...he_Gibson_Girl

Happy cranking!

Roger
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