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Aug. 09 2013

Stereo, but in a different way

By Bob Lenio | Posted in Staff Blogs | 3 Comments

2013-08-07_11-15-44_560This late nineteen-fifties Emerson model 908 table radio received stereo broadcasts  years before the current FM multiplex stereo standard was adopted.  Some AM&FM broadcast stations were starting to experiment with stereo broadcasting by  using their AM signal for the left channel and their FM for the right, or vice-versa.

This radio allows you to listen to AM and FM simultaneously for a stereo broadcast. AM and FM can be tuned separately and  you can have the AM playing through the internal speaker, while an FM station is playing though the external speaker. In fact, you can even have AM and FM playing simultaneously through the same speaker!  There is even a stereo input for a ceramic stereo cartridge and dial lights that light according to mode of operation.

2013-08-07_11-16-19_132This radio wasn’t very needy, requiring only the replacement of a burned out light bulb.  I don’t have the external speaker and I’m not sure if it was an option or came with the set.  I doubt that most owners ever had a use for the features on this set, but it’s an interesting  footnote in the development of stereo broadcasting.

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Bob Lenio

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Bob is WBJC's Chief Engineer. If you have a question about signal reception, equipment or the website streaming, you can contact Bob at blenio@bccc.edu or 410-580-5800.

3 Responses to Stereo, but in a different way

  • Doug Kitchener says:

    Neat! I remember setting up an FM and an AM radio in our recreation room at home in order to listen to an early stereo broadcast… sometime in the early 1960s!

    By the way, Bob, if you haven’t seen it, check out the National Capital Radio and TV Museum in Bowie, great place!

    http://ncrtv.org/

    They’re also on facebook.

    Regards,

    Doug

  • Eugene Barnes says:

    I used to own a Heathkit tuner that did that, but by the time it became a part of our household those broadcasts on AM and FM had gone away, at least in Detroit.

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