Friday, 4 November 2016

A Blast From The Past

Many years ago my parents had a smallish, brown Stromberg Carlson radio .  When they upgraded to a more modern model I was allowed to have the old radio on a table beside my bed. I would have been around seven or eight years of age.  Back in those days children were not usually spoiled with a radio in their room, however, I was sick a LOT and they felt justified in letting me have the radio in my room to keep me company.
The Stromberg Carlson was, as I said, brown with a golden brown mesh speaker cloth and a mica dial cover.  It was a tube radio that had a delightful hum.  Just two round buttons looked after tuning and volume.  The cover on the back let little bits of light escape here and there.
I loved that radio.  During the long nights when I couldn't sleep I would turn it on very very low and sometimes it would lull me to sleep.  I had a marvellous time finding all the different stations.  Sometimes late at night I would find a station in a different language and lay there letting the strange sounds wash over me.
As I got older my Dad presented me with a newfangled transistor radio that ran off batteries.  He took my old Stromberg Carlson down to the barn where it suffered many indignities from the barn cats.  I could still go down all by myself to the barn and turn on my old radio.  I think the cows came to like rock and roll.
When we left the farm the radio was left in the barn.  Years passed, but every once in a while I would think of my old radio.  Sentimental tears would run down my cheeks as I remembered the glow of the dial and its lovely old fashioned hum.
A few years ago the husband and I went to Aberfoyle Flea Market just to puddle about and see what we could see.  In a small booth, at the very back, I could see a familiar shape.  I ran for it. " It's my radio, it's my radio" I was shouting.  I'm sure everyone within 50 yards thought I was a lunatic.  Brown, mesh speaker cover, the mica dial cover was missing, Stromberg Carlson.  "Does it work?", I asked.  It did.  My darling husband bought it for me.  I only turn it on once in a very odd while so I don't burn out the tubes.  I have no idea where I might get replacements.  I would love to find a dial cover for it.


  1. I am very happy for you! I'd do some research on the internet, those tube may be easier to replace than you think, if so get some backups now. Try

    1. I was lucky enough just recently to find a gentlemen in town who works on vintage radios and has a repair shop in his basement. He has tubes galore. I also found in this city a museum of vintage radios. Cool place.

  2. What a perfect gift from your darling husband. And how nice to find that the tubes may be replaceable.

  3. oh dear
    your post made me cry for my transistor that i been having in my childhood and teenage for almost fifteen years and i still miss that lovely precious thing so much because it shared a LIFE with me
    i often used to say that i have tow mothers one of them is radio
    thank you so much for this wonderful post
    god bless you

  4. I was thinking what a shame the Carlson got left behind when you moved away and now I'm really pleased that you found it again. Perhaps do a google search for replacement parts and see what you can find.

  5. I LOVE this story. How sweet! And I'm so surprised it made its way back to you. It feels like it was meant to be.

  6. This is so nice ... I had a transistor radio that I loved to listen to ... but your story is very special.

    All the best Jan


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