Dale McCubbins of WCVK/WJVK/WZVK in Glasgow, Ky. brings to our attention this delicious gem of a gadget that didn’t quite succeed — the Radio Hat. Thanks to the Retronaut for making this public.
Touted in the pages of the June, 1949 issue of Radio-Electronics magazine, a publication edited by the legendary electronics inventor, radio/TV pioneer, technical journalist and sci-fi publisher Hugo Gernsback, the Radio Hat most likely was one of those items that would eventually be advertised in the back pages of a magazine (and intensely desired by boys under the age of 12). Retronaut also has a Radio Hat from the period.
The RE article carries a great deal of technical information about how the battery-powered hat works and how it is designed. It’s a little fuzzy on exactly where that clunky battery goes, however. Remember, those were the days before hat-mounted solar cells were common.
The Radio Hat was the brainchild of Victor T. Hoeflich and manufactured/distributed by the American Merrilei Corp., based in Brooklyn, N.Y. Apparently that company is no longer around. Perhaps it was run out of business by a flood of transistorized bikini-mounted radios from Japan.
The overall fashion statement of the Radio Hat is Runway Diva-worthy. The tubes sticking out of the pith helmet provide a suitab