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What the Heck Is That?

I enjoyed your article on W6XBE. In the picture, what is the device installed on the wall just outside the studio?

John, I enjoyed your article on W6XBE. My curiosity is killing me, though. In the picture, what is the device installed on the wall just outside the studio? Almost looks like a shoe polisher/cleaner? Hopefully you can enlighten me.

Allan A. Augustyn
Director of Network Engineering
Radio Results Network
Escanaba, Mich.

Author John Schneider responds: There’s an easy answer to your question. It’s a power tube for the transmitter!

Besides building the transmitter itself, GE was also a tube manufacturer and built high-power water-cooled tubes like the one in the picture. This one was obviously on display for the public to admire. All high-power radio transmitters (RCA, GE, Western Electric) used these tubes until RCA introduced forced-air-cooled tubes in the 1940s.

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