Total posts : 45366
Bob and Marshall,
Thanks for the stories. I enjoyed reading them. My background is similar in that I started with a crystal set in about 1951. We lived in a rural area and had wall crank phones. The phones used #6 cells and the phone repair people would replace them once a year. They discarded the old ones which still had plenty of life in drainage ditches. I had an inexhaustable supply! They also discarded phone line. I built telegraphs, flashing lights, buzzers and the like with the junk. I learned to solder when I was 8 years old. Used a wood burning pencil.
During my high school years I took on more challenging projects and made pretty good money repairing radios and televisions. I connected with a wholesale distributor and got parts at wholesale. The markup on tubes was about 100%. Nice for me! The local radio repairman who did it part time became nasty when he found out that I was his competition and I had to get a vendor’s license to stay out of trouble because he threatened to report me for not collecting state sales tax. I headed him off because my father played poker with the local tax examiner and we knew about the complaint before it was filed. I learned about taxes at a tender age.
I went on to graduate from engineering college, got my ham license, am married, kids gone, and still like to build electronic things.
You probably remember Popular Electronics. Here is a link to the Carl and Jerry stories. I always looked forward to reading them. If you both did, this will bring back memories.