Staying warm while listening to the radio

At the beginning of the 20th century, everything got a plug – but all that electricity did interfere with radio reception.

By NEMO Science Museum

Bed warmer (1910) by Therma GmbHNEMO Science Museum

From 1915 onwards, more and more households were connected to the electricity grid.

As a result, the market was suddenly flooded with all kinds of electrical appliances.

Bed warmers were no longer heated by coal, but by an electric heating element.

Closet heater by Luciole Brevete SDGNEMO Science Museum

There were even devices that could get rid of bad odours lingering in cabinets.

That is, if we are to believe the manufacturer of this electric cabinet heater.

Electric pillow (1930) by GrossagNEMO Science Museum

Heating pads also got a plug.

But the electromagnetic radiation generated by the current affected radio reception.

A German manufacturer of household appliances, Grossag, developed a heating pad that did not produce radio interference.

Like it says on the packaging: ‘noch vor kurzem erbitterte Feinde – heute durch die absolut radiostörungsfreien ‘Grossag’-Modelle friedlich vereint’.

‘Until recently, they were bitter enemies – now, they’ve been peacefully united by the completely interference-free ‘Grossag’ models.’

This made it possible to stay warm while listening to the radio without interference in 1930.

Credits: Story

Object of the Month – January 2021

Every month NEMO Science Museum showcases one of the 19,000 extraordinary objects in its collection. These objects, which were once part of people’s everyday lives, show us how technology has changed over time.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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