Looking Back - 1939 to 2011 - the Autobiography of Robert V. J. Padula, OAM

1945 - Gramaphones and Record Players

1941 - Bikes and Cars
1943 - Hiking - Hills and Coasts
1944 - Growing up in the War Years - Part 1
1944 - Growing up in the War Years - Part 2
1944 - Growing up in the War Years - Part 3
1945 - Auburn schooldays - Part One
1945 - Auburn Schooldays - Part Two
1945 - Auburn Schooldays - Part Three
1945 - Upwey and the Puffing Billy
1945 - Gramaphones and Record Players
1946 - Flinders St Station
1946 - Astronomy
1946 - Beach and Swimming Adventures
1946 - Going to the Pictures
1947 - Adventures at the Altona Bungalow
1947 -The Listener-In Magazine
1947 - Balwyn WIldlife Sanctuary
1948 - Fishermen's Bend Aerodrome
1948 - Radio Australia QSL cards
1948 - Excursions
1949 - Australian Rules Football
1949 - Radio Monitoring at Auburn
1950 -Trains and Ships
1950 - Radios for Communications
1950 - Radio Listening Clubs in Australia
1950 - World Radio TV Handbook
1950 - Shortwave Radio Propagation Research
1950 - Medium Wave Radio Propagation Research
1950 - Radio and Hobbies Magazines
1950 - Discovering shortwave radio at Auburn
1951 - Photography
1951 - Competitions on local radio stations
1952 - Camp Buxton - YMCA Shoreham
1952 Tennis and Ten Pin Bowling
1953 - Stamp Collectiong
1953 Camberwell High School
1954 - Royal Visit to Melbourne
1954 - Shortwave Radio reception at Auburn
1956 - Melbourne's Olympic Games
1956 - Trainee Telecommunications' Technician
1957 - Trainee Technician - field work
1957 - National Service Registration
1958 - Laverton Air Show
1958 - MOOMBA Parade
1958 - Trainee Technician - field work
1959 - The move to Mont Albert
1960 - Working at Deepdene Telephone Exchange
1963 - Trade Unions, Staff Associations, Industrial Relations
1964 - Senior Technician work in the Melbourne CBD
1964 - Project support for Radio Australia
1964 - Project support for Radio Australia
1964 - Amateur Radio
1964 - Media Writing
1964 -Travels
1964 - Engineering Support for International Broadcasters
1965 - Professional Employment with PMG/Telstra
1967 - Professional Qualifications - Institution of Engineers Australia
1967 - Australian Radio DX Club Photo Gallery (to 1979)
1972 - Wireless Institute of Australia
1972 - Natural disasters in Melbourne
1980 - Australian Radio DX Club Gallery (to 1995)
1981 - Award of the Medal of the Order of Australia
1995 - Padula Books
SPECIAL CHAPTER - Oldtime Australian Radio Drama from the 1930s
SPECIAL CHAPTER - Radio Monitoring Clubs in Australia - 1920 to 1949
SPECIAL CHAPTER - Melbourne Picture Theatres - History - 1906 to 1970

Gramaphone like ours, 1945 vintage

1920s restored gramaphone, like ours

In 1945, we had a wind-up gramaphone at Auburn, I think that this might have been built in prehistoric times!
The idea was that you wound up the spring with a handle, inserted a new steel needle into the tracking arm, put the record on, carefully place the arm on the lead--in groove of the record, release the brake, and away you went!
The sound would emerge from a horn, or through an internal mechanical sound-box,and the needle would last for a few records when it would have to be replaced. Needles were sold in small tins about the same size as a matchbox, at record shops.
Those old records were 78 rpm, and I still have many of them.
I bought many 78s in the 1950s.
A radiogram is a now old-fashioned piece of furniture that combined a valve radio and record player.  The word radiogram is a portmanteau of "radio" and "gramaphone"
Radiograms reached their peak of popularity in the post-war era, supported by a rapidly growing interest in records. Originally they were styled in polished wood to blend with the furniture styles of the 1930s, with many styled by the leading designers of the day. An expensive instrument of entertainment for the house, fitted with a larger loudspeaker than the domestic radio, the radiogram soon began to develop features such as the record autochanger, which would accept 6 or 7 records and play them one after another.
Certain recordings could be ordered as a box set which would combine the recorded piece in order, to suit an autochanger set-up.
In the 1940s and 1950s, sales of the radiogram, coupled with the then-new FM waveband, and the advent of the 45 rpm single and the LP record, meant that many manufacturers considered the radiogram to be more important than the fledgling television set sales. Later models took on the modern lines, piano gloss finish and plastic and gilt trim of the 1960s.
Stereogram versions became available to take advantage of stereo records. When valve radio development ended in the late 1960s and transistors began to take over, radiograms started to become obsolete. By the late 1970s, they had been replaced by more compact equipment, such as the Hi-Fi and the music centre.
The first 45 rpm single I bought was from Bill Haley and his Comets, which featured "Rock Around the Clock" and "Thirteen Women", released on the Decca label in 1954.
I have hundreds of 33 LPs, either 10" or 12, dating from the 1950s to the 1980s.
One of these is the LP of the opening ceremony of the Melbourne Olympic Games held in November 1956.
I built many audio amplifiers in the 1950s to play the LPs - I set up a thriving mini-business to build amplifiiers for my friends!
The popular Radio and Hobbies magazines published many circuits and how-to-build articles about audio amplifiers in the 1940s to the 1960s, ranging from small single ended amps to monstrous push-pull units, as well as designs for public address systems and organs The "house brand" was known as the Playmaster.
Building audio amplifiers was a popular pastime in the 1950s, as there were few commercial amps available. These were constructed either from kit-sets or by purchasing the individual components from radio parts suppliers.
In the 1950s and onwards, there was strong interest in buying LPs of the sound tracks of the latest movies - I have LPs for The King and I, Kismet, The Sound of Music, Three Coins in the Fountain, from my collectiion of several hundred!
To support my interest in record playing, in 1956 a mate's father, a carpenter, built me a beautuiful wooden speaker enclosure, which held my Rola 12M 12"
I still have that enclosure and speaker, which is used daily for my shortwave work, connected to one of my all-band communications receivers!


Listen to "Rock Around the Clock"

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