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Everett Scanlon Radio Specialties Company was small but worth a page for the unique items it sold. I have found their ads for balloon Aerials, Gravity Batteries, Chimney Aerials, Ribbon Wire and ways to inflate the balloons. Incidently the gas for the balloons was Hydrogen, which is highly flamable! Remember the Hindenburg? There was three ways listed to get the Hydrogen gas: in tanks, making it in a jug with acid & iron and by using electrolysis of water. Their motto was "There is nothing like a good high aerial.
Although balloon antennas seem like a simple idea, searching for ads from the 1920's did not turn up a single ad other than the ones Everett Scanlon sold. I could also not find a patent for his particular antenna but did find one for another design from 1925. US1650461 He even wrote letters about them in the September, 1924 issue of Radio Digest 9 and the October, 1924 issue of Radio Broadcast 10.
One non-related invention attribtued to Scanlon is a copyright record for malting eveporated milk in the 1921 8.
The Providence Journal had an article on March 28th, 1924, page 8, that told of the city of Providence instructing the police to tell people with balloon arials to make them down because of safety concerns. Dispite this, Scanlon continued to place ads and write letters about the antennas in Radio Digest, Popular Radio, Radio News, Radio Broadcast, Popular Mechanics, and Radio Progress up to December 1926. Since the ads were in national publications, maybe the Providence Safety Council never saw them or they were illegal to own but not to sell.
Device to Support Wire Declared
Menace to Public Safety Providence Journal
March 28th, 1924 page 8
Providence police at roll call last night were instructed to advise persons whom they found using a certain type of radio serial, to take them down, on account of the danger to the person using them.
The aerial in question consists of a collapsible rubber balloon which, when inflated with illuminating gas to a diameter is supposed to be capable of carrying the end of a light lacquered wire into the sir and sustaining it there. The other end of the wire is led through an insulated leader into the home and attached to the receiving set.
A member of the Providence Safety Council, and electrical engineer, purchased one and carried it to the Safety Council office, where Manager Seabury advised that it be shown City Engineer Ralph W Eaton. Mr Eaton realized that it was an absolute menace to public safety and referred the matter to City Solicitor Elmer S. Chace, who notified the police that be considered it their duty to see they they were not used.
The danger, according to the electrical expert, is in the chance of the wire coming in contact with electricity charged wires, either by swaying against them as the balloon is carried back and forth by the wind and air currents or by falling across them in case it becomes deflated of the wire breaks, and carrying the full strength of the current to the person using the radio received.
“It might be all right in the middle of a 10-acre lot so long as it stayed there.” The electrician declared. “But in Providence, with all the high tension wires we have strung about, somebody is liable to be electrocuted. If these things continue to be sold, I expect somebody to be killed within two or three days. It not only endangers the user, but if the wire breaks of the balloon falls, it endangers the people on the street”
Everett Scanlon himself was born in September 11th, 1895 6 to Thomas and Annie (O'Rourke 11), Irish emigrants. 1 At age 18 he had no occupation listed. 2 At age 14, Scanlon had a brush with death when he caught on fire when a engine used to make ice cream caught some near by gas on fire. 12.
At age 21 in 1918 he is listed as a machinest at Brown and Sharpe and partially supporting his mother Annie and his sister 6 At age 24 he is listed as a Plasterer. 3 In 1925 at age 27 he still lived at home. 4 Between ages 29 (1924) and 31 (1926) the ads for his Balloon antennas are found.
This was right after a Popular Mechanics article from December 1924 expalaining the article. This same article was reprinted in papers across the country at the same time.
After the Popular Mechanics December, 1924 Article Newpapers all of the country started running the same article It was also about the time the Scanlon Ads started
The Bismarck Tribune
Hamilton Evening Journal
Albany Daily Democrat
Battle Creek Enquirer
Belvidere Daily Republican
The Herington Sun
The Lethbridge Herald
At age 30 he is listed as the head of household but having no spouse, that he owned the house and had a radio set. It also lists him as being a veteran of WWI. 5. On curious bit of infomration is a WWII registration card that is definitly the same Everett Scanlon as the correct birthday is listed. On this document he is listed as still living in Lakewood, RI but working at Federal Shipyard, Kearney, NJ. At his point he was 45 and at the tale end of the age for draft registration. 7
Radio Digest Article Radio Progress, June 1st, 1924
Radio Digest Article Radio Progress, June 1st, 1925
Radio Digest Article By Everett Scanlon September, 1924
Popular Mechanics July 1923
Letter to Radio Broadcast By Everett Scanlon October, 1924
Radio Progress August 1st 1925
Radio Digest, March, 1924
Radio Digest, October, 1924
Radio Digest, June, 1924
Radio News, November, 1925
Radio News, December, 1926
Radio News, March, 1925
Radio News, May, 1925
Radio News, January, 1925
Radio Digest, April 1924
Boston Herald, March 16, 1924
Popular Radio, August, 1926
Copyright Record for Malting Eveporated Milk, 1921