We were at the Bothwell Lodge State Historic Site near Sedalia, Missouri. Our tour guide lead us through the rooms of the mansion that has been very well-preserved and kept as nearly like it would have been when the owner lived there.
One of the first items I was fascinated with, left there where Mr. Bothwell would have placed it, was this radio. An RCA Radiola, Super-Heterodyne. This was a radio like I had never seen before, so I used my cell phone and took this photo.
Took the photo with my cell phone…this device that I think I can not live without, but did for many, many years. This expensive gadget that I use for phone calls and texts, and to listen to a podcast once in a while or my favorite music…streaming online.
What would Mr. Bothwell and his family and friends have listened to on this RCA Radiola? We learned that he died in 1929, just a couple of months before the stock market crash. What would the news have been like then? How would the stock market crash have been presented? And how often did they (the Bothwell’s) even turn this thing on? Electricity was not what we take for granted now.
I would love to know if this radio still works.
There are many deeper questions that come to mind as I look at this image and think of our modern-day communications. I could add some here and go on and on. This is not the day for me to do that. I’m guilty of partaking too much of that news culture…something I continue to work on.
But what draws me in is the scene and the story. The scene: this beautiful, well-preserved, well-built mansion in the heart of Missouri. The story, shown simply by the placement of this RCA Radiola Super-Heterodyne in what looked to be the center of that home. A place of prominence, of importance. Not so portable, not able to fit in a purse or pocket. And yet, an all important connection to the world beyond their doorstep.
We are not so different.