Search Rhode Island Radio
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 very many ads 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.
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 explaining the article. This same article was reprinted in papers across the country at the same time.
Later in life it seem that scanlon radn into a little financial issues.
Scanlon died when he was 56 on May 24th, 1952 11
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
Other Nonrelated ADS
Curtesy of Creative Science Centre, Dr Jonathan Hare
1 1910 Census
2 1915 Census
3 1920 Census
4 1925 Census
5 1930 Census
6 WWI Draft Card
7 WWII Draft Card
8 1921 Catalogue of Copyright Entries
9 Radio Digest, September, 1924
10 Radio Broadcast, October, 1924
11 Providence Journal, May 25th, 1952
12 Providence Journal, July 19, 1909