The upbeat and warm sound of last year’s hit “Swingin’ Down the Lane” by Isham Jones fills the quiet of your parlor as you remove the stethoscope from your neck and lower the volume on your new radio. As you sit in a chair as angular as a Picasso, you pick up the latest copy of Radio News magazine and shake your head in wonder.
On the cover of the April 1924 edition of the magazine, three children are seated in front of a square system with two dials, a flaring horn, and a screen in the center of the contraption. With mouths wide open, the kids are saying “Ahh” as the image of a suited doctor equipped with robotic fingers like the metallic tentacles of the Martian ships from The War of the Worlds is projected onto a screen. Hugo Gernsback named this invention the teledactyl.