new research tangent on Richard Florac

Richard Post postr at OHIOU.EDU
Thu May 15 17:28:51 EDT 2003


Below is a query I sent to the original boatanchor group (On an MIT
GNU I believe.) about 9 years ago about a tiny tube radio I had
acquired.  Your patent info from Florac may have finally answered the
question as to its inventor/ designer. The question of its purpose
may still be open.

I took some pix of it now that more info is known.  Link to the pix is below


Boatanchor Pix - KB8TAD

" I acquired what appeared to be an old hearing aid.  It's in a gray
plastic case 3 inches by 2 and a half by 3/4.  It came with a
wired-on hearing-aid style earphone attached, and a 3 inch length of
wire for an antenna.  The cover is held on by a single thumb-wheel
screw.  The cover is embossed with "FLORAC pat. pend" in raised
letters.  Inside the cover are rubber-stamp style writings.  "RICHARD
R. FLORAC, Ultra miniature electronics, 246 East 45th Street, New
York 17, N.Y." and "CRYSTONIC Power Multiplier, pat. pend., FM-AM 88
to 110 Mc., Tuning Knob IN 88 Mc. OUT 110 Mc., Do not tamper with
tuning and antenna system." Half the inside is taken up by space for
2 batteries with rubber stamp labels "Mallory Mercury 12 or RM 120"
and  "Eveready 507 or 507B".  The little phenolic chassis has an old
style diode, looks similar to a glass 1N34, a small permeability
tuner, on-off /volume control, tiny audio transformer, a choke, and a
few resistors and capacitors.  Lifting up the chassis reveals not
transistors plugged into the small sockets, but a couple of
subminiature tubes and the note "Observe red dot on tubes and
sockets.  Replace with Raytheons 5676 triode and CK 533AX or 6088

I assume the batteries were "AA" 1.5 volt and a 22.5 or 30 volt
hearing aid battery but have not cross checked the data.  My guess is
the device hails from the early 1950's.  Any guesses as to any
probable use, other than as an early "Walkman" for FM broadcast?
Surreptitious listening to a hidden transmitter perhaps?  Anyone ever
heard of the manufacturer or have a lead on an advertisement on the
device?  Anyone have one like it?"

The only response I received to my inquiry was:
>My friend says that your device is part of a pair,
>transmitter & receiver, that was commonly used by magicians in the
>1950s for reading cards, etc. from an assistant in the audience.  Of
>course, it could be also used for survelance, etc.

This list is a public service of the City of Tempe, Arizona

Subscription control -
Archives -

More information about the Boatanchors mailing list