Crosley does it again! [BZZZZZZZZZZZT!]

The Art
Of Noise


    +-- Line: Happy little valve makes small signal bigger --+

Through the 20th Century
  with mR. vALVE

No less legendary a personage than Billy Zoom, one of the best rockabilly guitarists that ever took up the 6-string, asked me if I were Mister Valve. I was honored, but here's the real genuine story. Mister Valve was a late-night raving in the USC video editing room, who quickly began appearing on walls university-wide.

Subsequent research has revealed that Mister Valve is most likely a bona fide archetype in 20th century Western civilization:

[Little Old Valve] 1904: The Fleming Valve
The new century began minus Luminiferous Ether, but otherwise offering the promise of redemption through electronics.

Here we have the world's first tube. Note the uncanny, and definitely not intentional, resemblance of this little diode to our original Mister Valve.


From many, one!


[Metropolis!] 1927: Fritz Lang
This German director had visions very close to ours. Here are two slightly modified movie posters proving that the UFA studio was very likely the world's first Ominous Valve Works.

 The great city of 2026 (Metropolis)
  Von Braun's first moon rocket (Frau Im Mond)

And here, in an unchanged Metropolis still, is the ultimate Ominous Valve.

Too cool.


1933: King Kong
For some reason, the famous climax to what's still way the best big-ape movie is far more thrilling in our suggested alternate version:

Watch the high-voltage, Kong!


Trading thunderbolts for spears!1942: Your Valves Go To War
Mister Valve's dad has gone into deep cover to help Allied PT boats in the South Pacific. Elsewhere in this magazine ad, Ken-Rad warns radio users that any attempts at re-tubing home sets will be considered treason: "Meanwhile, you'll wait won't you, rather than retard victory?"

War is hell.

The March Of Technology

Other undercover assignments:
Erin Go Valve
Lawrence of Valve
Nanook of the Valve
Peter the Valve
Taj MaValve


[Larry] 1948: Lighthouse Larry
I think this guy might be a great-uncle to Mr. Valve. Larry is a VHF "lighthouse" tube, and I don't know why they drew him all upside down. Must have been so he'd have a bigger brain, since GE had him answering tech questions from hams.




1950: The Space Age Begins

Get that tinfoil hat ready!

Three years after the invention of the transistor, Mister Valve is the first one ready to go to Mars. This high-tech early-atomic-age version of The Tinfoil Hat had two tubes. Batteries included.

Even more wiggy.



1954: Meanwhile, Back on Earth...

Sexism in the TV Shop?

This ad was obviously intended for TV technicians and service personnel. Well, it sure seems as if they were thinking about the same thing that we are told that most postwar American males thought about in the early 1950s. No, not the United Nations.


The Miracle of NTSC!



1962: The Cold War
The Hallicrafters Radio Company was more than happy to join the struggle against Communism, with this real ad for a little valve radio:

El Pueblo Unido Jamas Sera Vencido!


1997: New York City
The big valve hits the big town! Every other artist has an architectural solution for the end of Park Avenue, so dramatically mucked up by the Pan Am/MetLife Building.

Here, I humbly offer mine:

Better than Oldenberg's, for sure


1999: Y2K
As the Earth neared the beginning of its 2000th orbit since the Christian Epoch, and the Book of Revelation drew into conjunction with Kernighan and Ritchie, and the Multitude was stirred by the prospect of data structure Armageddon, and The False Prophet sold millions of doom books, and aging COBOL programmers Raptured into guru status at the world's code maintenance departments, a tiny cult of Atavistic Desuetists preached The Second Coming of Mister Valve to anyone who would listen.

And so it was made known: any valve circuit with potential Y2K issues would be larger than Cleveland.

And so it was revealed: People are analog, and valves are Y2K. And then struck the hour, first in New Zealand, then sweeping around the globe from high beyond the sky.

And so it came to pass, in the last year of the reign of President William.

And then we danced.




How To Draw Mister Valve

It's Easy!

Suggested colors are browser-safe periwinkle
for the bulb, white eyes, and a
graded brown for the octal base.

It's Easy!

Variations are manifold, and to be welcomed. Perspective is optional.




the INDIAN has moved!



Oil was found at this location. You know what that means.

Go to the new reservation.


 [4.Interference]  [5.Weak Sync]  [6.Horiz. Disp.]

(Courtesy David Pearrell)




The People's Logo Page

Here is the most beautiful collection of pure retro extant on this planet. It's my page dedicated to old electronic logos, from the century of the common person, when companies had names like Joe's Radio instead of EATCO ®.

People really like this page. Why not? It's fun, and it's ours. It's yesterday's future, concocted from woozy radio semiotics by commercial designers who didn't share today's pervading sense of dread.

A few of these are actually new, by artists who understand. The designs are, of course, private property, but the visions aren't.

We can be giddy about life again. Technology can be on our side. Meanwhile, do enjoy this wondrously expanding logo page, and send more!


Now get a HUGE RCA LOGO!
(I use mine for windows wallpaper)




50s Radio Store Ad


It's a REMCO!


Send me pictures of tubes!
Send me old logos!

drop B+ and leave the transmitter room

Maybe YOUR final costs $1.29