BORDEN RADIO COMPANY -CRYSTAL MAN (XTALMAN) - BUILD A CORNELL WW-II FOXHOLE RADIO! A number of our customers have expressed interest in learning about the simple little razor blade radios that were built by American soldiers to use in their foxholes on the battle fields of Europe and the Pacific during World War II. These radios were crystal sets that used blue razor blades for the crystal detectors because crystals were almost impossible to obtain under the conditions the G.I.s faced in those days. In the early 1940s, tube type portable radios were fairly large and used short-lived, expensive batteries that would have been hard to find in the field. Also, the Germans had sensitive, radio direction finders that could pick up the local oscillators of superheterodyne portable receivers. They could use these devices to “home in” on the locations of the Allied emplacements in order to direct artillery and aircraft fire. Because of this, it was forbidden to use portable superhets on the front. Still, the G.I.s had the desire to listen to news, entertainment, and the “all-important” baseball scores, along with other sports. Battles did not rage constantly and sometimes there were many hours and even days when they had to sit in their foxholes and wait out the boredom. Most locations were close enough to radio stations to receive them with ... read more