These sets were made by
radio enthusiasts from readily available components.. exactly
when I can't say.
In the late 20s and early 30s
ready made sets were horrendously expensive. Because of massive
inflation and the pitifully low value of the pound in the 21st
century, it is hard to imagine the true cost of a simple manufactured
wireless in those early days of broadcasting.
A new car could be bought for
£100. A new radio, together with its batteries, loudspeaker
and aerial was around £20.
A cheap modern car at £7,500
would make the equivalent price of a wireless a thumping £2,500.
It was therefore the only option
for the typical family to save up, buy components and build their
Even basic components were expensive.
Because of harsh resale price maintenance and organised, legally
enforced, retailing at inflated prices it was very difficult
to afford the parts to make a radio set. Even Marconi had his
pound of flesh. Besides the large rate of purchase tax, duty
had to be paid to the Marconi Company for one's radio. This was
calculated on the number of valves it used hence the popularity
of crystal sets long after they were essentially obsolete. The
BBC also claimed money through licenses in order to finance their
Company. In the earliest days, sets were stamped with a label
proving that money had been forwarded to the BBC by the manufacturer.