past to present

hal feinstein hfeinstein at
Wed Feb 28 03:47:24 CST 2007

Searching for sources of components on the Internet I came across
Leeds Radio.  This store was the kind that made up the old Radio Row.
Their internet site still has that feel, a store full of surplus  
parts of every variety,
with bins of capacitors, resistors and who knew what, overflowing out  
the door
and into the street.  Often, in front of the store were bins of stuff  
too numerous
to count.  I'm told these stores date back 1890's, to the time Edison  
was contracted to
put lights in the downtown NYC.  There was no electrical industry  
then, no place
to buy wire or insulators or switches.  Edison created a number of  
to service his needs. Later NYC became a hotbed of radio  
experimenters and
businesses in the 1920, somethimes called the "electrical age," and  
Row became the heart of the supply business for these experimenters and
businesses. Informal and unruly, it had the feel of a bazaar.  The  
end of WW II
saw a flood of surplus  military equipment populate the store fronts
and a universe of components they were built with.
The end of Radio Row was both economic and geographic.  The
original business men who operated it from the early days retired.
Cortland Street, the heart of the Row, was appropriated to build the
the  World Trade Center.  And yet, of these old days something remains

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