When I came across this image a while back, the first thought that popped into my head was ‘Ha-ha, silly hat!’, followed immediately by ‘I should use that silly hat for a Shutdown‘. Upon closer inspection, the Man from Mars Radio Hat deserved more than just a one liner to end the day. While no massive commercial success, the radio hat was certainly a harbinger of portable electronics to come. According to the write-up in Radio Electronics magazine, June 1949:
“It is refreshing to note that not all radio manufacturers in this country believe that radio broadcasting is doomed to early extinction. It seems certain that American ingenuity and inventiveness will do much to keep it in the foreground for generations to come.
This is exemplified by an entirely new radio receiver–the Radio Hat–illustrated on the cover of this magazine. [Modeled by actress-to-be Hope Lange] Communication, reception of news, time and weather reports, are a constant necessity to people in this country. So is a light and portable reciever…”