Hallicrafters S-40 radio receiver

Amateurs began making home radios to transmit and receive messages early in the 1900s. As part of the 1912 Radio Act, these "hams" were assigned to the short-wave part of the radio spectrum. Radio operators around the world learned code, formed clubs, and exchanged cards listing their license numbers.
In 1933, radio enthusiast William (Bill) J. Halligan of Chicago founded The Hallicrafters, Inc. The firm sold radios and other electronic components. Ham radio operation in the U.S. was suspended during World War II, and Hallicrafters devoted its resources to producing military goods.
After the war, it resumed production for consumers. Hobbyists bought receivers like this one. This sturdy object was owned by Charles E. Dennison, a longtime employee of the Smithsonian Institution.
Reference: Max de Henseler, "When the Sky was the Limit, The Hallicrafters Story 1933-1975," unpublished manuscript.
Currently not on view
Date made
ca 1946
Hallicrafters, Inc.
Physical Description
steel (overall material)
glass (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
overall: 8 1/2 in x 18 1/2 in x 10 1/2 in; 21.59 cm x 46.99 cm x 26.67 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
model number
Credit Line
from Charles E. Dennison
See more items in
Work and Industry: Electricity
Cultures & Communities
Family & Social Life
Sports & Leisure
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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