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Alfred White

Alfred White was born in 1921. In 1926 his parents moved to Canley Vale. He served in the Army during World War II and has lived most of his life in the Fairfield area.

... we used to make crystal sets. Now they were called spider sets. All you needed was one earphone, a piece of this crystal whatever it was, it looked like a lump of metal with silver flakes in it, and you’d have a cat’s whisker, as it was called. And you’d touch the cat’s whisker (a short piece of fine wire to make contact) on the crystal until you found a spot, and you’d get a radio station. Now the radio station we got was 2FC. They had their radio mast out at Liverpool. It was quite handy we could catch that. And another thing too, if you couldn’t get a piece of that crystal, you could get a steel safety razor blade, snap it in halves, and put the cat’s whisker on the broken edge of the steel and you could pick up the station that way.

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