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WIRELESS ACCUMULATOR, 1940's

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WIRELESS ACCUMULATOR, 1940's

2 Volt accumulator used in wireless sets for the heaters of the valves. It was normally given to the local garage, hardware merchant, or cycle shop for recharging. They would give you your spare unit while this was being done.

Your comments:

  • As a young in Horsham I used to have to purchase paraffin from a local store. It had wooden floor boards and reeked of paraffin. The owner used to have shelves of these accumulators charging up in the shop! Surprised it never went up in flames!

    .......... Mike Reeves, Worcester (was Horsham, Sussex) , 22nd of May 2017

  • I read in a 1932 newspaper a case of suicide committed by drinking the contents of one of these. Its what lead me here to see what such an item was as I had no idea what it was.
    .......... Caroline, Spain, 26th of July 2016

  • I am pleased to see that some people remember that in the days of the accumulator we did not have radios, we had wirelesses. We collected our recharged accumulator each week from a bicycle repair shop in Poole High Street, not far from the Railway Station, for which we were charged 6d. That was in the days of the Home Service, Light Programme and Third, when life was so much simpler but no less enjoyable. For those of us in the West of England we listened to The Luscombes, not The Archers, but we too were simple country folk.
    .......... Adrian Danson, Bromley, England, 10th of April 2016

  • I dont remember accumulators but.what happy people they were. Much happier than those awful kids of today with their phones. Mum had a big leather battery radio when we were kids in the sixties. We took it everywhere.
    .......... jane, crowborough, uk, 2nd of March 2016

  • 'Wireless accumulator' is a bit too specific.

    I remember 2-volt lead-acid accumulators similar to this being standard items in my school physics laboratory (1959/1966). They were used as DC sources for 'metre-wire potentiometer' experiments and for powering low voltage lamps for ray-optics experiments. It was the laboratory technician's duty to make sure they were kept charged.
    .......... H J Hill, Settle, North Yorkshire, UK, 5th of February 2016

  • yes I remember the accumulators. Taking them every Saturday to be charged. We had two, one large and one small. One was always at the garage being charged. I think it cost threepence for the small and sixpence for the large. We especially made sure it was charged for top twenty on a Sunday evening. Other favourite programmes were Dick Barton special agent. Have a go, with Wilfred Pickles, Workers Playtime on a Saturday morning, Educating Archie. I could go on and on.
    .......... Joyce Bates nee spragg, Westonzoyland. Somerset.England. now Evesham Worc., 19th of September 2015

  • I grew up in South London during WWII and we had was a wireless that used an accumulator. When the battery ran out we used to take the empty one to a local shop for a replacement. Can you imagine letting a 10 year old being allowed carry an acid battery today? My brother used to make crystal sets with a cats whisker and they actually worked. I feel privileged to have lived during those times as it truly makes me appreciate what we all have today.
    .......... Ann Gordon, Taneytown, MD USA, 28th of April 2015

  • As an apprentice TV & Radio reparer in 1954 in a rural location, one of my jobs was to look after the charging of customers accumilators, I can still remember the smell of the acid fumes and what an unpleasant job that was.
    .......... Peter Derham, Portsmouth England, 31st of December 2014

  • I, too recall taking our accumulator to be recharged, in Hulme, Manchester, in the 40's. We did have electric lighting at the time but I guess this was not a compatible source. This chore was shared with another task to go to the gasworks and queue to get a bag of coke. I feel a Monty Python sketch coming on!!
    .......... PETER RODGERS, Clanfield, Hampshire, 10th of August 2014

  • During WW2 my Mum wanted to know the news, so we bought a radio. We lived in Worthing and had to take our accumulator on the bus to Basingstoke on a Saturday afternoon to be recharged. There was a little shop on London Street. It was heavy but we didn't seem to notice.
    .......... Gladys Barber, Fleet, Hampshire, 24th of May 2014

  • I started work 1945 charging banks of about 35 2 volt accumulators on legg chargers,topping them up with distilled water .I had a rubber apron as my overalls went to shreds.Also re-plating ,washing out ,melting the pitch fitting new plates and separators.delivering to around 300 customers weekly exchange .6pence per week also selling 120 volt high tension batteries [Exide,Oldham,Vidor and Siemens 8/6p or weekly
    .......... gordon caunt, kirkby in ashfield nottinghamshire , 10th of April 2014

  • I USED TO TAKE OURS TO BE CHARGED DURING THE WAR ALSO I HAVE ONE AT THE MOMENT
    .......... FRANK ARMSTRONG, CONSETT CO DURHAM, 7th of February 2014

  • My first job before an apprenticeship was at Baglan Auto Electrical Co Ltd at Baglan, Port Talbot, U.K
    Baglan Auto was the local agent for Exide batteries and part of my duties was to sell Exide Grid Bias batteries and accept and issue Exide acid accumulators for charging, on a one in, one out basis.
    This continued in this Gas only locality until the 1950s when mains electric was installed.

    .......... Vernon, Neath, 23rd of January 2013

  • In the early 1950's we lived on the outskirts of a village that was not served by electricity. The only means of powering a radio was via an accumulator. Such was the demand for them that an electrical shop in the nearest town (that had 12" Bush and KB TV's in it's windows) ran a mobile service whereby the accumulators were collected by van and exchanged for fully charged ones each Saturday.
    .......... Keith Kerrison, Bingley, West Yorkshire., 27th of December 2012

  • My dad was an apprentice at Ken Trow Cycles,Balaam St,Plaistow,E.London.One of his tasks,was to deliver the fully charged accumulators back to the owners,this was done by motorcycle,with the accumulators carried on the flat-bedded side-car.
    .......... Graham Spraggins., Romford,Essex, 23rd of October 2012

  • Back in the 50's when I was very small, I came upon one of these at my grandmother's, and took it to the adults to ask what it was. (It was fairly heavy, even the glass was quite thick.) They simply told me that the contents were nasty and I should leave it alone. When someone came outside a few minutes later to see what I was doing, they discovered that I had unscrewed the filler cap and poured out all the acid into a drain. Their warning had backfired: I had decided that if the contents were nasty, something jolly well ought to be done about it, so did my good deed and duly got rid of the stuff...!
    .......... Robert J. Sutherland, Aberdeen, Scotland, 17th of August 2012

  • My father was an agent for Phillips Radios in the 1940s Their headed note paper used by my Dad advertised their slogan" Simply years ahead" in raised red writing. We had an small outbuilding where people brought their batteries to be recharged and I was allowed to help by putting them on shelves and carrying them out to customers. Children were trusted in this era to take care and follow instructions from their elders - I didn't have any accidents with the acid or electricity! Today in a time of Health and Safety Legislation children aren't exposed to such risks and maybe are irresponsible and more accident prone as a result!
    .......... Frances Lilley, Derby, England, 20th of July 2012

  • I have memories of Mum carrying the accumulator under my brother's pram,to the village, to get it charged at the local garage Circa 1953. We had a "state of the art" push button wireless - very flash!
    .......... Neil McGregor, Safety Bay, Western Australia, 6th of March 2012

  • I was born in 1939 in North London, but moved to Cornwall shortly after. My grand parents lived in North London and towards the end of the war mum took me to visit them occasionally. They had two accumulators which I took to an electrical shop for recharging collecting two recharged accumulators for the return journey. A return journey of about quarter of a mile. Boy, were they heavy. Imagine the weight for a four year old to carry. Granddad gave me a sixpenny piece for the recharging price. Recharging two cost five and a half pence. Next door was an off-license which sold individual large thick arrowroot biscuits, displayed in a big glass jar on the counter. They were a halfpenny each. The temptation was too great, so each time I took accumulators for recharging I bought a biscuit with the halfpenny, eating this on the way back to their house with plenty of rests because of the weight of the accumulators. Funny thing was Granddad never asked for the halfpenny change.
    .......... Cliff Bennett, Hastings. East Sussex., 21st of January 2012

  • I remember these glass accumulators. in the late 1940s I used to take our one on my way to school. I used to go in the back gate of our local baker and on a large wall with shelf's all the accumulators where charging away with wires everywhere. And large carboys of acid in wire frames with straw round the glass. then on my way home I would collect another one to take back home. I was about 7 years old at the time and looked forward to my dad connecting up and us listening to (Dick Barton Special Agent on the wireless) One day I collected an accumulator from the baker and it was very heavy so I held it close to my chest. But when I got home my jumper had turned a brown colour and when I brushed the jumper it fell apart as did part of my shirt. So I ended up with a thick ear for ruining my clothes
    Happy days (really)
    .......... Mike Dennington, Kent, 24th of July 2011

  • I was born in 1939. Bombed out of Bristol, we went to live in Marshfield, 12 miles east. The village had no electricity, so we relied on the 'wireless' for immediate news.
    I remember the weight of these accumulators! As a little boy I could hardly lift them, and there was always my mother's worry about acid spilling from them. The 'accumulator man' came every Tuesday to swap our flat accumulators for recharged ones, reconnecting us with world events. If we'd been invaded on a Monday, Marshfield would have been among the last to know!
    There was also what, to my eyes, was a huge 100 volt(?) solid battery with lots of alternative connecting sockets ranged along one side, and a 'grid bias', the function of which was, and remains, a mystery.
    .......... Tom McCahill, Radstock, Bath & North-East Somerset, 18th of February 2011

  • I remember going to live with my grandfather in the Forest of Dean in 1953 and as he still didn't have electricity we rented a radio and an accumulator in time for the coronation and I can remember just how heavy the accumulator was to carry to the shop for recharging on a Saturday morning!
    .......... Jane, Yeovil, 5th of September 2010

  • I was born in 1936 therefore it was around the time when I was about 6 yr s old (1942) that I remember going each Saturday with my Aunt to take my grandmothers wireless accumulator to a local hardware shop to have it charged and being given a spare one until we went the next Saturday to collect it, this was something I remember doing each Saturday. Such happy memories
    .......... R.M. Grime, Stockport England, 14th of August 2010

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