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Through this relatively inexpensive home appliance, families in places such as rural West Virginia, could listen in on what was going on with their counter-parts in places like New York, Washington D.
C., San Francisco, Detroit, and even foreign countries.
History, Circuit and Construction, Under Chassis Details, AR-60 Model Types, AR-60 Details and Variations, Other AR-60 Info, Where the AR-60 was Used, AR-60 Serial Number Log, Restoration Hints, Alignment Details, AR-60 Receiver Profiles Was RCA's commercial-military receiver, the AR-60, an over-priced, over-built behemoth that produced enough internal noise that it masked all of the weak signals it was tuned to?
The finalized AR-88 was a 14 tube superheterodyne that covered .54 to 32MC in six tuning ranges, featuring incredible sensitivity (even up to 10 meters), excellent stability and high fidelity audio along with mechanical and electronic reliability that couldn't be found in any other receivers of the day. Fowler while George Blaker handled the mechanical design.
The actual production during WWII was handled by RCA's Export Sales under Charles Roberts in Camden, New Jersey.
RCA's AR-88 planning may have chronologically followed their AR-77 ham receiver but the AR-88 owes much of its design concept as a replacement for RCA's aging commercial-military receiver, the AR-60.
The AR-60 had been introduced in 1935 and was still being built as late as 1940.
Persons in rural areas were now isolated because of the cost of even short distance travel, so the new invention of the Radio, and its introduction into the home, seemed to be a cost-effective alternative to public places of entertainment.