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MICROPHONE OF THE MONTH JULY 2020

DRALOWID REPORTER

 

 

The Dralowid Reporter, a carbon microphone from 1932, was one of the first affordable semi-professional microphones. It was produced in Berlin, Germany and was used by radio reporters and by people at home, in combination with the gramophone also supplied by Dralowid for recording records. Many thousands of these microphones were sold and even now they are regularly offered second-hand.

The Dralowid (derived from DRAhtLOse WIDerstand = wireless resistance) factory was originally called Steatit-Magnesia AG, technical ceramic parts were made for the Electro(nics) industry, since 1921. After the name change in 1927, the company also aimed at the radio industry. Many parts were pressed from the bakelite-like plastics Steatit and Melalith.
Similarly, the housing of the Reporter microphone, which was a significant cost saver compared to the original Reisz design, which used a hollowed-out marble block. The production speed was also much higher, so that the microphones could be offered relatively cheaply.

The tabletop DR 1 and the DR 2 stand microphone had a base housing a block battery, an output transformer and an on / off switch with a light that indicated when the microphones passed signal.

Many reporters used the tabletop DR 1 as a handheld microphone, like Otto Clement, who reported for Radio Munich in 1935, from a four-man bobsleigh, on the course of the Winter Olympics. Because, in addition to the driver and inhibitor, there was also a transmitter technician on board and a large amount of batteries had to be carried, the bob had almost flown out of a 7-meter bend due to all the extra weight. The bob's speed was also higher than normal while Otto enthusiastically reported to the listeners.

Dralowid itself was also enthusiastic, the company magazine Dralowid Nachrichten (news) did not shun martial language, after the Nazis rose to power in 1933 (see pic 2) and 'countrymen from the Rhineland who had returned to the Reich', in 1935, were warmly welcomed.

The Reporter microphone was touted for use in conjunction with the Deutsche Arbeitsfront Empfänger, the corporate radio that was intended to pervade Nazi propaganda to every German work floor.
Speaking for the DR 1, the Führer himself also featured in company ads.
Dralowid was heavily involved in the war effort and supplied electronics for the control of the V2 flying bombs and used forced workers during the war.

After WW 2 , the Berlin factory was nationalized by the GDR regime. in West Germany a new Dralowid factory was built, which would eventually be merged into AEG in 1970.

These and many more types feature in my book Witnesses of Words.. More information about that can be found at www.witnessesofwords.com

wow cover

DRALOWID REPORTER
ad 1935
Dralowid brown

Dralowid tag

Top: White version of the Dralowid Reporter

Middle: 1935 ad: 'knights conquered empires, dralowid parts rule the world, brown version and back with shield

Below: sound, poster for the Berlin 1932 Radio exhibition, ad & bob sleigh tour

Listen to the sound of the Dralowid Reporter

Bobbing
Dralowid 1932
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