Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 7, May 1967


The Radio Section of the Waihi Museum was first envisaged as Memorial to the late Keith M.Wrigley, the founder of the Akrad Radio Corporation and whilst retaining this intention, has been expanded into an exhibition of Radio and Electronic Developments which date from some of the earliest equipment right up to the present date.

The student who has visited the Auckland Museum of Transport and Technology will find that Waihi Museum has many exhibits which Auckland hasn't got! These include what is possibly the earliest attempt at an integrated circuit ever devised, a "Leowe" radio dating from about 1920. This interesting device may be compared with a modern integrated circuit, which can hardly fail to impress the visitor with the fantastic advances in miniaturisation and performance which have taken place in the last 40 years.

The exhibition has collections of almost all the commoner electronic components showing how they have developed through the years and an extremely comprehensive collection of valves and cathode ray tubes.

There is also a collection of scientific equipment which belonged to the Waihi School of Mines which has been renovated by the members of the Waihi Branch of the N.Z. Association of Radio Transmitters who were the organisers of the exhibition.

The Keith M. Wrigley influence is represented by a collection of several "Future" radios which were designed, built and sold by Mr Wrigley during the part of Akrad History prior to Mr Wrigley's death in 1946. (Akrad History will be recorded later. Ed)

It is intended to extend the scope of the collection with new and old equipment as it becomes available and a collection of photographs connected with the growth of the Radio Industry in Waihi is at present being collated and should be added to the Exhibition in the near future.

The whole collection is rounded off with a coin slot record player which plays a record giving the visitor a brief lecture on the Radio Section of the Museum and points of interest. The Player itself is of interest as the loudspeaker is an early Ferranti Horn Speaker of about 1920 and is worked by a tiny transister amplifier which may be seen through the glass front of the record player. This amplifier was designed and built for the exhibition by one of the local radio amateurs and is capable of delivering 3 watts of audio power.

(Mr Horton, born London, England 1927, served a 7 year apprenticeship with Pye England. Working on Radar and Television Transmission Equipment 14 years Chief Engineer with Hammants of Hevley Ltd. England, and became a specialist in Electronic Crime Prevention Methods. Joined the Design Staff of Akrad Radio Corporation upon arrival from England in 1964 and has been engaged on both Instrument and Television design. He is at present engaged upon the organisation of a total quality control system. Associate Member of the I.P.R.E. and N.Z.E.I., President Waihi Branch N.Z.A.R.T. Ed)