by Heinz R. Pagels
As a twelve-year-old I used to build crystal sets, early versions of the radio. All the parts—wires, resistors, even the crystals and cat’s whiskers (a special wire used to probe the crystal surface)—could be bought at the local hardware store. I would diligently wind the wire around discarded toilet paper roll cores to make an induction coil, solder the wires, and carefully make the connections on a breadboard.
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