5 Brilliant Inventions That Came Out of The Great Depression

The car radio. Mental Floss.

2. The Car Radio (1930)

Paul and Joseph Galvin are responsible for the invention of the car radio, which has allowed us to listen to music in our cars for over 80 years. Legend has it that the young brothers were on a double date, and that one of their dates wished to be able to listen to music while in their car up on a lookout.

The brothers also wanted a catchy name for their invention. They were inspired by the victrola (the record player) and they went to market with their new invention as the Motorola. As you can guess, the name stuck and is still a name brand for car radios today.

Three years after they launched their invention the Galvin brothers cut a deal with Ford. Soon Ford was putting the device in all their cars. Next came deals with police and fire departments. The Motorola was quickly making the Galvin brothers rich and famous.

The Galvin’s Motorola radio didn’t even evolve again until the 1960s when drivers could actually gain control of what they listened to. Either way, if legend serves correctly, it’s a good thing the brothers went on that double date.