Pedal generator

The Pedal Radio (or Pedal Wireless) is a radio powered in part by a pedal-driven generator. Taking inspiration from a German hand-cranked radio, Traeger’s generator was driven by the feet – using bicycle pedals from the Malvern Star Company – leaving the hands free to operate the radio itself.

Traeger’s invention helped establish the famous Flying Doctor Service and offered remote settlements access to telecommunications for the first time. The School of the Air was established in June 1951, using the Flying Doctor Service radio network; at first lessons were a one-way affair, supplemented by postal correspondence, but soon, two-way radio broadcasts enabled dialogues between remote students and educators. Today’s School of the Air operates via satellite broadband across 1.3 million square kilometres; undoubtedly the largest classroom in Australia.

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