Throwback Thursday Object: Light Detector Prototype


Light Detector Prototype             
Our object this week is small, about 6” long by 1.5” square.  There is not much to it, an aluminum box with a short piece of PVC pipe on one end and a blue button on top.  It is a battery powered prototype developed by inventor Tim Cranmer around 1982 of the “Kentucky Light Probe”.   When you pointed the tube at something and pressed the button, the unit would beep if it detected light.  Tim was Director of Technical Services for the Kentucky Department of the Blind.  He and his staff, folks like Fred Gissoni and Wayne Thompson, were constantly coming up with handy little devices like this.  Often they would publish the plans along with parts lists and let hobbyists assemble their own creations on the cheap.  If you wonder how Radio Shack ever made a profit, there is your answer.  Tim conceived this device to detect small lights, such as an on/off light on a household appliance or computer, or to generally detect if lights were working in a room.  By the way, there are apps for this now for your cell phone, just like everything else! Photo caption: Kentucky Light Probe.
Micheal A. Hudson
Museum Director
American Printing House for the Blind

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