Forget Spotify on your Wifi-connected tablet. Forget Pandora. Forget Napster, your iPod...forget even your Walkman. No, you need a Man From Mars Radio Hat. (Tip of the Radio Hat to Boing Boing.
The Radio Hat was a portable radio built into a pith helmet that would bring in stations within a 20 mile (32 km) radius. It was introduced in early 1949 for $7.95 as the "Man-from-Mars Radio Hat." Thanks to a successful publicity campaign, the Radio Hat was sold at stores from coast to coast in the United States.
The Radio Hat was manufactured by American Merri-Lei Corporation of Brooklyn N.Y. The company was a leading supplier of party hats, noise makers and other novelty items. Its founder, Victor Hoeflich, had invented a machine to make paper Hawaiian leis while still in high-school (1914), and by 1949 the company shipped millions of leis to Hawaii each year. An inventor and gadgeteer, Hoeflich continued to develop and even sell machinery that manufactured paper novelty items.