HOWTO make a proto-mute-button for your 1954 TV: the SHADDAP!

This 1954 HOWTO from Mechanix Illustrated invites the reader to take apart the family TV set to make a remote-controlled mute button (called a "SHADDAP") (!). Remember, Zenith's first TV remote control was decried by the broadcasters as a tool of piracy, because it made it too easy to switch away from the commercials:

ARE some of those long-winded commercials spoiling your TV pleasure? You can cut them off temporarily, without getting up from your chair, by means of a simple gadget you can assemble and install in twenty minutes. It's nothing more than a push-type fixture switch mounted in a small box and connected by a length of lamp cord to the loudspeaker of the TV set. Or, for that matter, to the speaker of a radio set.

Look for a little transformer mounted di- rectly on the loudspeaker, or very close to it. Two wires run from it to terminals on the speaker frame; these are the voice coil connections. Cut either wire, and to the two ends thus formed solder the ends of the wire leading from the pushbutton box. The latter should be long enough to reach your normal viewing position. There is absolutely no danger of shock, as the speaker is isolated from the high-voltage section of the chassis and the juice across the voice coil proper is only a fraction of a volt.

When the selling spiels become too obnoxious, press the switch, and the room will be flooded with silence. Peace, it's wonderful!

make a "SHADDAP" (May, 1954)