A Boy Named After a Toy?

radio rex, census
Radio Rex (b. 1924) on 1940 U.S. Census

According to the census, a teenage boy named “Radio Rex Musselman” was living in Ohio in 1940.

Know what Radio Rex was? A relatively high-tech toy of the 1920s.

radio rex

Radio Rex was the first children’s toy to respond to voice commands. Rex the dog would spring out of his doghouse at the sound of the word “Rex,” thanks to a sound-sensitive electromagnet.

Radio Rex went on the market in 1922. It cost about $2, which today would be about $29.

But let’s get back to Radio Rex Musselman. Do you think “Radio Rex” was his real name?

He’s listed as “Rex R.” in most places, including the 1930 census and his headstone, but there’s no mention of “Radio” in any other record I’ve found.

Those circled x-marks on the census indicate that the family’s information came straight from parents Royal and Hazel. Do you think they were telling the truth that day, or do you think they were messing with the enumerator?

Sources:

2 thoughts on “A Boy Named After a Toy?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.