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Here He Comes, Mr. Wireless …

April 2023
1min read

When I tell people I took two first-place trophies and one second-place in the early Miss America Beauty Pageants,” writes Herbert Stockinger of Los Angeles, “they glance furtively at my bald head and start edging away. Actually, I was on my father’s award-winning float in the Rolling Chair Parade of the Atlantic City Pageant, of which the selection of Miss America was a part.” Born in an effort to extend the New Jersey resort’s summer season, the first parade was held on Atlantic Avenue on September 25, 1920, and it featured, along with the inevitable beautiful girls, floats built by local businessmen. “My father, Herman C. Stockinger, Jr., was one of the pioneer electricians in Atlantic City. He started in business in 1908, carrying coils of wire on the handlebars of his motorcycle and his tools in the saddlebags. Shortly he worked his way up to a horse and wagon and then a truck.” By 1920 he was able to launch the splendid float shown here, which saluted the infant radio industry. “Its perimeter is decorated with electric motors draped from one to the other with fixture chain, and I am the pint-sized operator standing in front of a realistic wireless station.”


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