We’ve had a number of posts about the use of crystal sets for reception of CONELRAD signals. For example, a 1956 Boys’ Life article contained instructions for building a one-transistor set for use in receiving CONELRAD during an attack. A later 1965 article pared down the set to a simple crystal set.
Boy Scout and Civil Defense leaders in Spokane apparently thought it was a good idea, as reported in the November 24, 1958 issue of the Spokane Daily Chronicle.
Chester L. Brown, the civil defense communications chief, prepared a special bulletin on Conelrad crystal radio receivers, which were distributed by Boy Scouts of the Inland Empire Council.
According to the article, the idea was suggested by a scout mother who had been active in civil defense. She had read a newspaper article in which an Atomic Energy Commission official had proposed that all households should be equipped with a receiver capable of operating without commercial power.
The CD pamphlet contained a diagram for a set, and noted that the parts could be purchased in kit form for as little as $1.25.