Tin Can Radio UP161

The Tin Can Radio was designed in 1962 by Victor Papanek and requested by United States Army based on the assumptions that people in third world countries are illiterate and unaware of national agendas. The communication device the army had in mind would not require batteries or any form of external power input. Papanek came up with a solution comprising a used juice can, paraffin wax, and a wick as its power source.

Seeing the extremely low manufacturing cost of 9 cents per unit (by 1966 US standards), Papanek envisaged people would assemble these radios themselves to ensure independence from outside parties for the ongoing production of the product.