Yes, it's amazing how much technology has changed- and is still changing- like just the past couple years we have gone from analog CRT TVs to digital hi-def TVs. The pace of change is just too much for my old noggin to keep up with, so I'm glad to be at retiring age.
But I must admit- the old stuff- be it steam trains, prop planes, vacuum tubes, mercury rectifiers, big transmitters with water-cooled tubes and mammoth room-size computers with core memory were more visually interesting. I sometimes wonder if radio had had cold dark transistors when I was a kid if I would have not chosen some other career. I might have become a lobster boat fisherman.
Incidentally here is the first 50-KW transmitter I worked with- a Westinghouse 50HG installed in 1952
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You can see one of the two output tubes in the center section. The exciter, driver and modulator are in the left cubicles, power amp and control in right. The power supply with the mercury rectifiers was in a separate section out of view. There were eight cubicles in all plus various support equipment like blowers and transformers in the basement. This transmitter was replaced 1975 with a RCA BTA-50H half its size. I'm no longer at this station but I hear they now have a Harris DX50 which is even smaller and all solid-state. It's quiet and reliable but sure not as pretty as those big glass bottles!
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This were some of the prettier "small" tubes- these are 833s used as drivers in a 10KW GE transmitter. The finals in this somewhat newer transmitter were ceramic so they couldn't see them light up. In fact there wasn't even a window to see them.