CB radio: celebrating the art of 'eyeball' cards

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Today, instant communication with anyone anywhere is just the swipe of smartphone screen away. But in the late ’70s and early ’80s it was a different story. 
 
Sure, you could ring someone up, but every telephone was attached to the wall. If you wanted to speak to a person on the go, there was only one solution: CB radio. 
 
CB – short for ‘citizens’ band’ – was a radio network used mostly by truckers in the US as a way of communicating with each other on the road. When it migrated to the UK, it was also embraced by non-drivers, with CB radios appearing in the bedrooms of wannabe-Burt Reynolds up and down the land. Like the Americans, people gave themselves interesting nicknames or ‘handles’.
 
Needless to say, CB also became a good way for ‘breakers’ (users) to meet each other in the flesh. An encounter that was known as an ‘eyeball’. And to make the experience a little more special they’d bring business cards with their handles printed on. 
 
These cards are the subjects of a new book, Eyeball Cards – The Art of British CB Radio Culture, by writer William Hogan and photographer David Titlow. It features a history of the scene, photos of the most creative cards and portraits of the breakers today. 
 
And while most of us would find it hard to go back to CB after a decade’s exposure to social media, there’s something a little more innocent and unpolished about CB and the eyeball cards that were such an integral part of the scene. Maybe it’s time for a revival?
 
Eyeball Cards - The Art of British CB Radio Culture is published by four Corners Irregulars, price £14. Order here: http://amzn.to/2go7uey








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