What if you spent every day looking for One Beautiful Thing?

Radio: The Internet of the 1930s*


*Title shamelessly stolen from an article by Stephen Smith, published on American Radio Works

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Blue Mirror Sparton 558 “Sled” Radio by Walter Dorwin Teague Design, 1937

I have long held the opinion that nobody made better decorative objects than the Art Deco designers, whose instantly-recognizable sleek lines and geometric shapes are always in style.

Though the Art Deco era technically ran from about 1910 through 1939, it didn’t actually receive its name until the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris. The expo included decorative objects like ceramics, lighting, glass, sculpture, jewelry, and small electronics, all which were influenced by the increasing popularity of machine-made objects.

It’s long been my favorite design era, so when I happened upon the glorious website of the Miami-based website Decophobia, I knew I was home! The site has all kinds of rare and amazing antique Deco items, but I found myself unable to leave the staggering selection of radios, so that’s what I’m exploring today. And Decophobia doesn’t just have phenomenal, detailed pictures and comprehensive information about each of the pieces, all of the items are either for sale or recently sold. You could make one of these beauties your own!

For more delicious Deco designs, go check out the Decophobia website.

All images property of Decophobia.

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Emerson AU-213 Radio Sakhnoffsky-Designed made by Ingraham Cabinet

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Sparton 500C Red Cloisonné Radio with Catalin Case, 1939

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Addison 2 Catalin ‘Waterfall’ Radio, 1940

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Emerson “Patriot” 400 Catalin Radio in White Norman Bel Geddes, 1940

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Colonial 300 Black Bakelite Radio, 1933

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Remler “Scottie” 40 Radio with Blue Mirror Case, 1936

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Air King 52 Radio ‘Skyscraper’ with Egyptians by Harold Van Doren, 1933

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Art Deco Plaskon Kadette “Jewel” Radio in Chinese Red, 1935

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Radio-Glo Stained Glass and Chrome Radio, 1936

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Catalin Emerson AU-190 Radio Marbleized Green Tombstone, 1937

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Tom Thumb Jr. Black Bakelite and Chrome Radio

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FADA 1000 Catalin Radio ‘Bullet’ in Yellow and Onyx, 1940

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Raymond Loewy Colonial “New World” Globe Radio Model 702, 1933

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Catalin ‘Jewel Box’ L622 Translucent Tortoise Radio by General Electric

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Tom Thumb ‘Deco’ Catalin Radio in Azure Blue


Author: Donna from MyOBT

I have committed to spending part of every day looking for at least one beautiful thing, and sharing what I find with you lovelies!

15 thoughts on “Radio: The Internet of the 1930s*

  1. These are so cool! Thanks for sharing. Now I’ll have these lovely images to picture when I’m reading about my grandmother listening to Hollywood Hotel on her radio!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So fun to look at–and their site is amazing. Would be awesome to have a room solely docrated with items from them!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Brings back lots of memories from my youth. Hal

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The first picture of the wooden one reminds me of something in my grandparents home. That is my fav. of the bunch.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love the globe radio, I’ve never seen a radio like quite it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. These are lovely and the top one reminds me of the one still in my childhood home until the early 1950’s. However I have a preference for Art Nouveau, over Art Deco, but it was probably pre-mass-production.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. OMG Donna, the house I grew up in was *filled* with things like this! My parents’ bedroom set alone was a stunning example of Art Deco, from the time of their wedding in 1937. (Unfortunately, after my mom’s death when it came time to sell it, it was in such a poor state of disrepair that I had to let it go for a song.) We had a big shiny dark-wood (oak?) radio that sat on the floor, curved much like one of the first ones above. Also I notice the “Scottie” logo on one of the radios; we had ceramic Scotties just like that, used as doorstops!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: The Way Back Machine | My OBT

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