Radio News Amateur's Handibook (1929)
The cover of the Radio News Amateur's Handibook from 1929
shows a well-dressed couple watching eagerly as a handyman
installs a radio in the mantle above their fireplace. It's an interesting
precursor to today's "modern" times, when homes wired for sound are
In the early days of radio, manufacturers went to some lengths
to disguise radio machinery to blend in with furnishings in
a parlor or living room. Some 1920s radio cabinets don't look like
radios at all until you open a door or panel to reveal the controls.
Other receivers were cleverly concealed inside tables or other furniture.
It didn't take long, however, before the radio itself became a centerpiece
rather than an ugly duckling. By the 1930s and 1940s, most radios proudly
displayed their speakers and controls and designers found innumerable
pleasing ways to integrate these elements with the cabinet.
©1995-2013 Philip I. Nelson, all rights reserved