Radio Clocks and Clock Radios
Here we see a Philco Model A radio-clock circa 1931. This device acts as a 24 hour timer, and was used to turn a radio on and off at pre- set times. There are knobs on the left and right sides to set on and off times, along with an AC receptacle and bypass switch on the back. The radio-clock cabinet was designed by famed industrial designer Norman Bel Geddes, who’s most notable design was the “Futurama” exhibit of the 1939 New York World’s Fair. The cabinet complements the styling of Philco console radios of that day.
Here it is seen on top of a Philco 112X radio. The Philco 112X was known as “The Stokowski Model” and was Philco’s entry into high fidelity, but that’s another story for some other time. The radio-clock retailed for $17.95 in 1931. That’s around $280 in today’s money.
At the time, were other devices on the market that were similar to the Philco radio-clock. Up through the 1930’s, several radios were actually manufactured that shared their cabinet with an electric clock, but none of them were designed with the purpose in mind of a modern clock radio. The first clock radio wasn’t patented until the mid-nineteen-forties.
The Telechron Musalarm 8H59 is considered to be the first clock radio on the market. The 8H59 Musalarm was soon replaced with the model 8H67 seen here.
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