16 February 2014

First Bakelite Ekco

Ekco's first Bakelite-cased radios were the 312 and the 313, both released in 1930. At this time Ekco, the first wireless manufacturer to make Bakelite cabinets, had these moulded for it by Allgemeine Elektricit√§tz-Gesellschaft (AEG). The company installed its own presses, under AEG supervision, at its Southend-on-Sea factory in 1931, upon the imposition of high import taxes. The exquisitely-detailed cabinet of the 313, which was available from July 1930 in near-black 'mahogany', brown 'oak' - as in this example - and 'dark jade', was designed by L. Smithers. 

The set had a drum-drive scale, was available in AC (pictured) and DC versions, and cost £22.10s.0d. One then had to buy a loud-speaker. There were two options, the pictured moving-iron cone LS1 Ekcone, at £5, or the moving-coil LS2 Ekcoil, at £11. The wireless and cheapest speaker would have cost over ten weeks' of the average wage of the time, putting it out of reach of all but the most affluent. 84 years on, this 313 is in remarkable, and full working, condition.

1 comment:

Frank Yensan said...

Great stuff as always. I just caught up on many posts. Thank you! I love your blog. The photos are excellent.