03 July 2018

I, Ekco Robot

At 21" high, the AC97 is Ekco's tallest Bakelite-cased radio. It is also the company's most strikingly Art Deco cabinet design, which lies behind one of its colloquial names - the Robot. The set provided for MW and LW reception, tuning assisted by the central Mullard TV4 'magic eye' valve, which indicates signal strength - and provides the set's other nickname, the Cyclops.

The cabinet was designed in 1936 by Jesse Collins, elected a Fellow of the Society of Industrial Artists in 1945. In the same year Collins founded Britain's first true course in graphic design, at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, London. The set was available in two colours of Bakelite: the pictured walnut, and black (with ivory-coloured urea formaldehyde trim and knobs).

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