Geographic US 437 5-tube radio receiver

Ingelen, Vienna, 1937

 © Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek
Collection Area
Information & Communication
Radio and TV
medien.welten (media.worlds)
1930 - 1939

Tube radios

After World War I, the radio brings the big outside world into the living room. Radios evolve from a makeshift receiver into a luxurious status symbol.

After World War I, civilian radio broadcasting emerges from military radio telegraphy. From 1924 onwards, the state-run Ravag starts broadcasting in Vienna. For a fee, music and official news are sent directly into the living rooms of its listeners. Apart from the simple detector radios, expensive tube radios with battery-run amplifier valves also hit the market. Their main advantage are separate loudspeakers, which play back the programme loud and clear, allowing to listen to a broadcast as a group and dance to the music. Box-shaped receivers with several receiver valves develop from the initial compact devices with individual, inserted valves. The development of power supply units soon renders batteries redundant. Loudspeakers are built into the casing. The large devices with precious wood casing, which are made to blend in well with luxurious home furnishings, also serve as status symbols. Their glass indicators identify radio stations from around the world, which can even be picked up by indoor antennas, as signal amplification also makes remote reception possible.

Inv.Nr. 55108

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