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Sale 2511 Lot 9
Designs for RCA Radios. Together, 19 original proposals by such luminaries as John Vassos, George W. Walker, and Henry Dreyfuss, illustrating eight table-top radios and eleven console radio sets for the Record Corporation of America, 1938-1946. Graphite, colored pencil, and watercolor on paper or black chipboard. Sizes vary, the largest measuring approximately 330x470 mm; 13x18 1/2 inches. Condition varies, but generally bright and clean.
Estimate $1,500 - 2,500
Three important industrial designers stand out in this lot: Vassos, who contributed five designs and collaborated on one other, designed for RCA for over 40 years and worked on a variety of products, including microphones, broadcast equipment, and the company's first commercial television sets. Walker (3 tabletop designs), is best known for his Ford automobile designs, like the iconic Ford Thunderbird. One tabletop model in the set is by industrial design superstar Henry Dreyfuss. Most images show the console style radios in period situ, displayed like high-end furniture. In contrast, the table-top models are more futuristic.
Both Vassos and Dreyfuss were involved in the founding of the industrial design profession in the United States, with Vassos serving as the first Chairman of the Board of the Industrial Design Society of America with Dreyfuss as its first President.
Many of the models would be familiar to radio enthusiasts, such as the 97KG and U123.
Among the list of Dreyfuss's accomplishments are vacuums for Hoover, telephones for Bell, household staples like the Honeywell wall thermostat and the Big Ben alarm clock.