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a look at a 1930s aerodyne advertising leaflet

These pages describe an Aerodyne Radio promotional leaflet from the mid-1930s. Each page holds a description with illustrations of two radio designs and has explanatory text to support and inform.

 Produced by letterpress printing as a two-colour black and orange on a cream coloured paper, the leaflet is size is 20" X 10", folded four times along the length and once with a short flap from the top long edge to give a folded size of 8" X 5". 

Text in speech marks (") is transcribed directly from the leaflet. Terminology is explained where appropriate.

It is interesting to see radios at the 'state of the art' for the time. No date is given on the leaflet itself but it is possible to date the leaflet indirectly through references in the text to the Lucerne plan. This broadcasting plan came into operation on January 15th 1934. These plans, of which this was the last before the second world war, were designed to provide equitable allocation of station wavelengths across Europe. Comment on the 'Drake' radio says that it was built with regard to the altered conditions of the Lucerne plan. There is no mention of the 'Nightingale' model, which was produced by Aerodyne in 1935 and can be seen as an advance upon the models shown, having a full-view dial with both metres and station names. Therefore, it would seem logical that the advertising leaflet was produced shortly after the plan date, i.e. mid-1934 on. Leaflets such as these were often undated to allow dealers to clear old stock.


The trade mark 'Aerodyne' was at that time owned by Hustler, Simpson and Webb Ltd. Aerodyne radios were assembled at their Tottenham, London, works. Hustler, Simpson and Webb also produced at least one radio receiver under the 'Classic' brand, the Classic 'Super two' of 1931. Advertised as 'a radio for the masses... the Morris of the wireless world'. This was a reference to the Morris car of the time.

Also interesting was the offer of hire purchase. The leaflet is complete with prices and HP terms. Of course, at that time retail price maintenance was in force. No shopping around for discounts in those days.


The whole leaflet bears the hallmarks of the Art Deco movement. Perhaps that should be 'trend', rather than movement, as it was very open to interpretation and in the case of these designs, the styling devices of Art Deco are adapted in such a way as to disguise the very basic cabinet shapes, which are all of veneered ply carcass construction and would have been built using a relatively crude form of mass-production. So although the cabinets look good and use quality veneers, assembly would entail only the most basic of joints, using pin and glue techniques and ready-veneered ply. The edges, pin holes etc. would have been hidden at the finishing stage and cut-outs for dial and loudspeaker would have either their plywood origins out of view beneath a metal or Bakelite escutcheon, or be painted.

Wood was and of course still is limited in regard to the form it can take when assembled, unlike Bakelite, but Aerodyne did not employ the latter for full cabinets at the time of this leaflet and, to my knowledge, never ventured into the realms of large Bakelite mouldings at any subsequent time.

Each page of the leaflet is shown, together with comments and, in most cases, an explanation of the technical terms used on the page. If you cannot find the explanation for a term used on the page you are viewing, you will probably find it on one of the other pages.

 

 

 

 

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