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As a boy, I'd read the Radio Times quite avidly. Not, in the main at least, for the programme content, interesting enough as that was; my real interest - my fascination - lay in the quite beautiful thumbnail illustrations used to give an image to the radio play, talk or musical item. 

Often commissioned from eminent graphic artists of the day, the inventiveness and sheer quality of these miniature masterpieces never failed to impress me as a six year old and today, sixty odd years on, I remain impressed. Pen and ink or scraperboard, they were superb. Unfortunately the rotary letterpress 'stereo' plates plus the poor quality newsprint could never do them justice and degraded their innate crispness. On this page are just four typical examples, copied from two Radio Times of 1947 vintage. The newsprint quality is apparent in these scans, even though I've attempted to clean the images to the best of my (and Photoshop's) ability. Today's Radio Times is printed in high quality - but does not contain images of such artistic merit. These days the photograph is king -and much the cheaper in production cost. Surface gloss is all, these days, it seems.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VINTAGE RADIO world: SIXTEEN YEARS OF WEB PRESENCE