Art Deco and the fashioning of radio spaces

Authored by: Michael Windover

The Routledge Companion to Art Deco

Print publication date:  June  2019
Online publication date:  June  2019

Print ISBN: 9781472485144
eBook ISBN: 9780429032165
Adobe ISBN:


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In 1930, the Canadian Marconi Company launched an advertising campaign for its new line of radio receivers. The advertisements appeared in popular, middle-class magazines, as well as in newspapers in major Canadian cities. One advertisement from the series that ran in Canadian Homes and Gardens , an upscale home journal, illustrated the place of the company’s radios in houses of social elites—“Ravenscrag,” historic Montreal mansion of Sir Montagu Allan and Miss Martha Allan, the latter, a noted sponsor of Little Theatre, who claimed “The new Marconi is a charming addition to my home”; and the Toronto home of artist Dorothy Stevens (Mrs. Reginald de Bruno Austin), who described the radio as “A perfect interior piece” (Figure 7.1). With this advertisement, Marconi associated itself and its radio receivers with progressive yet established Canadians. The receivers were both technologically advanced and could sit comfortably in tastefully arranged spaces of the social and artistic leaders of the day—whether in “historic ‘Ravenscrag’” or Stevens’ “delightfully modern” Toronto home. Figure 7.1 Canadian Marconi Company advertisement. From: <a href="#CH007_CIT00008"> <i>Canadian Homes and Gardens</i> </a>, December 1930, 66–67. Courtesy of Rogers Media, Inc. © 2018, “Marconi” is a trademark owned by Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson.

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