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
Produced by letterpress printing as a
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.