Volksempfänger radio, model VE 301w

Radio
1933 (manufactured)
Volksempfänger radio, model VE 301w thumbnail 1
Volksempfänger radio, model VE 301w thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
20th Century, Room 74
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The Volksempfänger radio was the brainchild of Joseph Goebbels who realised 'the revolutionary impact of the invention of radio, which gave the spoken word true mass effectiveness'. It was expressly intended as a propaganda tool for the Nazi government and the model number - VE 301w - refers to the date of Hitler's assumption of power in January 1933. It sold for 76 Reichmarks, a third of the price of competitors. Walter Maria Kersting's simple design was made under license by 28 different manufacturers, and the radio was specifically manufactured to only receive medium-wave signals, thereby limiting the possibility of listening to stations from outside Germany.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Compression-moulded phenol-formaldehyde resin ('bakelite'), electrical circuits, linen, printed card
Brief Description
Volksempfänger radio, model VE 301w, brown bakelite case with linen, designed by Walter Maria Kersting and manufactured by Statssfurter Rundfunk GmbH, Germany, 1933
Physical Description
Rectangular brown bakelite radio with circular loudspeaker covered in linen fabric in the centre of the upper part of the front, above three control knobs arranged horizontally along the bottom edge. A moulded arc around and over the central knob frames the tuning dial. Printed card backboard.
Dimensions
  • Height: 39cm
  • Width: 27.7cm
  • With knobs depth: 17cm
Style
Summary
The Volksempfänger radio was the brainchild of Joseph Goebbels who realised 'the revolutionary impact of the invention of radio, which gave the spoken word true mass effectiveness'. It was expressly intended as a propaganda tool for the Nazi government and the model number - VE 301w - refers to the date of Hitler's assumption of power in January 1933. It sold for 76 Reichmarks, a third of the price of competitors. Walter Maria Kersting's simple design was made under license by 28 different manufacturers, and the radio was specifically manufactured to only receive medium-wave signals, thereby limiting the possibility of listening to stations from outside Germany.
Bibliographic Reference
p.123Hawes, Robert and Sassower, Gad. Bakelite Radios (Edison, New Jersey, 1996)
Collection
Accession Number
W.7-2005

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record createdJuly 8, 2005
Record URL