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TP1

  • Object:

    Record player

  • Place of origin:

    Germany (designed)
    Germany (manufactured)

  • Date:

    1959 (designed)
    1959 (manufactured)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Rams, Dieter, born 1932 (designer)
    Braun AG (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Aluminium, leather, polystyrene, electronic components

  • Museum number:

    W.28:1 to 3-2008

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This combined transistor radio and portable record player epitomises both the functionalist principles of post-War German design and the excitement of the new pop culture. The record player is the larger of the two units. The rotating mechanism has a shallow cylindrical projection that fits into the central hole in the record. Unconventionally, the record is played on the underside, not the top, by a stylus in the rectangular recess on the left. This is revealed by a sliding panel, operated by the lever above. The position of the lever and stylus meant that this could only take 7-inch-wide 'singles', playing at 45 rpm. This format, introduced by RCA in 1949, became synonymous with pop music and lifestyle. Transistors were an innovation of the early 1950s that enabled radios to be miniaturised and become portable. In this design, both the radio and the record player could be used independently, but they slot together in the sleek and durable aluminium carrying case, emphasising their portability.

The function and design of this audio equipment, and even the forms, materials and colours, anticipate the enormously successful iPod family of portable music players, launched by Apple half a century after this product was designed.

Physical description

Grey polystyrene oblong radio and record player in two separate parts, contained within an aluminium casing that reveals the top of both units. A leather hand strap is attached to the aluminium casing.

Place of Origin

Germany (designed)
Germany (manufactured)

Date

1959 (designed)
1959 (manufactured)

Artist/maker

Rams, Dieter, born 1932 (designer)
Braun AG (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Aluminium, leather, polystyrene, electronic components

Dimensions

Height: 45 mm, Width: 152 mm, Length: 235 mm

Object history note

This design won an award at the 'Interplas' plastics trade show in London, 1961.

Descriptive line

TP1 Portable record player and radio, designed by Dieter Rams, manufactured by Braun, Germany, 1959

Materials

Leather; Aluminium; Electrical components; Polystyrene

Techniques

Compression moulding

Categories

Electrical appliance; Audio equipment; Plastic; Product design

Production Type

Mass produced

Collection code

Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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