See more objects with the tag industrial design, fluted, cityscape, urban, skyscraper, ziggurat, stepped.

Object Timeline

  • We acquired this object.

1935

  • Work on this object began.

2015

2017

2021

  • You found it!

Skyscraper Radio

This is a radio. It is dated 1935. Its medium is compression-molded plaskon, metal, glass, woven textile. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

This radio encapsulates both the technological innovation and economic hardship of the 1930s. In the midst of the Great Depression, Brooklyn-based firm Air-King turned to Van Doren and Rideout, members of the emergent industrial design profession, to create a product for a highly competitive market. Their design utilized compression-molded plastic, a cheaper and less labor-intensive alternative to traditional wooden housings. It was formally inspired by another of the era’s great icons: the skyscraper. Available in thirteen colors to satisfy any consumer, the Skyscraper’s stepped architectural shape and central panel depicting the globe evince the increasing roles of industrial progress and connectivity of the modern world.

This object was donated by George R. Kravis II. It is credited Gift of George R. Kravis II.

  • New World Radio Radio
  • catalin (thermosetting plastic), metal, textile materials.
  • Gift of George R. Kravis II.
  • 2011-44-1
  • Textile, Big City
  • cotton.
  • Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund.
  • 2007-5-2

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Its dimensions are

H x W x D: 29.8 × 22.5 × 19.1 cm (11 3/4 × 8 7/8 × 7 1/2 in.)

Cite this object as

Skyscraper Radio; compression-molded plaskon, metal, glass, woven textile; H x W x D: 29.8 × 22.5 × 19.1 cm (11 3/4 × 8 7/8 × 7 1/2 in.); Gift of George R. Kravis II; 2018-22-20

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition The World of Radio.

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/404536631/ |title=Skyscraper Radio |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=25 October 2021 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>