Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia

Radio (Commercial)

Philco Window Display

Black and white photo depicting a department store window display with several different models of Philco radios.

In 1927, the Philadelphia Storage Battery Company, or “Philco,” began manufacturing radio receivers, becoming known for its influential modernist design. Its iconic “cathedral” or arched style of radio cabinetry is featured prominently in this late 1920s window display. (Library of Congress)

Library of Congress

Philco originated in 1892 as the Spencer Company, a producer of carbon arc lamps. In 1906, the company moved from 1310 Filbert Street to a larger facility in North Philadelphia and reorganized as the Philadelphia Storage Battery Company (or “Philco”). In 1927, Philco began manufacturing radio receivers, becoming known for its influential modernist design. These stylish, furniture-quality cabinets helped to shift the popular perception about radio from a pursuit for hobbyists to a device for home theaters. Philco’s iconic “cathedral” or arched style of radio cabinetry is featured prominently in this late 1920s window display. From 1930 until the 1950s, Philco reigned as the top-selling radio brand in the country. By the 1960s, however, the company was forced to declare bankruptcy.

Logged in as . Log out? Add a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

Share This Page: