Philco Model A Radio Clock (1931)
The Philco Model A Radio Clock was introduced in the
summer or early fall of 1931, priced initially at $17.50.
By the Spring of 1932 the clocks were however being
given away free with radio purchases, or offered at
$15 (see thumbnail center right). The Model A was
one of a number of radio clocks available at the time,
some of which were quite elaborate (see thumbnail
lower right. Note: the price of the Model A is shown incorrectly
at $39.50 - the price of the Model 4 SW Converter - in that fea-
ture! When introduced, the Model A clock listed at $17.50).
The model A is in fact not a radio but a 24hr clock
designed to turn a radio or small appliance on and off
at preset times. Two knobs, one at either side, are
used to adjust the on and off times and two rear
knobs to set the time and start the clock's motor
following an interrutpion to the power. There are two
small openings near the center of the face, one of
which indicates AM or PM and the other whether or
not the clock is running. The latter is necessary as,
according to an original ad, "it's impossible to tell
otherwise as the clock is absolutely silent".
The advertisement continues "The face is silverplated in
two shades, giving a pleasing contrast to the oxidized black
figures and graduations. Case is solid walnut with special
hand-rubbed finish". The styling is attributed to the
industrial designer Norman Bel Geddes. Note that
some ads referred to the clock as being in mahogany
and others mentioned walnut.
This may be considered a forerunner of the combin-
ation clock radios that became so popular in the fifties
and of course continue in widespread use today.
Semi-modernistic design by Norman Bel Geddes....matches all Philco cabinets.
Ad clip from 10th Apr 32
Ad clip from 25th Sep31
Click to Thumbnails