English, 1903 - 1981
Murphy Radio Ltd., manufacturer (Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, England.)
Murphy Al46CM wireless console radio,
H. 32 x W. 26 x D. 9 1/2 in.
Reconciling the principles of the British Arts and Crafts movement with the advances made in electronic technology and mechanized production was the rationale behind the Murphy A146CM radio. Designed by Richard Drew Russell, brother to the influential Gordon Russell who founded Gordon Russell Ltd. in 1927, the radio was both a curiosity and hybrid. The brothers were staunch advocates for uniting British art and industry between the war years, a difficult role where the hand-craft tradition had an extremely firm foothold.
The radio is made on the “baffle board” principle, the two sides bent forward at a fifteen degree angle, theoretically capturing and directing the sound. The “rose window,” chamfered around the loudspeaker, is a vestige from the Arts and Crafts movement in an otherwise progressive design for its time.