A design that never made it into production in 1946 is on the shelves now. That’s the Eames Radio by Charles and Ray Eames for Vitra.
Yes, 1946 was the year this one made it off the drawing board. If you want to see what the original looked like, check out the final image in this article. Someone has done a rather impressive job replicating it. Except for one obvious update. More on that in a moment.
After developing a method for moulding plywood in the early 1940s, Charles and Ray Eames used that know-how to create a wide range of products, one of which was radio cabinets. A a result, around 200,000 radios with cabinets designed by Charles and Ray Eames were made by various companies.
Not this one though. This one with its ‘compact shape and austere, more technical look’ was out of step with the 1940s as you can imagine and the radio was rejected by the manufacturer who wanted something more ’normal’.
Evidence of its existence survived because Charles and Ray sent photographs of the prototype to the magazine ‘Interiors’ in a bid to gain wider acceptance of this new, smaller design. It never happened and Eames radios became a thing of the past by the 1950s.
Fast forward several decades and that Eames Radio is back, this time with a walnut cabinet and black front, whilst being updated internally courtesy of UK radio manufacturer Revo.
Just 999 of these radios are being produced worldwide, with a price perhaps reflecting the future collectability and rarity of this design. If you want one, you will have to pay out £849 and visit Vitra to get one.
All images courtesy of Vitra.