Panasonic Radio (Model R-72S)

Designer: Unknown Designer

Manufacturer: Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. , for National Panasonic

Date: ca. 1969

Medium: ABS plastic, metal

Dimensions: 2 3/4 x 5 7/8 in. (7 x 15 cm)

Classification: Machines & Appliances

Credit Line: Gift of Dr. Roger P. Holt, 2000

Accession Number: 2000.430


The portable, battery-operated Japanese radio from 1969 has its mechanism housed in a bright blue, yellow or orange plastic casing (the Met's example is blue). This doughnut-shaped casing is hinged and must be twisted open to reveal the tuning dial on the inside. After tuning into the desired radio station, the casing can then be closed and the radio carried like a purse or slipped over the wrist like a bracelet. A witty and decorative effect is achieved through the sculptural quality and vivid color of the molded plastic. Easy and inexpensive to mass-produce, these radios were made to appeal to a youthful consumer market and typify the 1960s populist approach to design.