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Map, World, Specialty, Short Wave Radio, Philco Company, Vintage Poster, c. 1930s

The New 1936 Philco Reaches New Heights of Tone, Power, Foreign Reception
American: c. 1935-36
Color process print on canvas, mounted on rollers
Pencil inscription lower right: “Save for Mrs. Olrick”
59 x 40 inches
Price on Request

Promotional world map on rollers advertising the 1936 model of the Philco Company’s short wave radio. Mounted on two ebonized wooden rods, the map is printed on canvas and varnished. It is composed as a trompe-l’oeil picture of a framed map hanging in front of a purple curtain, and partially overlapped on either side by gold-fringed curtains pulled back on either side with gold floral tiebacks. The Art Deco map shows oceans in tan and continents in orange, labeled in red and surrounded by black and bright green outlines. Selected major cities are labeled with their names and three-letter short wave call signs. The Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean and Arctic Regions are labeled in light gray. The compass rose is a circular design of abstracted radio towers surrounded by jagged radiating lines symbolizing electrical transmission. The cartouche is a decoration incorporated into the picture frame.


Like the map shown here, a 1935 print advertisement in Good Housekeeping magazine also presented the “New 1936 Philco” as a luxury item. Beneath the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, an illustration of an elegantly dressed man and women in evening gowns, and a photograph of one of the deluxe models in a handsome wood cabinet, priced at $175 —  over $3,000 in today’s dollars — the text reads:

Reception more perfect than you ever dreamed possible! Programs from Europe — Africa — South America — Australia — and here in America — gloriously reproduced with naturalness and beauty! […]

You’ll roam the world at will with this Philco. You’ll capture the romance and thrill of travel. For the 116X covers every broadcast service on the air — Foreign Programs the world over — all American Broadcasts — U.S. Government Weather Forecasts — all Police Calls, Amateur, Aircraft and Ship Stations! […]

The 116X cabinet is truly a symphony in choice woods! Exquisitely figured Burl Walnut. Handsome curved panels. Delicate inlays. Rich, hand-rubbed finish. A masterpiece of furniture craftsmanship! […]

Philco began as the Helios Electric Company in 1892, manufacturing lamps. In 1906, it became the Philadelphia Storage Battery Company, producing batteries for electric vehicles, and in 1919, the name was shortened to Philco. In 1926, the company started producing radios. The company was acquired by Ford in 1961. Twenty years later it was purchased by Philips, which still produces items under the Philco brand.


“Philco.” Wikipedia. 17 May 2014. (22 May 2014).

“Supreme Radio Enjoyment…yours in the New 1936 Philco.” 2014. (22 May 2014).

Additional information


20th Century