The Patriot

Norman Bel Geddes      1939           Radio

After visiting a Paris exhibition of Modern and Industrial Decorative Arts in 1925, this talented American illustratior and stage designer decided to venture out and focus on product design. In an attempt to boost national morale towards the end of the Great Depression, he created this patriotic piece of audio design for the manufacturer’s fiftieth anniversary. Using modern plastic materials and production processes, he devised a landmark object, encouraging his fellow countrymen. The radio made clear references to the American flag. It had the same amount of stripes as Old Glory, and stars on the volume and station adjustment knobs. As for the color choice, it only came in red, white or blue, with the elements as loudspeaker grille, handle and knobs in contrasting colors of the same palette. Among the many impressive products, trains and cars this outstanding representative of modernist American design created, the aptly named ‘Patriot’ radio stands out as an example of evocative and inspiring creation.