|Product :||Five Lamper Radio||
|Produced from :||1928 - 1933|
|Designed by :||Harald Linnet / Bang & Olufsen Team|
|Finish :||Walnut / Maple|
The year 1928 witnessed the arrival of ‘talkies’, or talking films. Harald Linnet, the cousin of Peter, who worked as an engineer in Struer, some 300 km north-west of Copenhagen in Denmark, was sent to the annual convention of the cinema in Ålborg, a little further north. He took with him a 25 watt amplifier and a large loudspeaker from the fledgling Bang & Olufsen company. The combined equipment was tested during the very first projection of a Walt Disney film with Mickey Mouse as star: ‘Steamboat Willy’. Those present were very impressed by the quality of the electrical equipment and with Bang & Olufsen realising that they may be on to a potential winner began production of the equipment. In the following years, nearly 150 were to be manufactured and delivered to cinemas right through Scandinavia. It was this combined cinema audio system which was awarded the Grand Prix in the 1935 World Fair held in Brussels that year.
But for Peter Bang & Svend Olufsen that was not enough. Always researching ways of delivering the best possible sound the two young engineers threw themselves in new areas of development manufacturing loudspeakers made from chamois leather, subsequently creating the Five Lamper Radio.
Electrical products of the day demanded that materials be natural, and usually manufactured from real wood. So, in designing the Five Lamper radio they chose walnut and maple to be the two main materials for use in its construction.
The radio was a true déco object and looked like a large jewel box sitting on its own little legs and blending in perfectly with pre-War living rooms. The first advertisements appear in the newspapers with the Five Lamper presented by a colourful Chinese character. The impact made was such that it was immediately renamed the ‘Chinese Radio’. Upon its release and subsequent success, Bang & Olufsen moved on to a product which which integrated a radio in a gramophone. This first ‘two in one’ product was sold at more than twice the annual income of a typical Dane. And with that, Bang & Olufsen were starting to move into luxury products!
The Five Lamper went on to be combined with a pickup in order to play the latest 78s of the day: the Radio-Grammophon was produced from 1930 onwards.