|Product :||Beolit 39||
|Produced from :||1939 - n/k|
|Designed by :||The B&O Team|
|Finish :||Coloured Bakelite|
The Beolit 39 radio was Bang & Olufsen’s very first product to incorporate the ‘Beo’ prefix. The selling price of this elegant new wireless set retailed at just 10% of the price that a typical radio cost just 10 years earlier. With it, more Danes could receive radio programmes than ever before.
The ‘Beo’ is representative of the Bang & Olufsen company and the ’lit’ signifies the light and durable material from which the Beolit 39 was made, namely Bakelite.
The Beolit 39 was the first in a series of radios manufactured from Bakelite, the material of which was the forerunner of today’s moulded plastic. The cabinet of the radio was very strong and Bakelite made it possible to produce rounded shapes for the very first time. Up till the time of the radio’s production most products from Bang & Olufsen were square in shape, manufactured from either rugged metal or wood.
Below: Camillo Cavour Bang’s Buick Y, designed by Harley Earl. It gave original inspiration for the Beolit 39 speaker grille:
Above: Beolit 39 advertisement in the Danish magazine ‘Familiejournalen’: “Let her Christmas dream come true” (December 1938)
“Although designed and built in Europe, the phenolic Beolit 39 radio from Danish electronics company Bang & Olufsen was heavily inspired by the art deco designs of the US automotive industry and, most notably, the revolutionary automotive designs that Harley Earl was producing in Detroit for General Motors.
Founded in 1926 by Peter Bang and Svend Olufsen, Bang & Olufsen was created with innovation at its heart. The company’s first radios, for instance, used AC power when most of its competitors relied on batteries. So it is no surprise that the company leapt at the chance to use the new phenolic resin materials.
Launched in 1938, the moulded phenolic resin cabinet of the Beolit 39 provided a major improvement in acoustic performance compared to the company’s earlier wooden enclosures. More importantly, it allowed the company to replicate the swooping curved lines that were appearing on avantgarde automotive designs of the time, such as Earl’s Buick Y-Job.
However, Bang & Olufsen’s founders seem to have borrowed more than just styling from Earl. They were also persuaded by his argument that the merger of art, science and industrial manufacturing could make it possible to create a line of lifestyle products.” (Source)
Wave bands Broadcast: Long Wave & Short Wave
Power type and voltage: AC/DC-set
Loudspeaker: Permanent Magnet Dynamic (PDyn) Loudspeaker (moving coil) - elliptical
Power out: 4 W (unknown quality)
Material: Bakelite case
Shape Tablemodel, low profile (big size)
Notes: LW:157-400kHZ, MW:520-1500kHz, KW:6-18MHz
Price in first year of sale 275.00 KR