1949 Bakelite Beauty

Radios manufactured during the war years were very basic models using standardized parts, cabinets and valves and made to strict government specifications.  Initially listeners in England were prevented from tuning into, and being influenced by, propaganda transmitted from Germany whereas before the war many listeners enjoyed radio broadcasts from all over Europe.

Once the war was over, radio production slowly resumed only hampered by a shortage of valves and components.  The first sets were manufactured largely for export to bring in money for the British Economy recovering from the high cost of the war.  These were based on existing pre-war designs as manufacturers used up any old stock that had been put by during the war.  Nevertheless, the popularity of radio listening continued at home and by March 1949 the official radio licence figure was over 9 million at a cost of 20 shillings.

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The Ferguson Radio Corporation based in Enfield, London made sets for the UK home market influenced by contemporary American models and in 1949 they produced this elegant cream bakelite model.

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Sixty four years later, this 1949 radio is being fully restored and converted for use as an mp3/iPhone amplifier and fm receiver.  Powered by battery or mains it will be used at home and also taken camping to 1940s festivals.  How good is that.

As for the Radio Licence, they stopped issuing them in 1971.

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