R D Russell Modernist Radio Restoration

R D Russell Modernist Radio Restoration

I can safely cancel my gym membership after spending some considerable time, stripping and sanding this little beauty. I got a bit over excited, maybe I should have taken the speaker cloth and the glass out first.

R D Russell Modernist Radio



We’ve finally got round to rescuing a wonderful radio, created by architect-trained designer R D Russell. This radio is one of a range of Modernist radio cabinets designed for the Murphy Radio Company and recognised as an iconic design.

Unfortunately, as you can see, we found it in a rather poor condition but I’m hopeful that with a bit of hard work it can be restored to its former glory.

Richard Drew Russell

The designer Richard Drew Russell was born in England in 1903.  He was responsible for designing cabinets for The Murphy Radio Company throughout the thirties.  Russell’s cabinets reflected his passion for design and craftsmanship and were built from the best materials.  The wooden cabinet of this radio is no exception, being made from the walnut favoured by cabinet makers for high-end furniture.  In contrast, as part of the modernist design, the sides are painted black and highly polished.  

The radio could originally have been purchased in 1937 for the princely sum of £6 10s 0d.  Its cost today, seventy six years later, will very much depend on how many hours I have to spend stripping, sanding and refinishing.  Although it will obviously also be a labour of love.  I’ll keep you posted.

Murphy Radio Cabinets designed by R D Russell