Museum Talk

Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Crosley clock radio is on display at the Buffalo Island Museum. (photo provided)

In the 1920s, the radio was the equivalent status symbol that the iPhone is today. With a price tag around $100, the purchase of a radio was as big of a deal then as an update to the latest iOS device is now. It just wasn't a purchase most folks could make on a whim without some buyers remorse. So, in the 1920s when Powel Crosely Jr.’s son asked for a radio, he got creative.

Instead of coming home that day with a radio, the inventor and entrepreneur came home with a book titled “The A.B.C of Radio.” Using this book, he and his son built their very own radio. Powel and his brother Lewis recognized the potential of the radio right away and set to work. Together, they began to manufacture radio components. Later, this led to the mass production of their clock radio. Eventually, Powel Crosley would develop the Crolsey Broadcasting Company and launch one of the most powerful radio stations in the country, WLW, “The Nation’s Station.” His legacy would live on well after his death in the companies and products that bear his name or designs. His powerful brand is still iconic in the entertainment industry even today. The Crosley brand clock radio of today is now a status symbol of its own with a high price tag to match.

Our Crosley clock radio is on display at the Buffalo Island Museum in Monette. The Museum is open to the public from 1-4 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Admission is free; donations accepted.

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