Ekco AD65 radio receiver, 1934-1945.
Under the brand name ‘Ekco’, E.K. Cole Ltd produced some of the most enduring and iconic Art Deco designs in collaboration with modernist designer Wells Coates, and was one of Britain's largest radio manufacturers. They created compact, sleek, minimalist objects for the cutting edge of entertainment technology – the radio. Instead of hiding the radio in a large wooden case, they embraced the idea that it was a machine for entertainment, to be incorporated into the modern home.
The AD-65 range, designed in 1932 and produced 1934, also embraced modernity in how they were made. They were constructed with the new wonder material ‘Bakelite’, a type of plastic which could be mass produced. The company even set up their own Bakelite factory with several heavy machine presses, to cheaply produce the vital casings they needed for their radios. Using plastic meant that the range could be made in a variety of different colours, including pearl ivory and onyx green, however the most popular colours were burr walnut and black and chrome.