TP 1

Record player and radio receiver
Date of appearance: 1959
Trademark: Braun
Manufacturer: Braun AG
Designer: Dieter Rams
Made in: Frankfurt, Germany
Dimensions: 235 × 152 × 45 mm
Material: plastic, leather, aluminium, polysterene
Tags: featured

This combined transistor radio and portable record player epitomises both the functionalist principles of post-War German design and the excitement of the new pop culture. The record player is the larger of the two units. Grey polystyrene oblong radio and record player in two separate parts, contained within an aluminium casing that reveals the top of both units. A leather hand strap is attached to the aluminium casing. The rotating mechanism has a shallow cylindrical projection that fits into the central hole in the record. Unconventionally, the record is played on the underside, not the top, by a stylus in the rectangular recess on the left. This is revealed by a sliding panel, operated by the lever above. The position of the lever and stylus meant that this could only take 7-inch-wide 'singles', playing at 45 rpm. This format, introduced by RCA in 1949, became synonymous with pop music and lifestyle. Transistors were an innovation of the early 1950s that enabled radios to be miniaturised and become portable. In this design, both the radio and the record player could be used independently, but they slot together in the sleek and durable aluminium carrying case, emphasising their portability.

TP 1