Webster-Chicago Corp., est. 1914

Museum Artifact: Webster “Electronic Memory” Wire Recorder, Model 180-1, c. 1949

Made By: Webster-Chicago Corp., aka WebCor, 5622 W. Bloomingdale Ave., Chicago, IL

If you’ve ever heard your own voice on a recording and instantly recoiled at the sound, then you can attest to one of the quirkier phenomenons in the modern human experience: uncomfortable audible disembodiment. Sure, you might think you merely hate the reedy reality of your recorded words vs.

Tonk Brothers Company, est. 1892

Museum Artifact: Tonk Sterling Shankless Trumpet, c. 1920s

Made By: Tonk Brothers Company, 323 S. Wabash Ave., Chicago, IL

Research is underway on this one and a full write-up will be coming soon.

Chess Producing Corp., est. 1947

Museum Artifact: Chicago Cubs “Pennant Fever” 7-inch Record, 1969

Made By: Chess Producing Corp., 320 E. 21st Street, Chicago, IL

Long before the Chicago Bears awkwardly rapped their way to a certified gold record with “The Super Bowl Shuffle,” the precedent for a singing sports team had already been set—albeit with substantially less commercial and cultural impact—by the baby bears over at Clark and Addison.

General Television & Radio Corp., est. 1932

Museum Artifact: General Tube Radio 19A5, c. 1947

Made By: General Television & Radio Corp., 2701 N. Lehmann Ct., Chicago, IL

Research is underway on this one and a full write-up will be coming soon.

Zenith Radio Corporation, est. 1918

Museum Artifact: Zenith Super-Triumph Tube Radio, 1951

Made By: Zenith Radio Corporation, 6001 W. Dickens Ave., Chicago, IL

“You’ve had your last tussle with howling radio static once you tune in this terrific performer,” raved an original advertisement for our museum artifact: a 1951 Zenith “Super Triumph” table radio. “Reaching far beyond the usual FM range, it brings you news, sports, music and market reports where AM and many FM sets are practically useless.

Slingerland Drum Company, est. 1912

Museum Artifact: Slingerland Tempo King Bass Drum Pedal, 1960s

Made By: Slingerland Drum Company, 6633 N. Milwaukee Ave

Research is underway on this one and a full write-up will be coming soon.

National Washboard Company, est. 1903

Museum Artifact: The Universal No. 134 Washboard, c. 1920s

Made By: National Washboard Co., 72 W. Adams Street, Chicago, IL

Long before “upcycling” and “repurposing” became part of the antiquing lexicon, it was the washboard that practically invented re-invention—evolving from a contrivance of laborious laundering practices into a peppy and versatile musical instrument.

The artifact in our own museum collection,

Motorola Inc., est. 1928

Museum Artifact: Motorola Volumatic AM Car Radio, 1956

Made By: Motorola Inc. / Galvin MFG Corp., 4545 W. Augusta Blvd., Chicago, IL

Research is underway on this one and a full write-up will be coming soon.

Portable Tube Radio Model 5P31A by Motorola Inc., 1957

Motorola Inc. / Galvin MFG Corp., 4545 W. Augusta Blvd., Chicago, IL

Research is underway on this one and a full write-up will be coming soon.

 

Archived Reader Comments:

“This radio is a Motorola Roto-tenna portable radio, Corsair model 5P31A, circa 1957.  The case is metal, covered in Grey Tweed Miracle Fabric; with maroon plastic trim.  The rotating handle, an exclusive Motorola design,

Regal Musical Instrument Co., est. 1908

Museum Artifact: Regal Soprano Ukulele, c. 1940s

Made By: Regal Musical Instrument Company, 3209 W. Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL

Research is underway on this one and a full write-up will be coming soon.

The Cable Piano Company, est. 1880

Museum Artifact: “One Hundred and One Best Songs” Songbooks, 1910s

Made By: Cable Piano Company, 57 E. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL

Research is underway on this one and a full write-up will be coming soon.