The WQXR Radio, That Hi-Fi Wonder

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Long before the WQXR app, the station was marketing a very different type of newfangled technology. In the late 1930s, WQXR branded a line of home radios, complete with mahogany cabinets, AC/DC operation and in some cases, built-in phonographs. Listeners were invited to visit the studios, then at 730 Fifth Avenue, to come experience the technological wonder for themselves.









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Comments [6]

NYPR Archives

Interesting! Do you know where we could find more information on the ESPY Radio Company? We would love to get our hands on a WQXR set.

Nov. 01 2013 11:10 AM
SJPerdue from PA

I would like to make two points.
1.) I will draw your attention to the term AC/DC. The ESPY radio company of New York marketed a set called the WQXR, specificlly designed for high performance and operation on DC, the prevailing electrical source at the time of this ad. The company was based in the city of New York.
2.) I miss WQRX AM, one of the best music sources for the radio sets manufactured in the 30's. Philco, RCA and E H Scott were pushing the limits of AM transmission and refered to High Fidelity in their adds and even the stenciles appearing on their cabinetry.

Jan. 22 2012 09:37 PM
Steve from White Plains

I'm amused by the large amount of copy in the ads for the WQXR Radio-Phonographs. I'd wager it's because people were more literate then. Too many words scares people today. Too much 'work' to read all that. Besides, most people can't spare the time as they're kept artificially 'busy' by the moronic mass culture that permeates society these days. It would be interesting if any of those radios survive to this day. Perhaps WQXR could issue a 'Listener Challenge' to find one in working order?

Nov. 04 2011 05:40 AM
carlianschwartz from Paterson, New Jersey

I wonder whether Avery Fisher had any input into this design. Fisher introducted "high fidelity" sound reproduction back in 1937. Also, WQXR introduced FM back in 1939. (All of this was in place when I came into the world in 1951--and my father loved WQXR and made sure we all listened to it!)

Sep. 29 2011 07:25 PM

These ads for Hi-Fi radio actually date from the late 1930s. Perhaps WQXR was just on the cutting edge back then!

Sep. 26 2011 11:38 AM
Michael Meltzer

There was no such term as "Hi-Fi" (High Fidelity) in the 1930's. It first came into the language of sound reproduction in the mid to late 1950's.

Sep. 26 2011 01:56 AM

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