AWA Radiophone, the first radio made by AWA for domestic broadcasting.

It was a 'sealed set' intended to be used to listen to one station only, to which the listener would have paid a licence fee. The sealed set system, introduced in 1923, was promoted by Ernest Fisk of AWA but was extremely unpopular and was abandoned by the middle of 1924. The sealed set system was designed to fund radio broadcasting by selling receivers tuned to a specific station. People did not buy them; they were expensive and one could only listen to one station. There were a lot of amateur broadcasters, who people wanted to listen to. It was more satisfying to build a crystal set or a valve radio or have one made by a dealer.

However, a catalogue entry from the AWA Radio Guide for 1926 indicated that these sets were still being offered for sale after the end of the sealed set system, probably on the basis that in those days there were not many stations to choose from and some people would be happy to listen to their local or favourite one all the time. The scheme was replaced by the system, which is basically still used currently (2013).

Physical Description

A rectangular polished wooden box with an inset ebonite containing 4 controls, knobs, two valves, four terminals and four pins. On top is a carrying handle. The 2 valves are Marconi type DEP410, but are not original according to a label attached to the set. The other components - variocupler, rheostat, two plate condensers, transformer and so on, are concealed behind front panel.

More Information

  • Collecting Areas

    Information & Communication

  • Acquisition Information

    Donation from Mr John Askew, 27 Mar 1931

  • Manufacturer

    Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia) Ltd.

  • Inscriptions

    Panel: A (adjacent to top left terminal) / OFF ON (above top knob) / E (adjacent to bottom left hand terminal) Top brass plate on panel: THIS INSTRUMENT IS LICENSED FOR DOMESTIC OR PRIVATE USE ONLY AND NOT FOR ANY COMMERCIAL OR REVENUE-EARNING PURPOSE Brass plate between two terminals on right hand side of panel: TELEPHONES (meaning earphones) Brass plate at bottom: (Australian and New Zealand patent dates and numbers from 21:5:1913 to 21:10:1920) Label attached to handle: (handwritten in ink)Wireless set made by Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia) Ltd., Melbourne about ? (pencil handwriting) 1924 (handwritten in ink) Presented by J Askew Melbourne 27-3-1931 / (other side) The Marconi valves in it are not the original ones which were small (and symbol) the separater condenser was added to the set after Askew had used it for some time (very pencil handwriting with illegible words and concluding with "were Marconi DE3") Inside marked on inside wood: 177

  • Classification

    Communications, Radio, Receivers

  • Category

    History & Technology

  • Discipline


  • Type of item


  • Overall Dimensions

    318 mm (Width), 252 mm (Depth), 280 mm (Height)

  • Keywords

    Radio Receivers