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Retro Audiophile Designs

General Electric Clock Radio

General Electric Clock Radio

Regular price $495.00 CAD
Regular price Sale price $495.00 CAD
Sale Sold out

Price in Canadian Dollar - CAD.

Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Network Music Player   

Case: Clock Radio,
retrofitted General Electric Radio Alarm Clock model 577 from 1954.

In the fifties clock radios started to be really popular. This model must definitely have been in the top range with its very elegant marbled mahogany bakelite case and overall distinguished design. It was not only stylish looking, it was also loaded with feature for its time. In addition to the standard alarm clock functions, both date and weekday are displayed. Furthermore, it had a timer-controlled appliance power outlet aimed for coffee brewers or toasters or any other electrical kitchen appliance. The alarm clock also had a mode allowing the owner to be lulled to sleep with reduced volume, but it returns to full volume for the wake-up alarm. The centered big clock dominates the front of the high glossy polished cabinet and is framed with a matching gold lining. The face of the clock has a sophisticated pattern of a fine mesh of beige lines. The radio almost looks more like an expensive mantelpiece clock than a radio. On either side of the discrete looking one-band scale there are two fashionable buttons with golden looking metal caps that also contribute to the elegant impression. This stunning clock radio would have cost you as much as $39.95 USD in 1954.

The American giant General Electric has existed as a company since 1892 and can even trace its ancestry back to Thomas Edison. Various products based on electrical power and electronics have been their core products ever since. Antitrust violations in the beginning of the 1930’s forced them to start to manufacture and sell radios under their own brand – becoming one of North America’s major brands. Over time the international competition in consumer electronics became more and more challenging. In 1987, competition eventually lead to General Electric selling off their consumer electronics division and abandon the production of radios and hi-fi systems. The radio brand might be long gone but General Electric is still in business and offers products and services that range from aircraft engines, power generation, oil and gas production equipment to healthcare and medical technologies, as well as financing and industrial products.

Retrofitted, the clock radio has the USB-port, RJ-45 LAN port, speaker terminal posts, the 120 V AC input and the low voltage DC input, as well as the mini sized USB memory stick which holds the software (not shown in the pictures) in the back. In addition, the on/off switch is now located on the back panel (the original one in the front was to unreliable to be used). Above and to the right of the clock there is a dimmed red LED-light indicating if the player is on or not.

Not surprisingly, the Telechron clock actually works. It works well, it is accurate and there are no irritating humming noises. The setting of the time is however a little bit unprecise for modern times. You can set the correct time within a minute or two, but not on the second. Both date and weekday work and the red second hands moves smoothly. Those high-quality clock works of Telechron seems to be indestructible. Note that there is no dial light - that was not a part of the design for these radios - instead the hour and minute hands are slightly luminous in the dark for easier viewing. After retrofitting, the alarm and timer functions are unfortunately no longer functional.

Also note that the clock now uses a separate electric cord which has to be fed with 120 V and 60 Hz since it was originally designed for North America. The plug is the typical one for North and Central America. If you have the 220 V system you have to use a converter otherwise the clock motor will burn and be damaged. It is also important that the converter delivers 60 Hz, not 50 Hz, else the clock will be four hours behind after 24 hours. The clock motor needs 60 Hz cycles in order to keep the accurate time. Converters for 220 V/50Hz to 110 V/60 Hz are more expensive than the ordinary travel converters.

The cabinet looks shiny, still elegantly mahogany-looking and there are no bad scratches or any cracks. There are some small almost invisible scratches here and there, but the glass is still very clear, no haziness. The sturdy Masonite back panel is in good condition, no bad stains or other deficiencies. The radio has been thoroughly cleaned and polished. It is in an excellent condition.

31 x 19 x 15 cm - 2.7 kg

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