The collection
Rectangular table radio with dark brown plastic housing The housing has rounded corners and opens at the front to a gold-colored speaker and clear plastic radio dial with white number markers and a red needle.

Pacemaker Table Radio

Designed by
Robert Budlong (1902–1955)
Bakelite, metal, plastic
Produced by
Zenith Radio Corp., Chicago, Illinois
17.5 x 31.1 x 17.1 cm

The Liliane and David M. Stewart Program for Modern Design, gift of Dr. Michael Sze, 2016.2

This Bakelite form is a rectangle with curved edges with no frills or unnecessary decoration. The manufacturer’s name in capital letters is discreetly placed along the bottom edge. It was exhibited in MoMA’s final Useful Objects show in 1949–50, which provided a listing of retail sources where it could be purchased for $22.95.

Budlong, who studied in art schools in Iowa and Chicago, was among the first generation of professional industrial designers. He began his lifelong career as a consultant designer for the Zenith Radio Corporation in 1934.