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AWA Fisk Radiolette “Empire State” Radio

Object Number: R03687

This beautiful radio of iconic art-deco design was made by Amalgamated Wireless Australasia Limited (AWA). It was named after Sir Ernest Fisk, founding technical manager and subsequent chairman of AWA. The shape of the Bakelite cabinet inspired the popular name of ‘Empire State’ radio. This design was produced from 1926 to 1946.

AWA was Australia’s largest and most prominent manufacturer of radio, telecommunications, and audio equipment throughout most of the 20th century, making military, marine, commercial, and domestic radio equipment, and telephones.

They were probably the first users of the new plastic material called Bakelite for general manufacturing in Australia, and for many years Bakelite was synonymous with the cases of domestic radios and telephones.

This radio was donated to the  collection by the estate of Cliff Dunn in 1990.