RCA-Victor Phonograph Styling Studies-1943

Minuette Cabinet Closed

The pictures shown here are pencil and watercolor studies that were done for the styling department of RCA-Victor early in 1943.  They show a combination radio and record player that was to be called the "Minuette" housed in a Bakelite cabinet with an illuminated control panel/speaker grille.  All of the controls were operated by horizontal sliders.  The picture below shows this unit opened to reveal the turntable.

Minuette-Lid Open

What is most interesting about this view is the large center spindle for the records.  This, then, is a player for the familiar 45 RPM record in a very early incarnation.

The 45 was developed by RCA in the early 40's, but they were not introduced to the market until the late 40's.  Competition from Columbia's 33 1/3 RPM long playing record forced RCA to take action.  The result was the familiar line of RCA 45 players, and records color-coded by musical category.


The last picture shows a concept for a  more conventional 45 player.  This appears to be just a turntable that would have been connected to a radio.  It is interesting, though, for the record storage compartment at the bottom.

Sadly, these interesting machines were never produced.  Lack of vision by RCA's management was largely to blame, but the war that was raging at the time certainly didn't help.

These drawings were done by the same J.P. Barnes that contributed to the Armstrong Medal design.