RCA Victor Magic Brain Counter Display
This is a 1934 radio dealer's counter display for the RCA Victor "Magic Brain".  This wondrous innovation is neither magic nor is it a brain.  It is, merely, the tuner portions of the radio mounted on a subchassis.

This display is a "brain" as was used in a number of RCA models (262, 263, 281, 381, etc.) mounted on a stand which allowed the customer to examine the underside of the chassis.  It was meant to look like a complete unit that was removed from a radio.  In fact, only the cut-open coil can has its contents.  The others are empty.  The chassis and coil cans were painted to improve the appearance.  When displayed, the pilot lights behind the dial were illuminated by an external transformer. 

Shown above is a two page spread from the September, 1934 issue of "Radio Retailing" magazine, showing how this counter demonstrator fit into the radio dealer's profit picture.  Click here, or on the picture above, for a larger view.

The Magic Brain advertising campaign was probably most memorable for the robot-like head as seen above on the back of a circa 1936 matchbook.  Note the image reversal!