RARE Ca 1929 " Majestic Electric Radio " Motion Lamp Adv. Illum. Sign
Item History and Pricing
You must see this video of ...this gorgeous advertising display in motion: here on YouTube. The "earth" is projected onto the front glass and slowly turns! As you can see from one photo, the animation is projected by a clear acetate cylinder that slowly turns using a vane on the top that uses the convection of the rising air from the warm light bulbs. (These cylinders were notoriously subject to disintegration. See below for a discussion about how we rebuilt this one professionally to last many more years.) Darned clever 90 years ago!
Whether you collect antique radios or retail advertising from the 1920s-1930s, this is the ultimate collectible! If you have a room where you display your antique radios, you need this device on a shelf or table, especially if you have a Majestic Radio.
This is a very evocative pre-Depression advertising artifact. You can imagine that the father in the graphic is reading that newspaper to see how much his stocks have gone up again!
Size: This is a nice size to present well: 14-3/4" wide by 17-3/8" high by 9" deep. The glass front visible within the "picture frame" is 13-1/2" x 10-1/2". The whole chassis is very well made of painted steel and the picture frame seems to be wood.
Manufacturer: This was made by the Scene-in-Action Corporation, located on Indiana Ave at 18th Street in Chicago, Illinois. The maker's decal on the front is in pretty good shape (as you can see, the very top edge of the decal is gone, but still looks good). Scene-in-Action "motion lamps" were popular eye-catchers in the late 1920s and 1930s but they were usually residential novelties (water falls, etc.) and advertising models like this are extremely rare.
About Majestic Radios: These were very popular high-end radios, also manufactured in Chicago like this advertising sign. They were made by the Grigsby-Grunow Company in very large quantities in the radio boom of the late 1920s, before the stock market crash. Here is a link to a very interesting web page about the history of the Grigsby-Grunow Company and the Majestic Radio.
Condition: The illuminated glass graphics are in near-mint condition! No cracks in the glass, colors look like they much have looked when it was new. The paint on the picture frame is, likewise, in great shape, both the subtle blue marbling and the antique gold edges. The metal box of the unit has its original paint, which shows the light dirt and a slight amount of surface rust that you'd expect of a 90-year-old object. It has its original cord and plug. They work, as you can see, but there are one or two cracks in the insulation so we would recommend buying some restoration cloth-covered wire to replace the cord. The two lamp sockets are porcelain and are in fine shape. Note: two things about the interior projection cylinder have been restored and are not original. You can't detect this from the outside. (1) The original acetate cylinder was disintegrating and partially melted (probably from someone putting too-large-wattage bulbs in the unit). We replaced the acetate with an identical one professionally custom printed on modern materials and are very happy with the result, which you can see in one of the photos. The original metal vane at the top and the reinforcing metal wire at the bottom are still used. (We'll include the remains of the original acetate when we ship, for historical interest). (2) Also the original had a design flaw in that the 3 legs of the frame that supports the rotating cylinder and light bulbs were welded to the bottom of the unit, but the welds were poor and had broken at some point. We replaced these with better hardware made from lamp parts and it now seems secure.
Payment: Arrangements for payment must be made within 3 days of the end of auction and payment must be received within 7 days thereafter.We accept PayPal or credit card through eBay only. If you are not willing to use one of those methods, please do not bid.
Shipping: We will pack and ship very carefully because of the fragility of the glass front and interior mask. Local pickup option: because shipping will be expensive when packed safely, if you are within driving distance of us, you may want to consider picking it up. We are in the New Jersey suburbs of Northeast Philadelphia, 10 minutes from I-95, 20 minutes from NJ Turnpike. Item must be picked up within 10 days of the end of the auction. (Other arrangements can be made depending on your eBay feedback rating and payment method.)
Terms: Our 100% feedback rating is important to us. Please ask any questionsbefore bidding, because we want you to know what you are getting and to bepleased with it. We’ll be glad to send additional pictures if possible.Likewise, if you are the successful bidder, and are unhappy in any way, let usknow. Good communication is important to us all.All items are in used, as-is condition and are described asaccurately as we can to the best of our knowledge of the item. If you can showus that any item was not described correctly, you may return it at your expense(including insurance) for a refund of your bid amount, excluding all shippingand insurance. No other returns or refunds.Feedback: We will be glad to leavepositive feedback for you as soon as you have done the same for us.
and partners solely for our members research needs.