Saturday, March 2, 2013

1940 RCA news release about the BP-10 radio

The following is the text of a November 1940 memo from Julius Haber (then the head of RCA’s Press Division, Camden, NJ) to the RCA advertising department regarding RCA’s new BP-10 Personal Radio.

From:                                                                                                 To:
Julius Haber                                                                            RCA Advertising
Press Division                                                                         November 1940
RCA Manufacturing Company                                              Release upon Receipt
Camden, New Jersey 


            The RCA Victor Personal Radio, object of the most enthusiastic buyer’s run in radio history, has at last achieved distribution throughout the country after unprecedented demand retarded its advance on new markets for several months.

            First announce in the New York area in June, the Personal Radio set up sales records in virtually every marketing area when it was introduced.  While buyers were still clamoring for it in New York, stocks in dealers’ hands on the west coast were exhausted in a matter of hours after its official debut in that area.  The same thing happened in Boston, Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago, Pittsburgh and an ever-lengthening chain of new markets.

RCA Manufacturing Company plants at Camden (New Jersey) and Bloomington (Indiana), are now operating every available facility at capacity to keep up with the continuing demand for the tiny instrument.  Deliveries are being made at present at a rate considerably above 500,000 sets a year.

            RCA dealers and distributors report a tremendous interest in the Personal Radio as a gift item.  Thousands of football enthusiast and followers of other sport have made it a “must” item for themselves.  New sales increases are evident as the Christmas season approaches.  Dealers tell of numerous “repeat” sales to owners presenting the tiny instrument to their friends

            The phenomenal public interest in the Personal Radio has been heightened by the enthusiasm with which well known figures in virtually every walk of life have publicized it.  Newspaper photographs of film and stage stars listening to the Personal Radio, and of prominent public officials such as Mayor La Guardia (New York) with it on their desk, has brought the utility of the instrument, and its truly “personal” character, home to the public.

RCA Victor dealers, as well as proprietors of various types of specially shops, have reaped the reward of newspaper advertising.  Ringing from lavish spread in New York Newspaper to clever mention in “persona” columns, the ads have pulled purchasers into stores by the thousand, all field reports indicate.

            Extensive space is being devoted to promoting the Personal Radio in nationally circulated magazines during December.  A four-color double-spread in Life will give the instrument prominent mention, as will full page ads in Look and Esquire in December.

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