Thursday, December 13, 2007

Powel Crosley's Office

It's 1934. You're the head of the Crosley Radio Corporation, manufacturer of radios used all around the world, appliances like the Shelvador, and a host of other top-selling consumer products. You've built airplanes and own a few, an airport to keep them in, and one of the city's most elaborate estates, among other properties. You also run the world's most powerful radio station, WLW. What's your office like?

The photo here shows just one corner of Powel Crosley, Jr.'s huge office in the tower of the Crosley factory building at 1329 Arlington Street in Cincinnati. (Powel's private dining room was one floor up.) The office is equipped with a working fireplace (the tiles are rumored to be Rookwood). There's a Crosley temperator to heat or cool the air on the sideboard to the left, along with an intercom and water pitcher and glasses. The cabinets under the sideboard feature a bar. The desk features a pen set decorated with elephants, a fancy blotter, and ashtrays for both the boss and guests. The photo facing the boss' chair is one of his wife. There's a single telephone set on its own table just behind the desk.
The huge console to the right is a custom-made Crosley radio receiver. The candle-like sconces on the walls hold electric lights. The wall panels are thick, solid wood, with brick behind them. The door with the arched top (you can see part of it at the far right) is several inches thick.

What about the rest of it? I'll show you more another time, as well as what it looks like today. (Don't forget to click the image to see a larger version.)
--Mike mike at
Copyright © 2007, Michael A. Banks

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