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R-72 Portable Radio

This is a Portable radio. It is dated ca. 1972 and we acquired it in 2007. Its medium is abs plastic, metal. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

The Panasonic R-72 transistor radio, also known as the Toot a loop, is a wonderful example of pop art inspired design. Departing from the square box format, this portable is shaped like a donut with an off-center hole, designed to be worn on the wrist. Simply by twisting the swivel joint at the thinnest point, the radio forms an “S” shape, with the circular station dial at the top and the speaker at the bottom. This example in red is characteristic of the bright hues available in this model.
The R-72 would fill a gap in the museum’s collection of radios, which has, at the time of acquisition, much stronger representation in table top models (1930s–1960s), with only a few examples of portable transistor types in the box format and two 1980s examples in unusual shapes by Philippe Starck. Mid-20th-century consumer electronics is an area of collection interest.

This object was featured in our Object of the Week series in a post titled Staying in the Loop.

This object was donated by Jacqueline Loewe Fowler. It is credited Gift of Jacqueline Loewe Fowler.

Our curators have highlighted 5 objects that are related to this one. Here are three of them, selected at random:

Its dimensions are

H x diam (closed).: 7 x 15.2 cm (2 3/4 in. x 6 in.)

Cite this object as

R-72 Portable Radio; Japan; abs plastic, metal; H x diam (closed).: 7 x 15.2 cm (2 3/4 in. x 6 in.); Gift of Jacqueline Loewe Fowler; 2007-37-5

The Conservation department has taken one photo of this object.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=R-72 Portable Radio |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=31 January 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>