West End Furniture Company and E. H. Scott Radio Laboratories - Radio Console, 1920<img alt="Radio Console, 1920" src="/sites/GovernorsMansion/Exhibitions/PublishingImages/Art-of-Illinois/West-End-Radio-Console.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />West End Furniture Company and E. H. Scott Radio Laboratories - Radio Console, 1920<div class="ExternalClass9D8B41789CE845E68E4CDFBDB83D16C0"><p>​Home radios were a coveted new communications technology in the 1920s when Gustaf A. Stockhus, manager of Rockford's West End Furniture Company, brought home one of his company's latest productions: an elaborately handcarved radio console. Resting upon cabriole legs, the walnut cabinet featured roses, leaves, scrolls, shells, and a lion's head on its base; cupids played musical instruments on each of its doors. Inside was a new radio supplied by E. H. Scott of Chicago.</p><p>Gustaf Stockhus was the son-in-law of John Herman Lynn, a Swedish immigrant who organized West End Furniture Company in 1890. Employing up to 150 workers, the company manufactured medium and higher priced bookcases, sideboards, tables, and dining room suites—as well as its new line of radio cabinets—distinguished by hand carving by skilled artisans, rather than power-driven machinery. Guided by its company motto of "correct designs, correct construction, correct finish, correct price," West End refused to sell to Chicago mail-order houses such as Sears, Roebuck & Co., Marshall Field, and Montgomery Ward. The company maintained a showroom in Chicago's American Furniture Mart, as well as a factory showroom, until it ceased business in 1940.</p><p>West End was one of Rockford's many Swedish-American-owned furniture factories in the 1920s, when the city's furniture industry was at its peak. In 1925, some 50 firms turned out furniture in myriad styles and price ranges for homes, offices, and stores, in addition to producing clocks and pianos. Others made products used in or associated with furniture, such as veneers, varnish, mirrors, or cabinet hardware, and woodworking machinery itself. Several were "co-operative" factories that were owned and operated by their employees, a common but short-lived movement in the Illinois furniture industry.</p><p>The radio installed in the cabinet was made in Chicago by E. H. Scott Radio Laboratories, whose high-quality radios were considered leading edge technology from 1925 to 1949. Chicago was an important manufacturing center for radios—the first major consumer electronics products—in the 1920s and 1930s, as well as for tele-visions from the end of World War II through the early 1970s.</p><div class="row"><div class="col-sm-6"><img class="img-thumbnail" alt="Radio Console - doors open, 1920 " src="/sites/GovernorsMansion/Exhibitions/PublishingImages/Art-of-Illinois/West-End-Radio-Console-Open-Doors.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:261px;" /></div><div class="col-sm-6"><img class="img-thumbnail" alt="Radio Console side view 1920" src="/sites/GovernorsMansion/Exhibitions/PublishingImages/Art-of-Illinois/West-End-Radio-Console-side.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:223px;" /></div></div></div>GP0|#d32c2566-4d79-4cc5-a5ec-4baded441048;L0|#0d32c2566-4d79-4cc5-a5ec-4baded441048|West End Furniture Company;GTSet|#6a9f5109-021d-478a-ae73-864102492159;GPP|#b8008031-8d86-41bf-8c8c-657f66f046d4;GPP|#be65f490-4890-487c-bb16-c396d99511f7Furniture;#Other;#TemporaryFurniture;#Wood;#Rockford, Illinois; Chicago, IllinoisWalnut, 63 × 37 × 18¾ inches Collection of Midway Village Museum, Rockford, Illinois