The history of Radiomarelli:

A Journey into Italian Electronic Excellence

The foundation

Radiomarelli was born in the beating heart of Milan in 1929. Founded as a division of Fabbrica Italiana Magneti Marelli, the company is the result of the vision of Ercole Marelli (click the name for further information), together with Giovanni Agnelli and Antonio Stefano Benni. With a capital of one million lire and operational management entrusted to Bruno Antonio Quintavalle, Radiomarelli is set to revolutionize the world of consumer electronics.


The Golden Age of Radio (1930-1945)
The golden era of Radiomarelli began with the production of innovative radio models, modeled on those that were spreading in the United States and in collaboration with "American Bosch". After some models built in Italy but with techniques and components imported from Bosch, around 1935, Radiomarelli began to design and produce models entirely in Italy, in Milan, independently of the American models and powered by cutting-edge technology. Musagete and Coribante are among the first devices to mark the company's success.


Foundation of FIVRE (1932)
For the creation of its radio devices, Magneti Marelli founded the "Fabbrica Italiana Valvole Radio Elettriche", a necessary component for the radios of the time and, in the future, also for televisions. Their resourcefulness led them to establish a production under license from the prestigious RCA Radiotron, initially making use of sophisticated American-made machinery. Furthermore, they signed a trade agreement with Tungsram, expanding their reach into European valves as well. By 1935, FIVRE reached an extraordinary milestone, producing over 600,000 valves per year, and by 1936, their production capacity increased expanded further, reaching the astonishing figure of 80,000 valves per month. This unprecedented success not only affirmed their superiority in terms of quality but also allowed them to supply components to numerous other Italian radio manufacturers.

Innovation and Diversification
The post-war period marks an era of renewal for Radiomarelli. The company establishes itself in the sector and diversifies its offer with cutting-edge TVs and appliances. It also proceeded with a diversification of brands; after acquiring Imcaradio of Alessandria, it used the same projects to market products also under this brand, with the name "West". The Fido radio below is an example of this, note the logo at the top right.

Fido West

Some Legendary Models
Radiomarelli's Fido family has a complex family tree, with the progenitor RD 76 dating back to 1938. Born with the aim of offering a device of reasonable size and cost, the RD 76 introduced innovations such as the use of Bakelite for the external speaker , reducing weight and bulk. This resin, invented in 1907, guaranteed a pleasant appearance, insulation and heat resistance.

The production of the Fido also marked the use of a special travel bag, making it an "inseparable companion", the model's slogan. Over the years, the Fido family evolved with rare versions of Lusso in mirrored glass, up to the Fido with FM, consolidating its presence in the radio panorama.

The collaborations with design professionals such as Pierluigi Spadolini who created the DOMUS RD191 and Luca Meda who gave shape to the RD339 (in the photo below) are important. These pure modern objects have generated indelible marks in the history of product design.

The Heritage and the Future

The Radiomarelli brand ceased all production activity in 1974 and despite facing changes and challenges over the decades, it remains an indelible symbol of Italian excellence. Its history is a tribute to the ingenuity and innovation that shaped the technological landscape of the 20th century.

In our Erwitt laboratories we love to give new life to these devices, with total respect for their history and the collectible value of the object. So if you have a Radiomarelli that no longer works you can contact us : we can make it play again from FM Radio or from Bluetooth Speaker. The choice is yours.

Alternatively, take a look at the Erwitt Store to see if there are any models on sale at the moment.
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