St. Louis Aerial Clock Radio brings 1920s airplane cockpit aesthetic to your bedside table


Absolutely gorgeous. The St. Louis Aerial Clock Radio apes the cockpit control mechanisms of a 1920s airplane, with four separate digital windows displaying the time like an altometer. But that's about it: it's merely a radio and alarm clock, without even a line-in jack or iPod dock connector. £49.95

St. Louis Aerial Clock Radio [Chipchick via Slippery Brick]

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  1. It doesn’t need an in-line jack or iPod dock connector, don’t we have too many of those as it is?

  2. This is the coolest thing I’ve seen in a long time. I want one. (Isn’t it altimeter, rather than altometer – or is that a British/European spelling)?

  3. I would say it looks more like a tranpsonder than altimeter. Regardless, I can’t have it because I would drown it in water when I wake from my coma-like sleep.

  4. Not even remotely reminiscent of avionics in the 1920s. Far too polished. More along the lines of 1950s avionics. 1920’s aerial radios when used, were quite austere, and built for serviceability and ruggedness. Slip switches and knobs the size of your head with multiple brushed contacts.

  5. I’m a bit saddened that it doesn’t accept any input from an iPod (I use mine as an alarm clock) – otherwise, just visually speaking, I’d be all over this thing.

  6. 1920’s altimeter?

    The marketing guy that dreamed this bs up has probably never been anywhere near an airplane cockpit. Let alone a 1920’s airplane cockpit which hardly had any instrumentation at all.

    In fact, like Roye & Guysmiley noted, it looks actually exactly like a transponder, and not even a particularly vintage one. See for yourself here:
    Transponders came in widespread use only in the 1960’s, and did not exist at all (except maybe some military prototypes) until the 1950’s.

    This is what an altimeter really looks like:
    Altimeters haven’t changed much over the years, vintage altimeters look very similar to the above.

  7. If they were very truly going for something 1920’s vintage, they didn’t have to get that creative… Something with an Art Deco/Retro touch in analog form, with an analog dial radio would be just as attractive. Heck, it might even be *more* attractive, and you could add large clunky knobs or metal two position switches to switch between radio and line in or something.

  8. Altimeter, flux capacitor, whatever. Someone please import it to the U.S. and sell it! (And adapt it for our electricity). My only concern is that the LEDs may be too bright to use this in a bedroom. But it looks lovely. First piece of steampunk I’ve ever actually liked.

  9. I have a telephone made by this same company. I bought it at a Sam’s Club in Ohio for about $30, 10-15 years ago. I’ve never seen another one since (or any other products from this line, until now).

  10. I like it from what I can see. But a while back there was this portable stereo, I think it was, that I believe was also labeled Spirt of St. Louis and had a similar look. It looked great from a distance but up close you saw that the aluminum was just grey plastic and the wood was cheap wood grain plastic. Sad because it was so cool otherwise. Anyhow, I would try to get a look at this live before ordering.

  11. Adding a line-in to something like this is one of the easiest mods you can do – if you’re feeling sleezy, just drop in a 3.5mm socket and connect it across the volume potentiometer. If you’re feeling proper, then you can wire in impedance matching, isolation and switching.

    Replacing the LEDs with Nixies, also not so hard. The easiest way would probably be to create circuits that decoded the LED segment output signals to one-of-ten and then fired up the neons – assuming there’s just a standard clock radio chip in there which drives the LEDs directly.

    The really fun thing would be to replace what looks like the plain old analogue tuning system with a DAB radio, while retaining the tuning knob and pointer. I’d do that by taking the DAB output and putting it through some DSP which emulated the sound of sweeping through the sidebands of an analogue radio transmission as you tuned across it, switching betweeen the multiplexed streams between ‘stations’.

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