Listen to red memories and trace 100 years of footsteps. It is jointly produced by Beijing Municipal Administration of Cultural Relics, Palace Museum, Beijing Museum Society and Xinhuanet client

100 episodes of audio column “Collection has something to say”

It has been officially launched recently. The column selects more than 100 pieces from nearly 60 museums, compiles the stories of the collections and makes audio programs, and reviews the century-long struggle of the Communist Party of China and the Chinese nation by telling the stories of the patriotic collections of museums, science and technology museums, art galleries and memorial halls in Beijing.

Episode 62: What does the legendary “National Treasure” radio look like?

Today, we invite Li Yuanhao from the Media Museum of Communication University of China to introduce you to a treasured cultural relic in the museum.

The Media Museum of Communication University of China displays a legendary national treasure radio, do you know why it is said to be a “national treasure”? What’s so special about this radio? Today’s “Collection Has Something to Say” will bring you the story of the National Treasure Radio Panda 1501 of the Media Museum.

Radio is the most convenient and effective way for people to understand external information in the fifties and sixties of the last century. At that time, the state also carried out a “seniority ranking” for radio, and the rating was generally divided into five grades, special grade, first grade, second level, third level, and fourth grade, and there were many grades under this. In the Media Museum of Communication University of China, a special radio – Panda 1501 is on display.

The Panda 1501 has a unique shape, a bold design and auspicious: square on one side and round on the other, the traditional concept of the round place is vividly reflected in the appearance. On the front panel of the radio, it adopts the shape of high steps, and there are two small protrusions on both sides, imitating the high steps of the three halls of the Forbidden City and the sacred beasts placed outside the palace gate.

The cat’s eye of the radio adopts the classical shape of a palace lamp. On the decorative pattern on the left panel, there are four copper bat patterns, and in the middle is a bottom shouzi pattern, which alludes to the traditional idea of “blessing and full of life”. It has to be said that this is a national treasure-level radio that perfectly combines traditional Chinese culture and aesthetics.

Panda 1501 radio

Courtesy of Media Center, Media Museum, Communication University of China

Back in the 50s, people’s deep patriotism made everyone hope to prove that socialist China is no worse than capitalism in all walks of life. At that time, the mainstream radio was Germany’s Telefungen, the United States RCA and other brands, these radio manufacturers began to produce radios since the 1920s, accumulated a lot of experience, and China in the Republic of China era, has been buying foreign components, their own assembly and processing, did not master the core technology of radio.

Later, the party and the state recognized the importance of radio to the people’s lives, organized people to overcome difficulties, and it was not until 1953 that the Nanjing Radio Factory, which was powerful at that time, produced the first radio with all parts manufactured by itself – Red Star 502-A.

In 1959, in the important year of the 10th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the 10th Bureau of the First Machine Department in charge of industrial production issued the task to Nanjing Radio Factory to develop a high-grade electronic audio product that reflected the new level of development in the past ten years.

At this time, it was only 6 years since the first radio made in China with all parts. At that time, the chief designer who presided over this work was Gong Jianquan, and the appearance designer was Ha Chongnan. The two were only in their thirties at the time, but already had many years of experience. In 1953, Gong Jianquan also presided over the design and production of the Red Star 502 radio, the first nationally produced radio in New China.

The production of radio involves mold development, component production and other cooperation, which is not achieved overnight. The production history of new Chinese radios is less than ten years, so this task is extremely difficult to complete. However, inspired by the gift of the motherland, the employees of Nanjing Radio Factory overcame many difficulties, and they actively tried to find ways and deep processing, and designed and produced the Panda 1501 special radio within one year.

What does 1501 mean? 15 means that this radio uses 15 tubes, and the more tubes, the higher the sensitivity of the product and the more expensive the device. 01 and 02 represent the radio production sequence, for example, 1501 represents the first machine with 15 tubes, and 1502 represents the second batch of machines, which produced a total of three batches and about 400 units. Among them, the 1502 and 1501 look exactly the same, and the 1501 has one more function to play records than the 1502.

According to the 1963 archive, the price of the Panda 1501 was 4,000 yuan. According to the salary of ordinary people at that time, which was more than a dozen yuan a month, this price was enough to buy a courtyard house at that time. At the same time, because it is specially made as a gift machine to celebrate the tenth birthday of the motherland, it is produced in limited quantities, and there are four main places: first, it is used for national gifts; Second, decorate the Great Hall of the People, the Working People’s Cultural Palace and other places that the people like to see, as a showcase of China’s achievements in electronic audio-visual products; 3. Allocation to embassies abroad; Fourth, it is given to foreign heads of state as a gift reflecting Chinese style.

Panda 1501 has a strong national style in terms of shape, and catches up with the advanced level of similar international products in terms of electroacoustic comprehensive performance, and is a high-level product of domestic civil electronic audio at that time. The birth of Panda 1501 is one of the embodiments of socialist China’s concentration of forces to do great things. The national character of the Chinese nation’s self-respect and self-improvement is the root and source of strength that allows us to achieve great things and make good products.

Media Museum, Communication University of China

The Media Museum of Communication University of China was completed on October 26, 2012 and opened to the public free of charge, with four branches of the broadcasting hall, television hall, film hall and transmission hall, with an exhibition area of 5,300 square meters and a collection of more than 12,000 pieces, forming a display pattern of “four halls, seven halls and one media corridor”, focusing on the important historical process of the domestic and foreign radio, television and film industry from birth, development to rise, highlighting the characteristics of “historical inheritance, deep heritage, detailed historical materials, and changes of the times” and. A museum with ideas”.

Source: Palace Museum, Beijing Museum Society, Xinhuanet client