Unda Radio - Amarcord

Unda Radio - Amarcord

Unda Radio - Amarcord

By Marco Zanelli,

Translated by Lisa Glauber and Nicolò Rubini

Employed from February 1944 to September 1958

(At work, it was not always ….. smooth sailing, there were also rough breakers, and now, riding on Unda waves, we have reached our port)

It is our duty to introduce a sentimental note, mixed with sadness for a factory that does not exist anymore, but which witnessed the behaviour, the sacrifices, the skills and the inventiveness of all the workforce, under the intelligent and human guidance of Mr. Glauber and his collaborators, in the manufacture of radio receivers and other instruments, which, especially in those early days, seemed….magic! These radio sets made a fine showing in shops, to be then chosen, purchased with sacrifices and brought home with joy, to be able to hear music, information, theatre, cultural events and news bulletins.

In those days reception from European transmitters was made possible on medium waves (on short-waves for far-away or overseas countries). Powerful, often home-made antennas, were necessary. One could select from about 66 transmitting stations. The best reception could be obtained in the evening and that’s when the magic happened: family and friends sitting around the radio set, eyes scanning the lit tuning dial, ears trying to capture often unknown languages and melodies never before heard, feeling of subtle warmth emanating from the radio often built with precious woods such as walnut or cherry, a warmth generated by the tubes, resistors and small lamps inside.

By operating the tuning dial and volume controls, one could listen to a concert from Paris, a news report from London, Mozart’s melodies from Vienna. It was pleasant to sit next to that piece of furniture and let our imagination take us to far-away concerts, or, through radio-documentaries, to high mountains, where it was us clinging to the rocks and reaching the peaks, surrounded by blowing winds, hoping that the adventure would end well. And then, all we had to do, is turn the power off and go to bed.

Ah, you dear old radio, we loved you so much that we honoured you with the best spot on the best table, over an embroidered doily or a precious lace.

(NB: Unda means wave in Latin. Mr. Zanelli designed several cabinets.)