Television, 17 inch portable black and white, AWA model P4, metal /plastic / electronic components, designed by William F Moody, manufactured by Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia) Ltd (AWA), Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1969
The AWA 17 inch portable black and white television won the 1969 Sebel Design Merit Award. Awards for the recognition of design were introduced in Australia around the late 1950s. One of the effects of this was to encourage local industry to acknowledge Australian designers.
AWA was quick to exploit the Australian television era, which commenced in 1956. AWA had already made a long and distinguished radio product line and actively sought out communications and defence contracts. AWA was only second to the CSIRO in the development of the integrated circuit in Australia and very quickly adapted this technology for use within its domestic products. The P4 was one of those products, and advertisements from the period proudly boast, 'now featuring the revolutionary new INTEGRATED CIRCUIT'.
AWA developed a reputation for engineering high quality monochrome television sets. The P4 'tribrid' circuit design refers to the combined use of valves, transistors and an integrated circuit.
The design of the television was distinguished by it very clean body styling, incorporating: a handle which retracts to be flush with the case; an audio deflector which when lifted into position triggers a micro-switch that activates the television, reveals the concealed speaker, and reflects sound towards the viewer; a large thumb wheel channel selector; and a Wedgwood blue injection moulded two piece plastic case. The case neatly integrates two inconspicuous ridges on the base of the unit that distribute the weight of the television onto any resting surface.
These design factors, combined with AWA's well-engineered monochrome technology, left the rest of the local television market for dead and contributed to the recognition of the P4 by members of the Industrial Design Council of Australia and the Sebel Design Merit Award.
Designed by William Frederick Moody. Winner of the Sebel Design Merit award, 1969.
Manufactured by AWA.
Purchased new by Malcolm Park around 1969, this was the only television set in the Park household for 13 years. It was retained by Malcolm until offered to the museum in 2002
The P4 also comes to the museum with some recollections of its use within an Australian home. This more personal insight into the impact of this particular television in the home includes a humorous anecdote and adds to the television's exhibition potential:
'It was my parents' first TV. They were both architects and probably fancied themselves as a little "groovy", hence my father's insistence that it is an Australian "design classic". One interesting thing was that because the channel control is on the top, and the TV sat on a fairly high cupboard, we (the children) never knew that it could get anything other than ABC, so all we ever watched was the ABC news, and Dad's Army if we were lucky. At school our friends would talk about all these other shows, and we figured they must have had special aerials or something. Then one sweet day, we were climbing on top of the cupboard and we discovered the missing link, the channel changer, and I've been watching Neighbours ever since. It was the only TV we had for about 13 years. We were the second last family at our school to get a colour TV, beaten only by an Indian family that had some kind of political objection to colour TV.' (Sinclair Park, 2002)