Television receiver, AWA Radiola Deep Image Model 209C, timber / metal / glass / electronic components, used by Kevin and Lorna Golsby, made by AWA, Australia, 1958
This is an example of a 1958 AWA Radiola Deep Image television receiver in very good condition, with excellent provenance. AWA were among the leading manufacturers of television receivers in the 1950s, along with Philips, Pye, Astor and Admiral.
'Working under licence with the R.C.A. of U.S.A. and Marconi of England, the Radiola series is one of the most wanted sets. It is made at Ashfield. It has 200W power consumption, twin matched speakers, 24 valves, and built-in rotatable aerial.' (quoted from 'The Sydney TV Book No. 1', Keith Windsor, Australian Motor Monthly Publications, 1958).
This particular television set also has significance by virtue of its provenance. It was purchased by the donor Kevin Golsby and worked reliably for him and his mother until the arrival of colour television in 1975. Like many of his generation, Golsby vividly recalls his first experience of watching television, on the opening night of TCN-9 on 16 September 1956. He knocked on the door of a house up the street in Neutral Bay whose occupants, although unknown to him, had a television set, and told them that he might be appearing on television that night. This was untrue, but knowing that he worked in radio, they believed him and welcomed him into their lounge room. It was almost two years before the Golsby family had their own TV set. During the black and white era, Lorna Golsby proudly watched her son Kevin appearing on numerous television drama programs on this AWA television set. He auditioned for 'Homicide' in front of Leonard Teale at a hotel in King's Cross. Coming from radio, he had never had to learn his lines. He only agreed to do 'Homicide' if he had small part and if they sent the script the very next day. The script did not arrive until the day before the shoot (the episode was titled 'Big Time Operator') and he found that his character, a crime boss, appeared in every scene on every page. Nevertheless he managed to learn his lines. Golsby went on to act in shows including 'Matlock Police', 'Ryan' and 'Skyways'.
Golsby appeared in colour programs like 'Cop Shop', 'Behind the Legend' (an ABC drama about John Kidman) and the mini-series 'True Believers' in which he played a reporter.) He became one of Australia's most successful voiceover specialists, whose narrations were heard on Movietone newsreels from 1960 until 1976. His voice has been heard in many TV commercials, notably the decimal currency conversion commercial (sung by Golsby to the tune of 'Click Go the Shears'), Nestles Quik ('Go on Freddie, drink it') and Vicks Vaporub. In the Mortein commercials featuring Ross Higgins' voice as Louie the Fly, Golsby voiced the characters of the other insects, such as the cockroach, mosquito and silverfish. He was a star of 'The Naked Vicar Show' on Channel Seven in the 1970s and played a character in 'Bullpitt', a spin-off from 'Kingswood Country'.
Manufactured in 1958 by Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia) Ltd at Parramatta Road, Ashfield, NSW. AWA had been involved with television well before the introduction of official transmission in Australia, with AWA engineers engaging in initial studies in the UK from around 1948. Production of different models of increasing screen-size followed from late 1956. AWA introduced a 25 inch set in 1965, which it claimed was the first of that size marketed in Australia. AWA also claimed to have produced the first 19 inch screen-sized set made in Australia.
In 1958 Kevin Golsby was a young actor who aspired to further his career into television. His deep speaking voice had already brought him a successful career in radio, but he hoped to move into the new medium of television. Still living with his mother Lorna, he decided in 1958 to buy a television set for their home in Neutral Bay. Kevin cannot remember where he purchased the receiver, but he remembers why. 'I could have purchased it at Small's Radio at Neutral Bay, which still exists, or it might have been Grace Brothers. I bought this television set for my mother as a gift, on the premise that I would perhaps one day appear as an actor on television. My prediction came true during the early black and white days of 'Whiplash', 'Homicide', 'Division Four', 'Hunter and 'Spyforce'. (Kevin Golsby to Peter Cox, December 2004). When colour television officially commenced in 1975, Mrs Golsby (now deceased) obtained a new colour television set. However the AWA Radiola remained with the family until 2004.