The Westminster Operadio
The Westminster iHorn is made from an Operadio air column speaker made in 1928 or 1929 by the Operadio Corporation. It originally sold for $35.00 which adjusted for inflation is today $528.33 or a cumulative inflation rate of 1438.1%. To put this in perspective, the average hourly wage was 75.5 ¢ which equates to an average weekly wage of $30.20 or annual income of $1,510.00. The Westminster was a luxury item for which people scrimped and saved before making the substantial investment its purchase represented.
Operadio Corporation was located in St. Charles, Illinois. It founded in 1922 and remains in business today, albeit merged and replaced by the Dukane Corporation. By 1934 Operadio was no longer making radios and ultimately went into receivership in 1951, emerging as Dukane. Like so many American businesses, the failure to adapt brings failure and those which pivot embracing the changing times survive.
Advertising information for the Westminster described the Westminster as “A leading reproducer that embodies all that is new and beautiful in loud speaker design. . . Exquistely finished in the ultra-modern trend.” Clearly what goes around comes around as the finish is as popular today at it was in 1928.The Westminster iHorn remains exquisite. It is a material expression of timeless grace.