Zenith Radio Nurse, 1937

Summary

The first baby monitor was created by Zenith president, Eugene McDonald, Jr. Concerned for his daughter's safety following the 1932 Lindbergh baby kidnapping, McDonald's device allowed monitoring of children after bedtime. The "Guardian Ear" transmitter was installed in a child's bedroom while the "Radio Nurse" receiver was placed near parents. Sculptor Isamu Noguchi created the receiver's aesthetic, which looked like an abstracted image of a nurse with cap.

The first baby monitor was created by Zenith president, Eugene McDonald, Jr. Concerned for his daughter's safety following the 1932 Lindbergh baby kidnapping, McDonald's device allowed monitoring of children after bedtime. The "Guardian Ear" transmitter was installed in a child's bedroom while the "Radio Nurse" receiver was placed near parents. Sculptor Isamu Noguchi created the receiver's aesthetic, which looked like an abstracted image of a nurse with cap.

Artifact

Radio receiver

Date Made

1937

Creators

Zenith Radio Corporation 

Noguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988 

Place of Creation

United States 

Creator Notes

Made by Zenith Radio Corporation; receiving unit styled by Isamu Noguchi

Location

Not on exhibit to the public.

Object ID

2004.10.1

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford.

Material

Plastic
Composite material
Cardboard
Metal

Dimensions

Height: 6.25 in  (2004.10.1.1 = Guardian Ear transmitter)

Width: 4.25 in  (2004.10.1.1 = Guardian Ear transmitter)

Depth: 8.25 in  (2004.10.1.1 = Guardian Ear transmitter)

Height: 6.75 in  (2004.10.1.2 = Guardian Ear product package)

Width: 9 in  (2004.10.1.2 = Guardian Ear product package)

Width: 7 in  (2004.10.1.3 = Radio Nurse receiver)

Depth: 4.5 in  (2004.10.1.2 = Guardian Ear product package)

Depth: 8 in  (2004.10.1.3 = Radio Nurse receiver)

Height: 6 in  (2004.10.1.3 = Radio Nurse receiver)

Height: 6.75 in  (2004.10.1.4 = Radio Nurse product package)

Width: 8.75 in  (2004.10.1.4 = Radio Nurse product package)

Depth: 7 in  (2004.10.1.4 = Radio Nurse product package)

Inscriptions

label on transmitter: GUARDIAN EAR / OF THE / RADIO NURSE / PATENT APPLIED FOR / 117 VOLTS / 50/60 CYCLES / 25 WATT / ZENITH RADIO CORP., CHICAGO printed on transmitter product package: ZENITH / RADIO NURSE / THE GUARDIAN THAT NEVER STOPS / GUARDIAN EAR ZENITH / RADIO NURSE / SOS / DESIGN BY NOGUCHI / PATENT APPLIED FOR / 117 VOLTS - 50/60 CYCLE - 25 WATTS / ZENITH RADIO CORP., CHICAGO [underside of receiver] ZENITH / RADIO NURSE / THE GUARDIAN THAT NEVER STOPS [printed on receiver product package]

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