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my balls

let me show you them

'Panapet' ball radio

The Panasonic R-70 ball radios were made in white, yellow, green, blue, red and a very rare lilac. These plastic balls on a chain were very popular in the early 70s. Today they are widely available on Ebay and in shops.

Like most (National) Panasonic mod radios from that period they only have AM-band, no FM. They have two silver buttons for tuning and to change volume and a connection for an ear plug (which is generally missing if you buy one today).

plastic robot lamp

All made of plastic. I haven't got the slightest idea where it comes from, who made it or when it was made. He stands proudly next to my panapet and has a similar face. The light works but the plastic top isn't very heat resistent.

digitor arithmetic learning module

Shaped like a lunar lander, this groovy machine qualifies as the world's first educational toy using a micro chip. May sources report it uses the classic Intel 4004, however I have my doubts about that..

You have to solve the arithmetic problems that the 'robot' gives you. Do it right: you get a happy smiley. Do it wrong, and you get the frowning face. They were produced from 1974 until 1977 and over 100.000 have been sold, mostly to schools.

Unfortunately, my Digitor isn't working properly yet. It is not completely dead, so I have my hopes it can be fully restored. There is still some questions on what parts are missing (?) or should go in there. I have a strong suspicion that it doesn't use an Intel4004 after all, but an Intel 1502-011. However, I could be entirely wrong. Read more about it here.

ball light

A classic design, often associated with 'space age', that comes in many forms. On the left is a small table model. Below or some more. The large one with two balls is manufactured bij Dijkstra. It comes from my grandparents' house; originally bought in the 70s, iit was the only bit of furniture in their place that would qualify as 'modern'.

Blessing alarm clock

The ultimate space-age alarm clocks. Nice streamlined organic design, a ball on a tulip base. Despite its futuristic look it is an old fashioned mechanical clock. You'll have to wind it up every odd day and the ticking is quite loud. Similar models have been produced by many different companies.

Grundig Kugelstrahler 300

The Grundig 'HI-FI' Kugelstrahler 300. Small ball speakers that give a 360° sound. At the time they were produced, around 1972, they were considerably cheaper as the high-end Audiorama series.

These balls are mid- and high range speakers; they are supposed to go together with a bass box which sits on the floor.

I'm not sure if my speakers are working; the cables have been cut off and I haven't managed to get them open, it takes quite a bit of force and I don't want to risk making dents in them. I just use them as decorative objects.

ball ashtray

Very elegant glass ashtray in a deep blue, almost purple, colour. Don't know who designed or manufactured them, but it is very decorative.

ball ashtray

Classic 70s design which apparently sold very well; many of them can be found on Ebay and markets. Of course the shape reminds of Aarnio's 'Ball chair'.

Anyhoo, in the 21st century they look way to cool to put stinky cigarettes in them.

Weltron 2001

The Weltron 2001 "Space Ball" Radio/8-track looks like a space helmet. The 8-track slot adds to its humanoid appearance. These Weltrons are truely unique designs and still very popular. There are quite a few of them around.

They were produced in white, yellow and orange. They have built in speakers in the left and right, but a pair of seperate ball speakers were optional. At the bottom there is a rubber suction cup which make it very stable on a smooth surface. The ball can swivel on its base. The handle on top makes it a portable -although very heavy! - device and adds to the 'space helmet' design. There is also a metal mounting ring on top which you can use to hang it on the ceiling.

Philips ball TV

Even though spherical TV's don't really add to their functionality, quite a few 'ball TV's' were designed at the peak of space age. Most famous (and most common) is the JVC Videosphere. This Philips TV (type TF1170/080) is very rare. The lettering is in french, so it is probably produced in France. In fact I have never seen another one. It has many many buttons and knobs to adjust which makes it very complicated to operate. It is much bigger than the Videosphere, also much heavier. It is a perfect sphere sitting on a small base with 2 long antennas.

tableware ball

This design is clearly inspired by Helen von Boch's famous 'La Boule' dinnerware, but this is a one person tableware set for young children. It has been produced by an Italian company called 'Mr. Baby' who are specialized in baby and kids household materials. It is very elegant 5-piece set that fits nicely together: a large bowl, a plate, a soup/porridge bowl, an egg cup, and the top lid.

It was made in a series called 'Melammina per Alimenti' (sic). So far, I haven't been able to find much info about it. Apart from the baby blue colour - which I really don't like - it is a very nice and well-thought design.

large salad ball

Very large plastic salad ball with 4 serving bowls and the original cutlery. Made in Japan.

peanut ball

Another classic. A plastic snack ball to serve your space age peanuts. This one is complete with the 6 small trays, the spoon's gone missing.

tomato ice bucket

Very popular in early 70s; colourful fruit-shaped plastic ice buckets. Most of them were apples. This one looks like a giant tomato. Why would you serve ice cubes from a tomato? I don't know. I have some apples too, if you prefer them.

ball flower vase

Something very elegant about this 'made in Italy' ceramic vase. The 4 holes in the top to stick flowers in make it look slightly like a bowling ball.

Guzzini ice bucket

Shiny plastic ice bucket, made by Guzzini. It's a ball. It's plastic!

KPM Op-art vases

Produced by KPM Bavaria. Not really balls but a nice series of vases with 'psychedelic' motives; quite different than most other things KPM has produced. Most of them are white, some of them have parts painted in purple/lila. They are not rare, but when they are offered on Ebay prices will go up.. everyone likes them, and so do you... :)