Design

Futuristic control panels inspired by rocket ships & space travel — The Electrohome Circa 75 Model 702

The thrill of the hunt is part of the allure of the Great Glebe Garage Sale. Mario Scaffardi, who has “a bit of a fascination with vintage audio,” had passed on many potential finds over the years. But at last spring’s event, he found a working mid-1960s stereo console with a space-age aesthetic he could not refuse: an Electrohome Circa 75 Model 702 housed in a well-preserved Deilcraft cabinet, all made in Kitchener, Ontario.

Restored by Mario Scaffardi, the Electrohome Circa 75 Model 702 stereo and its Deilcraft cabinet were both manufactured in Kitchener, Ontario. Photo: Marc Fowler
Restored by Mario Scaffardi, the Electrohome Circa 75 Model 702 stereo and its Deilcraft cabinet were both manufactured in Kitchener, Ontario. Photo: Marc Fowler

 

The system was heavy and huge; Mario wanted portable. Still, it was a pretty good deal for $300, and the owner agreed to deliver it.

An example of Electrohome's circular wooden console
An example of Electrohome’s circular wooden console

Model 702 was manufactured at a time when Electrohome’s design director, Gordon Duern, was charged with predicting advances 10 years into the future.

An example of Electrohome's circular wooden console
An example of Electrohome’s circular wooden console

“This is by far the tamest stereo console in that line,” says Mario. (The prototype for the line sported a circular wooden console, accompanying wall-screen TV, and a cockpit-style sound chair with control buttons on the arms and speakers at ear level.) It was an astounding leap in design that led, in 1967, to the Circa 703, a circular console and sound chair.

In its heyday the Deilcraft plants employed 4,400 workers in Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambridge; described in the ad as “timeless design,” the stereo was very much of its era — when North Americans were envisaging a space-age future, including the chair
In its heyday the Deilcraft plants employed 4,400 workers in Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambridge; described in the ad as “timeless design,” the stereo was very much of its era — when North Americans were envisaging a space-age future, including the chair

Mario’s Model 702 sports the space-age control panel common to the others, but the similarities end there. It is a companion to his Telefunken and Carver stereos, though he denies being a collector. “Collecting is a strong word. I just like them.”