Radio Balilla, a “people’s radio” mass-produced from 1937 to 1944
The autarchic device, made exclusively with Italian materials and assembled domestically, was meant to bring the voice of the Fascist regime to as wide an audience as possible. Hence its extremely affordable price: 430£ (about one-tenth of what a deluxe radio cost at the time), which could be paid in up to eighteen installments.
Via the national broadcasting service Ente italiano per le Audizioni Radiofoniche, the Balilla carried mainly educational programs, daily newscasts, and Mussolini’s speeches. But there were also pop and classical music, soccer commentaries, and popular entertainment.