500 radio benches

Here is an ad from the December 16 1932 edition of the Toronto Daily Star for furniture on sale:

I’m not sure what the radio bench was used for. Did the radio go on the bench, or were listeners expected to sit on it? Or did you put your feet on the bench while you sat in an armchair and listened to the radio?

Royal Chesterfield Manufacturers were a new business at the time of this ad, as they did not appear in the 1932 Toronto city directory. The 1933 directory lists them at 64 Richmond East, which is close enough; the proprietors were Samuel Himelson and Philip Gordon.

In the following years, the firm not only survived but thrived, as they bought a bold-face entry in later editions of the city directories. By 1938, they had opened a second branch at 91-93 Queen East. By 1953, they were calling themselves the Royal Chesterfield and Furniture Company and had opened a third branch at 356 Yonge that became their new main branch.

By 1957, they were calling themselves simply Royal Furniture and had moved one of their three branches from 66 Richmond East to the Northtown Shopping Centre at Yonge and Finch. By 1960, Samuel Himelson was listed as the sole owner. The company was in the 1965 directory but was not listed in 1969.

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