Rowan University's RCA Museum welcomes original Nipper window
The iconic image of Radio Corporation of America (RCA) Nipper recently made its way from The Pennsylvania State University back to South Jersey, welcomed into Rowan University’s RCA Heritage Program Museum’s home.
In 1915, Nicola D’Ascenzo created four identical masterpieces known as the Nipper windows, according to Widener Magazine. RCA housed the Nipper windows for 53 years before an updated logo replaced them in 1969.
Retired RCA executive and local museum founder Joseph Pane said, “I believe the Nipper window at Rowan is a terrific icon and a significant improvement for the RCA Heritage Program’s image, as well as the South Jersey culture, because it represents transformation.”
In addition to Penn State, Widener University, the Smithsonian Institution and the Camden County Historical Society/Rutgers University have housed Nipper windows.
Penn State placed its Nipper window in storage and never displayed it. Eventually, the school’s museum director stumbled across a Rowan article, “Rowan Home to new RCA Museum,” and reached out to Pane via email offering the Nipper window.
“We took the window of course. We’re working now to determine the best place to publicly display it,” Pane said.
The Nipper windows tell their own story. The canine depicted in the painting “His Master’s Voice” and pictured in the gramophone logo represents an earlier iteration of long-time Camden-based business Victor Talking Machine Company, later purchased by the RCA, according to HistoricCamdenCounty.com.
RCA Nipper was the mascot for the pioneers of the music recording business in the early 20th century.
A three-story high tower on top a seven-story high building in Camden, N.J., originally housed the four RCA Nipper windows.
Rowan University’s Associate Provost of Library Information Services, Scott Muir, said, “Rowan University is proud to not only house The RCA Heritage Program Museum but also to welcome the Nipper back to South Jersey.”