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Each picture below is a link to a larger picture, plus more information about each radio, including the tube complement.  Don't miss it!
 
Admiral 7T09-X   ca. 1948
Click for more about this radioThis radio's cabinet needed only cleaning and polishing to restore a nearly new appearance.  It's a large five-band wood table radio, with neat tuning eye that's mounted behind the slide-rule dial.  The five bands are AM plus four shortwave ranges.  The 6x9-inch oval speaker gives great tone.


Airline 62-600   1939
Is this radio as ugly as it first appears?  No!  It's got pushbutton tuning, a magic eye with a wonderful Bakelite escutcheon, and beautiful burled wood faux finish front, top, and sides.  Also, two bands, six tubes, transformer-powered chassis.Click for more about this radio


Atwater Kent 145   1935
It's just a five-tube set, but a strikingly beautiful one.  The chassis, I'm told, is nickel plated.  Whatever the reason, this chassis cleaned up beautifully with just water.  Not a trace of corrosion anywhere.  What a radio!Click for more about this radio


Corona 203   ca. 1936
Click for more about this radioThis is an interesting little radio.  It's an ultra-cheap four-tube, two-band (AM and 1.5 to 4 mc.) TRF (Tuned Radio Frequency type circuit, as opposed to superheterodyne), with a wood back.  I found it at a local antique market in excellent cosmetic condition under the dust and dirt.  It was dead, however, due to an open power supply choke.  This defect probably saved it from destruction.  When the radio failed, it was set aside and spared further wear and tear.


Emerson 25A   1933
Click for more about this radioThis is a simple four-tube TRF set, with a simple yet elegant cabinet design.  Even in the middle of severe cost constraints from the economic depression of the 1930s, the designers still found a way to ornament this cheap radio with beautiful veneer inlays and fancy speaker cutouts.  From the instruction sheet supplied with the set: "The Emerson Universal Compact on the basis of its performance and utility, is the most compact receiver ever made."


Emerson AU-213   1939
Click for more about this radioThis is one of several sets in my collection with an Ingraham cabinet.  Ingraham, located in Bristol, CT, made clocks, watches, furniture, and supplied wood cabinets to the radio industry in the 1930s and 1940s.  Ingraham-cabinet radios are usually very collectible, as their cabinet designs have special elements that add collector appeal now, and were intended to add sales appeal then.


Emerson CL256   1939
Click for more about this radioA small five-tube table radio shaped like a violin, sort of.  It was called the "Strad" (short for Stradivarius).  This Ingraham cabinet is finished in maple veneer.


Emerson DB-347   1941
Click for more about this radioIn the later 1930s, Emerson began to saturate the marketplace with an abundance of models.  To maximize the number of models, Emerson used the same chassis in multiple cabinets, and the same cabinet with multiple chassis.  For example, I know of six other Emersons that use the DB chassis (one of them, model DB-301, appears elsewhere on this Web site).  Emerson also seems to have updated its radios more than once a year in an effort to follow styling trends closely and always have something to tickle the fancy of every potential buyer.  These tactics helped Emerson become the "world's largest maker of small radios," as declared in a 1940 brochure.


Emerson FH440   1941
Click for more about this radioThis is a deluxe Emerson radio in yet another curvy Ingraham cabinet.  It's a transformerless AC/DC set with two bands, AM and 9 to 12 mc. shortwave.


Emerson 616A   1949
Click for more about this radioA neat post-WWII Emerson with a maple-veneered Ingraham cabinet.  This is the wood version of the plastic Emerson 610A.


Firestone Air Chief S-7403-4   1940
Click for more about this radioThis is an ordinary five-tube AM broadcast set.  It's ensconced in an unusually small wood cabinet that's as cute as a button.


Freshman Masterpiece 675   ca. 1934-35
Click for more about this radioThis Belmont-made radio displays a multicolored menagerie of exotic wood veneers and inlays on its front surface.  Six tubes, two bands, good tone.


General Electric E-52   1937
This is a small wood tabletop radio that uses five metal tubes.  Introduced in 1936, metal tubes were the "latest thing," supposedly more rugged and reliable than glass tubes.  I don't like 'em because you can't see them glow.Click for more about this radio


Grunow 650   1935
Click for more about this radioA paper label inside the cabinet says "Radio's Greatest Achievement - Living Tone - Available only in the new Grunow - The Modern Miracle of Radio."  I don't believe it's radio's greatest achievement, but it does have an unusual amount of bass for a medium-size tombstone.  There's a loudness-compensation circuit, using a tapped volume control, that keeps the bass amplitude high as the overall volume is reduced.  It has six tubes, an eight-inch speaker, and two bands.


RCA Victor T10-1   1936
Click for more about this radioA big, dark, imposing tombstone radio.  Its somber appearance and the deep orange glow of the dial make it a great Halloween radio.


RCA Victor 66X3   1946
Click for more about this radioWhen I saw this radio, I thought it was so ugly that I was paradoxically moved to buy it.  The fake burled wood front, the veneer top, the cheap wood sides, the zebra-striped grille cloth all clash garishly.  What were they thinking?  After living with this radio for a while, I've come to appreciate its eclectic beauty.


Silvertone 4663 / 4763   1938
Click for more about this radioClick for more about this radio
Same chassis, different cabinets.  From the Sears 1937-38 Fall-Winter catalog:  "All Wave 'Wonder Radio.'  Users everywhere tell how these 6-tube Silvertones have brought New Happiness, New Entertainment and New Educational Advantages to their homes."


Silvertone 6320   1940
Click for more about this radioThis is the wood-cabinet version of the Silvertone 6407.  The cabinet is made of solid wood (not veneered wood).  I like the RKO-style typeface they used on the copper escutcheon.


Sonora LKSU-180   1942
Click for more about this radioThis is a pretty radio with a subtly curved cabinet and understated elegance.  It has excellent tone, thanks to its big, deluxe six-inch electrodynamic speaker, a far cry (well, two inches) from the ordinary table radio's four-inch speaker.


Zenith 5-S-29   1936
Click for more about this radioThis simple five-tube set receives surprisingly well.  Must be because it's a Zenith, and the quality went in before the name went on.


Zenith 6D317   1939
Click for more about this radioA magnificent table radio, displayed at the 1939 World's Fair I'm told.  The speaker grille is formed from alternating vertical rods of gold-painted wood, and glass.  A most unusual stylistic effect.


Zenith 6D629   1942
A beautiful wood table radio with an unusual dial and speaker grille opening.  Collectors refer to this and similar models as "boomerang dial" Zeniths because of the shape of the dial.Click for more about this radio


Zenith 807 / 808 / 809   1935
Click for more about this radioClick for more about this radioClick for more about this radio
A trio of 800-series tombstones.  The 807, above left, is a beautiful Zenith that gets the job done with just five tubes in an efficient design that was a forerunner of the All American Five circuit.  The 808, in the center above, has an upgraded six-tube chassis in a different beautiful cabinet design.  The 809, at right above, uses the 808's six-tube chassis in a cabinet with a chrome-plated Art Deco grille decoration.


Zenith 835   1935
Click for more about this radioThis was Zenith's flagship tombstone-style radio for the 1935 model year.  It's a five-band, ten-tube design, with two IF stages for more gain and selectivity.  Zenith pulled out all the stops and included a shadowmeter tuning indicator and a big ten-inch-diameter speaker.  Never again would Zenith make a tombstone with such a big helping of solid design features.  It sold for a whopping $89.95.  Buyers got their money's worth, though—it's one of my best performing radios, with useful performance all the way to 44 megacycles, the upper limit of its fifth band.


Zenith 9-A-30-A   1936
Click for more about this radioThe 'A' suffix on the model number indicates that this is the "export" version of the superb model 9-S-30, which was Zenith's top of the line table radio for the 1936 model year.  This international set features a huge power transformer that will operate from 25 to 133 Hz.  Also, by changing taps, line voltages from 110 to 250 can be accommodated.  The second character 'A' instead of the more usual 'S' in the model number signifies that the radio has four bands instead of the usual three.  The fourth band is 150-350 kHz, which was used for broadcasting in Europe I believe.


Zenith 10-S-130   1937
This is a magnificent 10-tube Zenith, in this case the top-of-the-line table set for the 1937 model year.  It has a huge black dial surrounded by an exquisitely detailed escutcheon.  The weighted flywheel tuning has a luxurious feel.  This radio has an extraordinarily beautiful cabinet that exudes power and competence.  Its list price, when new, was $84.95.Click for more about this radio


Zenith 12S267   1938
Click for more about this radioWhat a console!  So deluxe!  Twelve (count 'em!) tubes.  The bass from this console is unreal.  It rattles objects in the room when played loud.  It sold new for $169.95 (list price).
 
Airline 14WG-806A   1942
Click for more about this radioThis is a wonderful wood radio with two bands, AM and shortwave.  Made for Montgomery Ward by Stewart Warner.  The dial on this one is especially nice—there's a tuning eye peeking out behind the glass, illuminated horizontal bars, and a variegated escutcheon.


Arvin 417 "Rhythm Baby" / 617 "Rhythm Maid"   1937
Rhythm Baby.  Rhythm Maid.  What peculiar names for radios.  These two are part of the Arvin 1937 line of radios, all of which have Rhythm names.  The others are called Rhythm Belle, Rhythm Junior, Rhythm Senior, Rhythm Master, Rhythm Queen and, of course, Rhythm King.  The four-tube bottom-of-the-line Baby is the small one in the picture, just 11-1/2 inches tall.  The massive one on the right (21 inches tall) is the Maid.Click for more about these radios


Atwater Kent 808A   1933
Click for more about this radioThis is an eight-tube, four-band console with a "shadowmeter" tuning indicator.  It and the Emerson 25A, below left, are the oldest radios in my collection.  It was the grand prize at the Southeastern Antique Radio Society fall 1996 swap meet, and I won it!  It's a beautiful upright floor model with 6 legs.


Crosley 814QB   1935
Click for more about this radioThis is an eight-tube, four-band console.  The Crosley engineers managed to squeeze an RF stage, two IF stages, and a true push-pull audio output stage with active phase inversion out of just eight tubes.  I'm impressed.


Emerson 107   1936
Click for more about this radioFrom a 1936 Emerson Radio advertisement: "The Model 107 has the same effect on the eye as on the ear—simply breathtaking! ... The new color-matched wave band indication is used—red, green and blue flood lighted on dial corresponding to same color on switch knob. ... The cabinet, designed and finished the same in back as in front, is indeed a work of art.  Made of high grade matched American Butt Walnut with Mahogany inlay and ebony base."


Emerson EP-367   1941
I'm not sure what the designers of this Ingraham cabinet, which ensconces an ordinary five-tube Emerson chassis, had in mind when they created it.  Perhaps its designers liked a challenge.  It must have been a challenge to mass-produce a cabinet with virtually no flat surfaces—nothing but curves meeting curves.Click for more about this radio


Firestone Air Chief S-7398-1   1941
Click for more about this radioI'm told that this attractive radio has an Ingraham cabinet (see the Emerson AU-213 above left).  This set was made for Firestone by Stewart-Warner, which supplied many of the radios sold in Firestone stores.


Firestone Air Chief S-7403-8 / S-7403-9   1940
Click for more about this radioClick for more about this radio
By 1940, tall table radios were passe.  Not only were cathedrals out of style, but "tombstone" radios too.  The S-7403-8, above, is a six-tube "laydown" style radio, with the speaker alongside the chassis instead of above it.  The -9, above right, is an upright, but it's still squat shaped—wider than it is high.  Virtually all radios were of this form by this time.  With the country recovering from the Great Depression, I guess folks could afford more shelf space upon which to place their radios.


General Electric A-82   1936
This is a large eight-tube tombstone style radio that really looks like a tombstone.  It has a neat horizontal slide-rule dial.  The calibration markings are on a translucent drum that rotates behind the bezel, revealing only the band that's selected.  This radio was made in my hometown of Bridgeport, CT.  I grew up about a mile from the G-E plant, although when I was living there in the 1950s and 60s, consumer-electronics manufacturing had already been transferred to another location (Syracuse, NY, I think).Click for more about this radio


General Electric L-633   1942
Click for more about this radioG-E wasn't known for daring radio styling, but the Ingraham craftsmen managed to turn what could have been a boring rectangular tabletop radio into a thing of curvaceous beauty.  Those folks at Ingraham certainly had a way with wood.


Philco 39-55   1939
Size not to scale"The New Spinet Furniture Design: The new vogue in radio furniture, acclaimed by home decoration experts everywhere.  Exquisite simplicity . . . graceful styling that adds to the beauty of your home, that does not clash with its surroundings.  In addition, it brings you Mystery Control—the most miraculous radio invention since radio itself.  Remote Control, without wires or plug-in connections to radio, electric outlet or anything else.  Wherever you wish in your home, you change stations, adjust volume, and turn the radio off without the annoyance of jumping up and running to and fro."—Philco advertisement.Click for more about this radio


RCA Victor T-80   1940
Three bands, eight tubes.  Push-pull audio output for great sound.  A phono jack on the back of the chassis is labeled "This instrument is designed for television.  An RCA Victor television attachment plugged into this jack enables you to receive television programs.  You see the picture on the attachment.  You hear the sound accompaniment on this radio."Click for more about this radio


Silvertone 4586   1936
This is a 10-tube (with tuning eye) console radio.  "Powerful ... Beautiful ... and has Rich, Full Range TONE.  yes, this Silvertone has everything you need to get everything you want.  It will Completely Satisfy the Family who expected to pay around $100 for a New Radio.  It's so powerful it brings in Foreign Stations and Long Distance American Stations with amazing Ease and Clearness."—from a Sears catalog.  Apparently they had different capitalization rules back in the 1930s.Click for more about this radio


Silvertone 6262   1939
Click for more about this radioI decided early on as a radio collector that I wouldn't buy any battery-operated tube radios because they can be so inconvenient to operate.  But when I saw the magnificent styling on this farm radio, I couldn't resist.  Yes, it's a farm radio, meaning a radio designed to run on batteries, for use in areas without commercial electric power service.  In the late 1930s, much of rural America still didn't have electricity.


Skyrover / Wings 777   1936
Click for more about this radioThese chunky radios (they look the same so only one is shown here) were made by Belmont, and differ only in the brand-name identification plate on the front.  The Wings-branded set was made for Goodyear, for sale in the company's retail stores.  The Skyrover brand is more obscure.  It was probably a chain store's house brand, but despite the fact that only a few decades have passed, the name of the store is apparently lost to the mists of time.


Stewart-Warner R-1262-A   1935
Click for more about this radioIn 1935, in the middle of the Great Depression, style was in flux.  Perhaps for this reason this radio's cabinet is a hodgepodge of styles.  The skyscraper-stepped sides slope down in a vaguely cathedral-esque form, yet the overall shape is that of a tombstone-style set.  The black lacquered top shows oriental influences.  The front is made up of two contrasting types of wood: maple in the center and, perhaps, rosewood.  Only the sides of the cabinet get the walnut-veneer treatment that was standard on most wood radios of the day.


Stewart-Warner 91-513   1939
Click for more about this radioA really unusual radio.  It's transformer powered (AC-only), has five tubes, and covers the AM broadcast band only.  From the side, it's shaped like a spade.  When the radio's operating in a dark room, you can see the glowing vacuum tubes through the grille openings in the sides.  Like, totally tubular!


Zenith 4K402D   1940
Click for more about this radioDespite this radio's unattractive (to me) luggage-like appearance, it's got three things going for it:  It's a Zenith, it's in exceptional condition (it has the original price tag still attached and the original Zenith battery still inside), and it's one of those special upside-down Bakelite chassis models.


Zenith 5S319   1939
Click for more about this radioThis is a stunningly pretty, in a cute sort of way, small wood table set.  It's another five-tube design, with two bands.


Zenith 6D425 / 6D426 / 6P428   1940
Click for more about this radioClick for more about this radioClick for more about this radio
A trio of 1940 Zenith wood table sets.  At $24.95, the 6D425 (above left) was the least expensive Zenith table radio with a wood cabinet you could buy in 1940.  You could get the same chassis in a plastic cabinet (model 6D411) for only $12.95.  The $29.95 6D426 (above center) was a step up from the '425.  The extra $5 bought pushbutton tuning.  The 6P428 (above right), also $29.95, is a gorgeous, two-band radio with a gumby-esque shape.  In this case the extra $5 bought a second tuning band—the 1.5-to-3.3-mc. Police (thus the P in the model number) band.


Zenith 6S229   1938
This neat six-tube radio has a paper finish.  The front and sides aren't wood veneer.  Instead it's a picture printed on paper, glued over plywood and covered with lacquer.  It looks much better than the description makes it sound.Click for more about this radio


Zenith S-829   1935
Click for more about this radioThis is another chrome-grille Zenith; this one a seven-tube radio.  The chrome-grille phenomenon seems to have been a short-lived fad, with many such models made between 1933 and 1935.  This radio's grille decoration is more Art Nouveau than Art Deco, with organic shapes rather than geometric ones.  The eight-inch speaker provides noticeably more bass than the six-inch units in the models 807, 808 and 809 (above, left column).


Zenith 12S371   1939
"Striking half-round design in genuine walnut finish," says the brochure.  I don't know how I ever lived without it.  Unreal bass, too.  (I sure get fired up over these Zeniths, don't I?)Click for more about this radio


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