Radio Boulevard
Western Historic Radio Museum


WHRM Radio Photo Gallery

Consumer-Entertainment Table-Top Radios

Classic Thirties, Pre-War Plastics and Novelties

1930 - 1950s

 

photo:  Yeah, I know,... it's not from the thirties.  Ollie is holding a 1924 portable RCA Radiola 24 - The photo is titled "The Arrival of Talking Pictures" - simply a great photo.

 

Classic Thirties Radios

Philco

Model 90

Is the Philco 90 the quintessential vintage radio? Certainly it is what most non-collectors visualize as an "antique" radio. Introduced in 1931, the nine-tube superheterodyne chassis was considered a console radio in a table cabinet by many advertisers. The first models had Push-Pull 45s for audio outputs. Later, AVC was added and a single 47 supplied the output. Most cabinets will have the month and date of manufacture stamped on the bottom. Original selling price was $69.50. The sound quality is excellent and the styling timeless.

 

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Atwater-Kent

Model 84

The Atwater-Kent Model 84 featured a "classic" cathedral styled cabinet with booked, figured walnut veneer front and linear walnut veneer sides. The six-tube superheterodyne receiver was built on a nickel-plated chassis. The speaker was an eight-inch electrodynamic giving the AK 84 excellent sound quality. It was a popular model with two AC versions available, (60Hz "Standard - no letter" and 25Hz  "F" type) and two DC versions available, (110vdc "D" type and battery "Q" type), plus variations between early and late models in all versions. The AK 84 originally sold for $69.95 in 1931.

 

Echophone Radio, Inc.

Model S-4

Echophone was a popular trade name used by several companies during the twenties. Echophone Radio, Inc. was located in Chicago and eventually was purchased by William Halligan to help form Hallicrafters. The Model S-4 is from 1931 and is a six tube TRF that utilizes an eight inch Jensen speaker and Gothic styling that was popular in the late twenties and early thirties. Thumb-wheel tuning was a popular method for tuning that lasted for a short time in the early thirties. Usually the wear is severe and even if the system works, tuning is not very accurate.

 

Crosley Radio Corp.

Model 148

Crosley got a lot of use out of their "Fiver" circuit. It was available in several different cabinet styles and finishes. The 148 is a five tube superheterodyne in a stylish "cathedral" cabinet that demonstrated Crosley's ability to provide good performance at a reasonable price. It is interesting that the "cathedral" style was originally dubbed as "midget set." Collectors have adapted "cathedral" as it is more descriptive of the radio's appearance.

 

Pilot Radio & Tube Corporation

Super-Wasp Converter - No. 40672

By the time this Shortwave Converter was available, Pilot Radio & Tube Corporation had moved from its longtime location of Brooklyn, New York to Lawrence, Massachusetts. The move was a financial disaster and Pilot went bankrupt but did reform into Pilot Radio and Television shortly thereafter. The Super-Wasp Converter was a kit that was available around 1930 or so. Cabinets could be purchased to house the completed converter. As to its use, one would connect an antenna to the converter and then connect the converter output terminals to the radio set's antenna terminals. The radio would be tuned to the IF output of the converter and then two things happened. First, you could now tune in Shortwave signals on five different ranges and control the volume (sensitivity) at the converter. Second, if your radio was a TRF set (like most were in 1930) you now had an operational, all-wave superheterodyne. SW converters were only popular for a short time around 1930 - 1932, by 1933 most radios included a shortwave band.

 

Atwater-Kent

Model 165

Atwater-Kent offered this five tube receiver in 1933 for the low price of $29.90. Featuring a very delicate fretwork on the grille, a nickel-plated chassis and a large eight-inch speaker, the 165 provided the user excellent sound with a beautiful gothic-styled cabinet.  Police calls could be received by switching the combination Tone-Police control to Police. The switch shorted a few turns on the coils to shift the frequency somewhat higher. No calibration was provided on the Police frequencies. The circuit uses a 57 converter, a 58 IF amp, a 2A6 Det/AVC/1st AF Amp, a 2A5 Audio Output and an 80 rectifier.

 

Atwater-Kent

Model 206

 

Atwater-Kent's mid-priced table model radio for 1934 was the Model 206. The chassis used six tubes, which included an RF amplifier, converter, IF amplifier, duplex-diode triode for Detector, AVC and 1st AF amplifier functions, a pentode audio output stage and the rectifier. The speaker, like many A-K table models was rather large at eight inches diameter and provided a nice quality to the sound produced. Three tuning ranges provided are for AM-BC, Police and Short Wave. Also, a three position tone control was included. The cabinet was a combination of gadrooned pilasters, Japan trimmed base and walnut veneers. The control that is just below-right of the dial is a dual function with coaxial shafts and dual knobs used for the two-speed tuning. The other similar-shaped knob that is below-left of the dial appears to be for a dual function control but is actually only a single function control. Priced at $49 in 1934.

 

Sears-Silvertone

Model 4569

The Sears-Roebuck Co. had Colonial Radio Co. build this beautiful Silvertone Model 4569 "Cube" radio for the 1937 model year. Great styling featuring a huge gold dial with tuning-eye and multi-curved cabinet. Supposedly, the gold dial use on many of the 1937 model year Silvertone radios was to celebrate Sear's 50th anniversary in business. This radio is an all-original example, even all of the original "Silvertone" tubes are present.

 

Emerson

Model 153

The 1937 Emerson Model 153 features a cabinet built by Ingraham, a company famous for clocks and compound curve cabinets. A few other manufacturers also used Ingraham for their cabinets. Emerson was never a company to let lack of parts stop production. It is rare to find an Emerson chassis that adheres to their published documentation.

 

Pre-War Plastic Radios (1933-1940)

Colonial

Model 300

The Colonial Model 300 from 1933 has a cabinet made of Durez, which is similar to bakelite but with coarser filler material. Durez was used extensively for molded ash trays. Highly polished nickel plated trim makes the Model 300 a stunning radio.

 

Emerson

Model 149

Emerson's 1936 Model 149 was available in cabinets made of brown bakelite, white or black plaskon or a combination black and white plaskon. The radio circuit uses five tubes and covers AM and Police Band (1.7-4.0 Mc.)

 

Detrola

Model 197 - "Pee-Wee"

The Detrola Pee-Wee Model 197 was the hit of the New York Radio Show in 1939. This example is in "Beetle" Plaskon with red knobs and feet. Pee-Wees also were available in many other colors and color combinations, however the small cabinet often cracked or became distorted due to the heat of the tubes.

 

Detrola

  207 Converter - "Pee-Wee"

An accessory that was available in some areas was the VHF (Very High Frequency) Converter in the Pee-Wee case, Model 207. By the late thirties, many cites had switched their police radio communications to higher frequencies, especially the radio transmitters installed in police cars. This little converter allowed the user to hear both sides of the police call, (if you had a separate radio for receiving the Police Station transmitter.)

 

Wards-Airline

  Model 62-228   - "Miracle"

 

The 1938 Airline "Miracle" Model 62-228 is a bakelite case radio with mechanical push button tuning and cathode-ray tuning indicator. Intricate castings were popular to demonstrate the advantages modern plastics had over other materials. Built by Belmont for Wards.

 

Motorola

Model 50-XC-3

The Motorola "Circle Grille" Model 50-XC-3 from 1940. The case is made of Catalin, which is a cast resin with great depth and beauty. This radio was originally a creamy white color with tan swirls, but due to the unstable nature of catalin when exposed to light, it has now darkened to a nice butterscotch color.

 

Remler

Model 46 - "Scottie"

The Remler Co. was located in San Francisco, California and, prior to 1922, was partially owned by Elmer Cunningham. Supposedly, Remler was derived from "Elmer" spelled backwards with an "r" added ("r" for "radio".) The "Scottie" radios were popular models with the canine decoration probably inspired by FDR's dog, "Fala." This Model 46 is from 1937.

 

Majestic

Model 651

Majestic offered up the Model 651 in 1939. It featured a great curved cabinet made of Bakelite but the circuit is typical of the AC/DC types using a ballast tube and five receiving tubes.

 

Novelties (1930-1955)

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Abbotwares

Model Z-477

Abbotwares produced several variations of their Model Z-477. Shown are two styles, the "Standing Horse" is the most often seen version, while the "Rearing Horse & Cowboy" is seldom encountered. There is also the rare  "Prancing Horse & Cowgirl" variation, besides a "Lady Godiva," a "Moose" and a "Hula Dancer." Why Abbotwares used the same model number for all the variations is unknown but it must have made the paperwork easy. The "Rearing Horse & Cowboy" radio shown was a top prize give-away and was won at a California State Fair in the early fifties.

 

 

"Lester" Piano-Radio

Model 494

 

This version of the bakelite "Grand Piano" radio was built by the L.K.Franklin Co.,Inc. of Los Angeles, California. There are several variations and cabinets in both wood or bakelite. The radio is a standard "AA-5" and dates from the early fifties.

 

 

 

Sparkling Champagne Music

"Quality Superb"

 

The unusual name of this novelty radio is descriptive of its intent - a large champagne bottle that houses a radio. The bottle, although it looks very convincing, is actually painted bakelite and the "cork" at the top is turned to tune in stations. Again, a standard "AA-5" is housed vertically while the speaker is facing downward in the base. This novelty dates from the early fifties and, for several years, was on display in Virginia City's notorious thirst-parlor, The Union Brewery. The "streamer-ribbon" was a left-over from this radio's "party" days at the "Brewery."

 

 

Harrah's Club

Slot Machine Radio

 

It wouldn't be Nevada without a "Slot Machine Radio." This one is an early tube variety that Harrah's Club sometimes gave as an additional prize to large jackpot winners in the mid-fifties. They were also available in Harrah's Gift Shops located inside the casino. Not the highest quality in either performance or materials!

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Website Navigation Index

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Western Historic Radio Museum - Information
 
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Nevada Radio History - 1906 to 1930
Arthur Raycraft, Nevada's "Father of Wireless," America's First Radio Tour, Early Nevada BC Stations & More

KOWL's Gates BC-250L BC Transmitter
2007 Move from Lake Tahoe - Restoration - PLUS -  2013 Move to Dayton, Nevada & Getting on 160M 

 

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M.H. Dodd's 1912 Wireless Station
100th Anniversary  Edition 
Includes New Photos, Reassembly Info and Lots of Original Vintage 1912 B&W Photos + Reassembly in Dayton

 THE COLIN B. KENNEDY COMPANY
"RADIO APPARATUS OF QUALITY"
Universal, Intermediate Wave and Short Wave Models History, Restoration and Operation - Lots of Photos

A.H. GREBE & CO., INC.
"A Guide to the Synchrophase MU-1"
Comprehensive Manufacturing History, Restoration, Neutralizing, Performance Information - Lots of Photos

 

 SE-1420, IP-501 & IP-501A
"The Classic Shipboard Wireless Receivers"
Comprehensive History, Restoration and Operation Info - Tuning in NDBs with IP-501-A

Vintage Long Wave Receivers
Long Wave Receiver Profiles, Loop Antenna Info, NDB Info and Log,
Fallon NV "Master - M" Loran Station Tour

 

 

- Vintage Communications & Amateur Radio Equipment  ~  Full Length Articles with Photos -

National Co. - HRO Receiver
"The Cream of the Crop" 
Expanded Edition - Comprehensive History, Serial Numbers, Restoration, Lots of Photos & More

 National Co. - NC-100 Series
"Moving Coil"  Receivers 
Comprehensive History, Serial Numbers, Restoration & More - Includes Civilian Versions, Military Versions & Airport Versions

Hallicrafters SX-28
"A Pre-war Masterpiece"

Comprehensive History, Serial Number Analysis, Restoration Details & More

Hallicrafters DD-1 "Skyrider Diversity"
Comprehensive History, Serial Numbers & Restoration Details

RCA's Legendary AR-60 Receiver
Comprehensive History, Serial Number Analysis, Restoration Details & More - including the AR-60 connection to Amelia Earhart's Disappearance.        

RCA's Amazing AR-88 Receivers
Comprehensive History, Restoration Info, How to do IF Sweep Alignments, Serial Numbers & More

 Hammarlund Mfg.Co.,Inc
The Incredible Pre-War 'Super-Pro'
Comprehensive History, Serial Number Analysis, Restoration Details. Includes info on the Hammarlund Comet Pro

Hallicrafters' "Super-Pro" R-274 Receiver
Comparison of the SP-600 to the R-274(SX-73) in detail, best features of each. VOTE for your favorite Super Pro

 

-  Rebuilding Communications Equipment  ~  Full Length Articles with Photos -

Rebuilding and Operating the AN/GRC-19
T-195 XMTR & R-392 RCVR
 Detailed Information with Lots of Photos

Rebuilding the R-390A Receiver
Detailed Restoration Information with Lots of Photos

Rebuilding the ART-13 Transmitter
Detailed Restoration Info with Lots of Photos

Rebuilding the Hammarlund SP-600
Detailed Restoration Information with Lots of Photos

     Rebuilding the Collins 51J Series Receivers
NEW!  
Detailed Restoration Information with Lots of Photos - Includes R-388 Receiver
Successfully Operating the BC-375 on the Ham Bands Today
Detailed Information on Power Set-ups that Work, Dynamic Neutralization, BC-191 Info & More 
Rebuilding the BC-348 Receiver
Detailed Information on all BC-348 Types, Dynamotor Retrofit Information, AC Power Supply Enhancement - Lots of Photos
Building an Authentic 1937 Ham Station
Utah Radio Products - UAT-1 Transmitter

 

- WHRM Radio Photo Galleries with Text -

Entertainment Radios from 1922 to 1950

Roaring 20s Radios
1922 to 1929

Vintage Table Radios
1930 to 1950

Floor Model Radios (Consoles)
1929 to 1939

Only Zenith Radios
1930 to 1940

Communications Equipment from 1909 to 1959 - Commercial, Military & Amateur

 Early Ham & Commercial Wireless Gear
1909 to 1927

Classic Pre-WWII Ham Gear
1928 to 1941

WWII Communications Equipment
 U.S. Navy & U.S. Army Signal Corps  1941 to 1945

Commercial & Military
Communications Gear
1932-1941 & 1946-1959

Post-WWII Ham Gear
1946 to 1959

Vintage Broadcast Equipment, RTTY & Telegraph Keys

Vintage Microphones
 & Vintage Broadcast Gear
1930 to 1950s

Radio Teletype - RTTY - with Real Machines
includes TTY Machines, Military TUs and Amateur TUs

Telegraph Keys - 1900 to 1955
"From Straight Keys to Bugs"
Hand Keys and Semi-Automatic Telegraph Keys

 

 

-  Vintage Radios, Ham Gear, Tubes & Misc. Items For Sale  -

Entertainment Radios For Sale

Ham Radio Gear For Sale

Vacuum Tubes For Sale

Miscellaneous Items For Sale

 

 Radio Boulevard
Western Historic Radio Museum

 Vintage Radio Communication Equipment Rebuilding & Restoration Articles,

 Vintage Radio History and WHRM Radio Photo Galleries

1909 - 1959

 

 

This website created and maintained by: Henry Rogers - Radio Boulevard, Western Historic Radio Museum 1997/2014