My Vintage Radio Collection

Discussion in 'The Display Case' started by RetroToday, Jul 19, 2007.

  1. decojoe67

    decojoe67 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    235
    Location:
    Long Island, N.Y.
    Here's a rare find these days. An NOS radio from 1940. This Airline (made by Montgomery Wards) model 04BR-513A appears to have never been used. The supplied station tags have never even been inserted into the pushbuttons. It has all the cardboard inserts in the original box as well as paperwork and tags. The chassis had all out of spec components replaced to play as new as it looks. Items like this were often gifts whereas the recipient had no immediate use for it. As was how the old-timers were, it was often carefully placed on a shelf, maybe to given to someone later, in the closet, only to unearthed decades later. The case shines like it was freshly polished.
    1940 Airline 04BR-513A.JPG
     
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  2. decojoe67

    decojoe67 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    235
    Location:
    Long Island, N.Y.
    Moving up to the '50's, here's a turquoise 1958 Emerson 888 Explorer.JPG 1958 Emerson 888 "Explorer" transistor radio. These Emerson are large for a pocket-radio, yet this is what makes them appealing to me as a collectible. They were designed with lots of nice details, particularly on this model. This 888 line was named after US space-craft; "Pioneer", "Vanguard", and "Explorer". This one has survived well and works very well.
     
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  3. decojoe67

    decojoe67 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    235
    Location:
    Long Island, N.Y.
    1948 RCA Victor 8X521.JPG Here's a set, a 1948 RCA Victor 8X521 that has to really be seen in person to appreciate. It's smaller than you'd expect and has a rich chocolate brown bakelite case. The dial area is very modern for 1948 with the "flying rocket" brass pointer. I find the easiest way to tune it is by putting two fingers on the clear disk. The dial softy lights and red pointer indicator at 6:00 lights brightly. The brass grill ornament and thin lower strip make it very tasteful. It still has it's original box and "Golden Throat" brochure.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2021
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  4. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    9,403
    Location:
    My mother's basement
    95D97499-B3CD-41F8-967B-3EAD3CF4CE84.jpeg Just acquired this not-working c.1946 Emerson 578A. Paid 80 bucks plus shipping and tax, which seems an outrageous amount until you see what other examples of this model fetch.
    They’re pricy because of the Charles and Ray Eames connection. The Eameses had been experimenting with molded plywood since before the war; during the war they produced one-piece molded plywood leg splints, which proved superior to the metal splints that had been used. In the early post-War era Evans Products used the Eameses’ plywood-molding method to manufacture radio cabinets for Zenith and Emerson, among others (I think; don’t take that to the bank).
    I doubt I’ll have this one repaired, seeing how there’s so little worth listening to on the AM band these days anyway.
     
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  5. decojoe67

    decojoe67 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    235
    Location:
    Long Island, N.Y.
    A friend had this 1939 Majestic model 130 "Mighty Gem" portable radio on a shelf in his workshop for eons. It was covered in dust. I eyed it for years and finally bought it from him. It was a challenge to get modern batteries into it, but I did, and it plays pretty decent as-is. It needs a signal blasting from my transmitter to hear anything, but I don't consider it a "player" anyway. I just like that I can turn it on and hear it play. They came in "mahogany" with cream swirled knobs (my example), and black or red with maroon knobs. This was touted as the smallest portable in the day, but as light as it is, it's not a pocket radio at all. It has three tubes and a pretty hardy chassis! The back panel slides up for an antenna and a long strap could be attached to wear on one's shoulder. The cabinet is sturdy painted particle board.
    1939 Majestic 130 Mighty Gem.JPG
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2021
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  6. decojoe67

    decojoe67 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    235
    Location:
    Long Island, N.Y.
    Here's a 1958 Emerson 888 series "Pioneer". This 3rd model of the series completes my collection of them (Pioneer/Vanguard/Explorer). There was also an uncommon "Satellite" model, but they don't particularly appeal to me in their permanent leather case. These are substantial well made transistor radios. They're a world apart from the common small pocket radios that came later. These were basically a small table radio that you could carry around! The on/off/vol. pot has that nice distinct "snap". Once again, another example that plays fine having no signs of any repairs. It looks orange in the photo, but it's more red in person.
    1958 Emerson 888 Pioneer.JPG
     
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  7. Edward Reed

    Edward Reed A-List Customer

    Messages:
    471
    Location:
    Aboard a B-17 Flying Fortress
    Wow! I’m playing catch-up with your posts… Amazing radios! Especially the
    NOS Airline! That would have knocked my socks off how do I come across something like this! Incredible collection you have!
     
  8. decojoe67

    decojoe67 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    235
    Location:
    Long Island, N.Y.
    Thank you Ed and glad to see you're back on the forum. I hope you're doing well. I used to say the same thing to collectors about finding nice items before I networked with them. When you're in the hobby as long as I have, over 40 years, you have so many sources for items that the biggest problem becomes controlling your spending! The Airline radio was from a long time local collector who somehow acquired mostly NIB sets. I never asked him how or where he got them. I'm just assuming he sought-out them from a variety of sources. I acquired about 8 of these over the years from him and not having to worry about shipping was a big plus. This set is actually one of his two last one's that acquired. The other is the '48 RCA posted. These cost me a premium over a typical clean example, but worth it to me. With even a fairly common model, seeing one like new is just eye-popping. Glad to share my finds with you.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
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  9. decojoe67

    decojoe67 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    235
    Location:
    Long Island, N.Y.
    Here's a compact battery-only tube "personal-portable" radio, a 1948 Regal BP-48. These were popular after WWII and several companies made very similar sets. This model is very uncommon and has a really eye-catching face plate. The cabinet is texture-painted metal with an almost tortoise-like maroon/black swirled clamshell. It turns on when you open the top. It works well as-is with modern batteries.
    1948Regalcase.JPG 1948 Regal BP-48.JPG
     
  10. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    9,403
    Location:
    My mother's basement
    Just added this Stewart-Warner 01-6K1 to my modest collection. It works, and it’s in a better-than-average cosmetic condition. It’s a stylish deco/streamline moderne cabinet, which is why I bought it. Pretty veneer, nice copper inlay. E2657652-5E31-4460-81B7-C918DF463416.jpeg
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 9, 2021
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  11. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    9,403
    Location:
    My mother's basement
    Can any of you much better versed guys and/or gals tell me when it was made?

    33F6392F-4CDB-49C8-B055-C1DDBBEF03AB.jpeg 0A876BBB-4109-4880-8C5F-37730A880910.jpeg
     
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  12. decojoe67

    decojoe67 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    235
    Location:
    Long Island, N.Y.
    You're Stewart Warner is a 1941 model. Very nice. The company made very good radios in both the electronics and cabinetry. You're fortunate that the dial bezel is not warped and cracked. Tenite plastic almost always does that unless it was stored properly, which your set likely was. Enjoy!
     
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  13. decojoe67

    decojoe67 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    235
    Location:
    Long Island, N.Y.
    An instant collection! The little Regal "personal-portable" that I had previously posted sparked it. These are great little "peanut-tubed" battery-only (1.5/67.5) sets that have a quality feel and quality performance.
    The first one is 1948 Garod model 4A1 "Starlet" in blue/black.
    Second is the 1948 Airline version of the Garod, model 84GCB in white/tan.
    Notice that the above models have a blank strip on the dial panel, top left, to have initials affixed for a gift.
    Third is the lesser seen 1949 update with a silver reverse-painted dial panel, model 94GCB, in hammer-tone grey/red.
    By the way these weren't cheap at $32 w/batteries. That about $325 today!
    1948 Garod 4A1.JPG 1948 Airline 84GCB.JPG 1949 Airline 94GCB.JPG
     
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  14. GJ nord

    GJ nord Familiar Face

    Messages:
    62
    Location:
    Jockland
    my only civy wireless set. P1090782.JPG P1090783.JPG P1090784.JPG
     
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  15. decojoe67

    decojoe67 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    235
    Location:
    Long Island, N.Y.
    Here's another small "personal-portable" battery only radio - a 1948 Olympic 8-451. These slim light sets perform very well and have a pleasing design. They were also made by Emerson. These came in a few different colors, dial plates, and cabinet designs. They turn on and off by opening and closing the top lid. It's actually a softer "aged-ivory" tone in person.
    DSC00175.JPG 1948 Olympic 8-451.JPG
     
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  16. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    9,403
    Location:
    My mother's basement
    My little collection of old radios has me looking into a low-power AM transmitter. Don’t know that I’ll actually do it (getting the old radios serviced and repaired really should come first), but the idea intrigues.

    There’s so little of interest to me on broadcast AM these days that getting the old receivers in tip-top condition (some work, some don’t, and those that do haven’t yet been “gone through”) would seem a highly impractical expenditure, seeing how they wouldn’t get much use without my own programming.

    But then, what hobbies could honestly be called “practical”? And just how “practical” is one’s own low-power AM transmitter? Hardly at all, but it could be fun.
     
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  17. vitanola

    vitanola I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,250
    Location:
    Gopher Prairie, MI
    image.jpg A set which I rebuilt nearly forty years ago just failed. I think that a bypass condenser opened, for the thing started motor-boating last night. Time to put it on the bench again. Might as well replace the grille cloth this time around.
     
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  18. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    My first one, an SSTran 3000, has been running continuously for almost thirteen years now. I got two more later on, so I have a choice of three stations to listen to now. NBC, CBS, and an independent. I wouldn't be without them.
     
  19. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    9,403
    Location:
    My mother's basement
    Can a near-identical grille cloth be found? I dig the diamond pattern.
     
  20. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    9,403
    Location:
    My mother's basement
    Am I to understand that you’re picking up the NBC, CBS, and the other signal and rerouting them through your AM transmitters?
     

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