Jim's Antique Radio Museum

Real radios glow in the dark and are warm to cuddle up next to!..


A Zenith Transoceanic Radio, model 600 is a good example of "OTHER" radios. This one is from 1953.

It is not metal, it is not wood, it is not plastic, and so on, but it does have plastic, wood and metal parts. This radio is actually made into a wood cabinet but that wood is covered by this leatheretts fabric to give it that unique world traveler theme.....like a good piece of luggage.

This particular radio has memories for me because when I was stationed in Korea we had one of these in our radio van. We would pull 8 hour shifts (sometimes 12 hrs) in this little 25 square foot of breathing space and it got pretty dreadful after a few hours.  By having this radio with us we were able to hear stateside broadcasts to find out what was going on at home.  Of course we could also hear Radio Moscow, and the rest of the world.

It is a fantastic radio and still plays as good as new.  I have not refinished a cabinet on one of these but apparently it is not too difficult.  Just strip off the old material, sand down the wood and then glue and re-apply new material. Doesn't sound all that bad!

 I now have 6 of these radios of 3 different model types.

This is not a good image, but it is a picture of me in Korea in 1958. I am in the radio van that we used to provide radio-linked telephone communications for our unit. Notice the Zenith Transoceanic model 600 sitting on the floor with the "Wave Magnet" antenna "stuck" to the wall above the window



This is a Zenith Universal radio with Wave Magnet, model 5G500. This beauty is from 1941.

This nice portable has that nice brown leatherette fabric on it that really gives it that Casablanca look. You can almost imagine Humprey Bogart leaning over with his ear by the speaker.

The wavemagnet is actually an antenna that is removed from the back of the radio when needed.

About all this radio needs to make it complete is a new leather carrying handle.

This shows the wavemagnet stored in the back of the radio.

The wavemagnet has suction cups mounted on the left side so you could stick it to your hotel window. That flat cable is the antenna lead that feeds back to the radio.



This is another nice leatherette covered portable radio. A Packard Bell Travelmate model 40B.

The radio has a roll top cover that slides down over the speaker and dial area.

One thing that is strange about the radio is the fact that the antenna terminals and the power cord is on the bottom of this set.  Most portables have a hole cut in the back cover to allow the power cord and any antenna wires to come out the back.

In the image below you can see the rolltop cover closed. Also notice the unusual OFF indicator on the dial. When you turn the radio on this indicator disappears.




This Philco 42-842 Portable from 1942 may look familiar to you.

The second radio under Wood Radios, Page 1 is a Philco 42-PT95 and it has an identical face plate around the dial and speaker. The face plate is a different color on that one, but the size and shape is identical.  I have seen this face plate on radios from several different years and different models.

This is another of those radios that have all 1 volt filaments with the exception of the regulator tube. As such it operates on AC without the need of a power transformer prior to the power supply circuit.

The radio can operate on battery DC contained in the case or can be plugged into house AC outlet.



This is a Learavian radio, model RM-402B, made by Lear Radio, Inc. from Grand Rapids, MI and it is from 1947.

The radio case is made of wood and then covered with a leatherette type of material. The radio has an 8 foot long whip antenna that telescopes together via a cable with some elastic terminations. The antenna screws onto a post in the upper right corner.

The radio has 3 bands, one for airport beacons, one is standard broadcast and one for aircraft/marine frequencies. It can operate from AC power or from batteries. It requires a 90 volt "A" battery (made up of two 45V batteries) and a 7.5 volt "B" battery. This set has 6 tubes, all with 1 volt filaments except the 117N7GT rectifier.

Although this radio looks fairly rough, it plays reasonably well once you get the antenna extended to its full length.

The radio was created by William Lear, a high school drop out, who went on to invent most of the aviation guidance systems we use today plus the creator of the 8-track tape player and the Lear Jet just to name a few!



This is a rather strange looking Delco Portable radio, model R-1409.

Don't you agree that the pinkish plastic face looks a bit out of place on a leatherette covered portable radio?  Also note the stainless steel plate that serves as a handle with a clear plastic rod across the top as part of the handle.  A little weird!

When I saw this I felt that it looked like a table model face that had been attached to a portable.  Not long after that I did indeed see a table model Delco radio with the same exact face.  I must say it looked a lot better on the table model....hahaha.



This is a neat wall mounted intercom radio from Nutone, model 2050A.

I was unable to find a date but I would guess it is from the 60's based on the tubes used in it.  However, it doesn't have the Conalrad markings common in that era. It is an AM/FM model and supports up to 10 remote stations.

The owner pulled this out during a remodel and I am hoping to get some of the satellite stations as the remodel continues in the home. He would have a satellite station in each room of the house and at the front door so he could communicate with anyone ringing the doorbell.

This is a donation to the museum from Bruce and Lauren....thanks!



While you could classify this radio as a WOOD RADIO, it is actually an imposter.

Several companies are in the business of making REPLICAS of old time radios. Don't get me wrong, the radios look fantastic and play nicely, but the insides are transistors, not tubes, and they have either cassette decks or CD decks installed in them so that they can play some of the modern media..

You must admit that this is a beautiful radio, but the cassette slot on the side gives it away.

My daughter gave me this radio and I just want her to know that I love it even though it doesn't have tubes glowing on the inside of it.....thanks Laura.



This is a Radio Direction Finder (RDF), Aqua Guide model 712.

These things were used on boats (battery power) and could be tuned to a beacon station on shore, or simply to an AM broadcast station that you had the coordinates for.

Once you had the station tuned in you would rotate the antenna on the top and look for a null.  At that point you can read off the bearing from your position to the station.

If you did this for two stations and plotted the bearing lines from each of them on a chart, then the point of intersection of the two lines is your present position.

Neat systems.



This is another RDF device with the brand name of Coastal Navigator.

This is a more modern version of the above RDF type of system.

The radio has standard AM broadcast band, a beacon band, and a marine radio band which would allow you to hear all the ship channels plus hear the marine weather channel.

This unit is very light weight, even with the internal batteries, so it made a handy navigation tool to have aboard your boat.

We live near the ocean so these things are plentiful in this area.



This is an old Silvertone model 7165 AC/DC portable from the mid 1940's. This radio was donated to the museum by Jack Kessler from Indiana......thanks Jack.

I have this classified on the "Other Radio" page because it is a combination of plastic and metal. The hinged door on the front and the back are made of plastic, but the outer edge of the case is made of metal.

This has the swing open lid that was designed to protect the front of the radio while you were traveling.  The radio would run off of battery power, 4 C-cells in parallel for the A-battery and a 67.5 volt battery for the B-battery. It would also run off of household AC power.

On our modern Ipods, cellphone, PDA's etc, we have battery saver features that we pretty much take for granted.  Here is a 60 year old radio with a built in battery saver. That little knob in the front center of the control panel is a pull out on/off switch.  If you were to pack it up and head home from the beach, as soon as you closed the cover it would push in the on/off switch and turn the radio off.  This will save the battery if you had forgotten to turn it off while packing up to go. Pretty cool thinking by the designers. Remember that Silvertone is the name brand used by Sears Roebuck & Company.

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