Antique Phonographs & Radios

For many years when I lived in North Carolina, I collected old radios and phonograph. Many were given to me, some I traded for, and a few I bought. Finally I have retired and found the time to rebuild & refinish all these old relics. 

 


 

This 1923 Model 10C Atwater Kent (AK)was one of the first built by this company. It was a "Tuned Radio Frequency" (T.R.F.) type, typical for the era and a very simple design. The radio used "01A" tubes and because they were low-amplification triodes, several stages were normally required. You can see the antenna connections on the left. Next to these terminals is the first tuned coil with its associated variable condenser (capacitor) just in front. The first tube is an R.F. stage whose plate circuit is connected to the second coil/condenser tuned circuit.  The control just in front of this first tube varies the filament voltage to all tubes and, as you might have guessed, was the volume control. The next tube in the line up is the second R.F. stage and associated tuned circuit to the right of it. In front of this tube was the "pull up/push down" on-off switch. Finally, the three tubes together are the detector and two A.F. stages. A horn speaker or earphones were connected to two terminals on the top of this 3-tube mounting.  The "breadboard" was made of mahogany, and under the board was exposed un-insulated point-to-point wiring using  solid conductors. This radio won first place in a "old radio" contest held in High Point, NC around 1975. One requirement was that the radio had to work. Originally this radio cost $100, present value approximately $1000.


 

 

This is a working 1901 Edison Home (Red Label) Cylinder Phonograph that plays 2 minute records. The records were actually cylinders that slipped onto a rotating drum. The motor can be accessed by lifting the hinged lid to the cabinet. It was known as the "Long Case" when in 1901 the Edison Home found a new shape. Also known as the "Red label" cabinet, it uses an Edison Model "C" Reproducer. The case and Cover are made of dark oak. I found this in a barn, and when I showed interest in it, the owner gave it to me. The only part that was missing was the handle. Fortunately I had another later model that used the same handle, so I made an almost exact copy on my metal lathe. The distinctive red and gold decal was changed back to black and gold in 1904.

 

 


 

 

This is a 1905 Victrola VI made by the Victor Talking Machine Company (RCA) in Camden. NJ, and it plays perfectly.  The volume control is the two swinging front doors. The only restoration on this one was to replace a rubber gasket on the needle pickup called the "Exhibition". Under the record is felt which was originally a bright green. I may replace this some day. Click below if you want to hear it play.

 

 


 

 

This is a 1928 Atwater Kent Model 40 Radio in working condition.  The inside looks mint, but work is needed on the outside. Prior to 1928 most radios required several sets of batteries.  These batteries were expensive, bulky and limited in life. Atwater Kent's first set completely designed for AC current was the model 37. Six months later, this Model 40 was produced with slight improvements.  The Model 40 series sold nearly 1 million units in the 1928-1929 season, and was priced at $77.00.

 

 

 


 

The Edison Standard Model C is a general category for Cylinder player phonographs. This unit played two or four minute cylinder records (depending on the model and state of upgrade) and often had large "cygnet" horns rather than the standard small horn shown. An interesting piece of history is that these small horns almost became extinct in that the popularity of the flat record coinciding with the popularity of the automobile.  Why the automobile you ask? This small horn worked perfectly for filling the autos with oil !!!

Would you like to hear this actual unit play?

                Click Below !


     

        This "1927 Metrodyne" was manufactured by The Metro Electric Company of Chicago.  They advertised it as the long distance tuned radio frequency receiver set. Even with the beautiful real wood walnut cabinet, it sold for only $48.50.   

                        

                     Here is one of their ads:

 Here's the new 1927 model "Metrodyne Super-Six" 6 tube long distance tuned radio frequency receiver set.  Approved by leading radio engineers of America. Highest grade low loss parts, completely assembled in a beautiful walnut cabinet. Easy to operate. Dials easily logged. Tune in your favorite station instantly on same dial reading every time.


This one was called "The Masterdine" manufactured in Mifflinburg Radio Corporation in Mifflinburg, PA. I still need to restore the cabinet, but the electronics are in good shape.

Ever wonder how you tune these old radios? On this model, here are the instructions:

Start by setting dials 2 and 3 at 10 degrees. Then rotate dial one slowly between 5 and 15 degrees. If a station is not heard, set dial 2 and 3 each two degrees higher and again slowly rotate dial 1. Continue this operation until a station is heard then adjust each dial separately for greater volume.  When the station is tuned in, increase or decrease both Detector and Amplifier until you have obtained the desired volume. Hmmm, more fun than auto scanning I guess !



 

                            Gallery of Electronic Parts

 


Old Microphone

Telegraph Sounder

 

Early "One Tube" Westinghouse Radio

 

"00A" & "01A" Vacuum Tubes

(In original boxes)

Vari-Coupler

Speaker Horn & Driver

        

 


     I have several volumes of the Perpetual Trouble Shooter's Manual by John H. Rider, including Volume 1.  These contain hundreds of schematic diagrams of early vintage radios.  I also have several Howard W. Sam's Dial Cord Stringing Guide. These come in handy, and are now available online.