Sunday, March 6, 2011

Real radios glow in the dark!

I was tinkering around the other evening, and dragged out a handy toy, my 1941 Zenith Universal Companion portable radio. It is a six-tube unit, in a wood cabinet covered with a shellacked linen covering. It is AM only, as this was before FM broadcast. It still works fairly well, with a bit of a hum, bacause of bad filter capacitors that I will need to replace one of these days.

The operation of this thing is surprisingly good, considering that it is seventy years old. When it got dark outside, I was able to pick out the three-letter stations in Chicago, Atlanta, and New Orleans, and a dial full of others. It has only a 4 inch speaker, but the wood cabinet gives it a notably good sound. Note that this one has a sailboat stitched into the speaker cover. Pearl Harbor was in December of 1941, and beginning in January of 1942, the sailboat was replaced by a 4-engine bomber, which continued until April of '42, when Zenith went into fulltime war production, and stopped offering radios to the public. I have a number of tube-type radios, AM and shortwave, to which I need to pay more attention, as well as my other hobby activities. I am working on it...

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