Zenith G500 Trans-oceanic radio, 1949-1951. London calling! Hello Lisbon, Johannesburg, Bombay! Back in the day you could listen to shortwave radio from all these places and more on the four shortwave bandwidths, as well as local stations on the AM band. There are 5 push-buttons on the right for selecting bandwidths based on the time of day, as well as an AM button. I was able to pick up several broadcasts, as well as AM broadcasts with good sensitivity and volume. The telescoping antenna extends to over 3 ft. There are switches in front of the airplane-style dial for treble, voice, alto, and bass tone control, as well as a tuning knob and an on/off-volume knob. The front of the leather-covered case flips up to reveal the dials, and there is a handle to carry the 15-lb radio, which can also be operated by battery power for remote locations. This is a 5-tube radio, 17 inches wide by 11 inches high and 7 inches deep. The case and dial are in outstanding condition; the power cord is new, with an old-style plug. Zenith introduced high-quality shortwave radios in 1941, and this is the second iteration of this model, improved with miniature tubes. Several later versions were manufactured, and in the late 1950’s transistor versions were introduced. Zenith set the standard for world receivers. $225-$300.
CBS-Columbia clock-radio-alarm, Model 5330-EB, 1954. This black plastic radio contains a Telechron alarm clock front and center, where you can set the radio to come on as the alarm. The case is 9.5 inches wide and 6.25 inches high, 5 inches deep, with no cracks or scuffs; the clear plastic cover over the clock has a few scratches and scuffs but is clear. It holds a five-tube superheterodyne radio with an internal antenna; the volume control is on the left and the tuning knob on the right side. There is no radio dial. The clock runs and the radio plays loudly, but there is lots of buzz and little control over the volume. It picked up several AM stations. I like the look. $45-$75.
Philco Model 84 small cathedral radio, 1935. This is a smaller four-tube fully refurbished cathedral radio, 14 inches high, 12 inches wide, and 8 inches deep. It is in excellent working order and I was able to pick up a station clear and loud even without an attached wire antenna. The dial is backlit. The walnut case has been refinished nicely with no mars, dents, or scratches. The original speaker fabric shows some wear but can be easily replaced with grille clothes available on eBay. Philco made these inexpensive radios for four years, 1934-1937, changing the styling slightly each year. If you’re looking for a single archetype radio from the 1930’s this one would be it; small, clean and bright, and it plays. The cloth-covered power cord could stand to be replaced for safety if you plan to use this guy. $150-$200.
Motorola Model 59 T2, 1939. A small tabletop radio, wooden cabinet, AM only, made and named for the 1939 World’s Fair in New York. World’s Fairs continue today, but they don’t get the attention they used to. The walnut case is 11.5 inches wide and 7.75 inches high, 7 inches deep in good condition with no scrapes or scratches. There are two large rotary dials on top of the case, one to turn on and adjust the volume, and one to tune the radio. The dial on front is backlit. The speaker cloth is probably original but I think the case has been refinished. There is a good label on the bottom. The chassis holds 5 tubes and there is a built-in phono plug and switch so you can listen to your record player (or now perhaps your Amazon Echo) through the radio speaker. It picked up several stations with good sound and little buzz. $50-$100.
Philco Model 38-93B tombstone radio, 1937-38. This is the later edition of this model, with a wood veneer front (note the lighter wood bands across the bottom) and a bidirectional backlit dial, giving both kilocycles and meters. It is a 5-tube superheterodyne AM band radio, standing 15.25 inches high, 12.25 inches wide, and 8.25 inches deep. It picks up stations weakly and has a lot of buzz, even with the extended wire antenna. Well, it looks good. $75-$150.
Philco Model 91B large cathedral radio, 1933. This is a large and heavy cathedral radio (19 inches high, 16 inches wide, 12 inches deep, 32 lb) with 9 tubes and two bands, AM and Police/short wave. The band is selected by the lower middle knob on the front; the lower left knob has four set positions for tone, and the lower right knob is the off/on-volume control. The tuning dial is backlit, there is a shadow tuning meter above it but it is blank. The front of the case has diagonal walnut veneer on the outside and a plainer veneer in the middle. I think the grille cloth is an old replacement but the knobs, dial, and Philco lettering on the front are original. It plays quite well even without a long wire antenna attached, and picks up several stations with minimal buzz and hum. There are some wear marks on the sides and top, but overall the finish is excellent. Power cord is cloth-covered but probably not original; one rubber foot (not original) is also missing and easily replaced. $125-$325.