Philco Model 17B large cathedral radio, 1934. This top-of-the-line Philco radio was made for only one year and is uncommon today. It stands almost 19 inches high, 16.5 inches wide, and 12.5 inches deep with a rich walnut veneer that runs diagonally on the sides, converging at the peak. The finish is good but there is a chip on the front at the top and wear around the knobs and along the base. The sides are unmarred. It has an eleven-tube chassis with two bands, broadcast (AM) and a narrow range shortwave. This model introduced a squelch control toggle switch on the back-right side, called “Quiet Automatic Volume Control” to reduce noise between stations. It must not have been very effective or valued, as they discontinued it the next year. The lower left knob is the off/on-volume control, the lower center knob switches between AM and SW, and the lower right knob is a variable tone control. The dial is backlit and there is a nonfunctional shadow meter for tuning accuracy. This radio has a loud hum and I was not able to pick up any stations; I did not try with an external antenna wire. Nonetheless, it’s clear that the electronics have been serviced, as there are newer tubes; it may need further attention. The volume control does not show much range. The cloth-covered power cord appears to be original. Back in the day this radio sold for $65, a lot of money in depression America. $150-$250.
Echophone Model S-4 cathedral radio, 1930-1931. This 17-inch high cathedral from the early depression years is in unrestored condition. The mahogany-veneered case is in reasonable condition, with some chips, and needs to be cleaned, or better yet, refinished. There is a noticeable chip to the veneer over the speaker and the grill cloth needs to be replaced. The single on-off/volume plastic knob has some chips, and the tuning dial is discolored and rusted, but turns. It has a 6-tube chassis and broadcasts only AM radio. We did not test it as the power cord is original and frayed; it should not be powered up except by a radio specialist. The label on the chassis is unreadable. $75-$100.