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.
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.
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.
Crosley F-25MN clock radio, 1954. Crosley, out of Cincinnati knew how to make a trendy radio. This clock-radio from the early 1950’s resembles a television, with a speaker that faces downward and the sound is directed out in three directions. It is 8-inches square with a radio alarm and a radio sleep function. The maroon plastic case is in good shape with no breaks or cracks, although some of the finish is scratched off on the left side near the volume button. The AM tuning dial has a fine control inner knob. The plastic dial over the clock is clear but there is some loss of finish to the center gold button, and one knob has been replaced. The gold plastic trim around the front has also lost some luster. The clock runs, keeps time, and the radio plays, with some static. We didn’t test the alarm. This radio doesn’t take up much space. $100-$150.