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Crosley model 2C1 (artist version) ca: 1934
A truly RARE radio
There is little published information about this depression era radio. Some of the info I'm going to include in this write-up was provided by Bob Sands of Cincinnati, Ohio, the Original home of the Crosley Corporation and the great radio station WLW.
Available in two cosmetic versions, the above and the "Sampler" version. This small radio was obviously produced to keep the cost as low as possible and is truly unique. One unique feature is the lack of a loud-speaker. The front, is made of cardboard and serves as the front panel, the dial scale and the speaker element. Although it can't be called a cone, it truly serves the function of one.
The circuit design uses two tubes with the performance of three tube plus rectifier. A basic TRF circuit that performs surprisingly well. The filament voltage dropping resistor was incorporated in the line cord. The front panel is connected in the center to the speaker driver via a typical pin/armature arrangement like found on most early cone speakers. To my surprise I found the sound quite adequate and comfortable to listen to with no more distortion than what's found on many low priced, more sophisticated radios of the day.
Although the case is all metal, the AC line is floated above the chassis unlike some of the other all metal cabinet radios that posed a real shock hazard.
The Sampler (the most common version) shows a front panel with a "ships" design and is so called in the service data.
The Artist Version (quite rare) shows a front panel with various artist that Bob in his research believes were those that performed on WLW's live broadcast performances. Among them are Hink & Dink, Nelson Eddy & Jeanette MacDonald, Chet Adkins and other popular artist of the day.
Bob has done extensive research on this radio and find no advertising or mention of this model in Crosley's monthly dealer publication from 1933 - '35. This leaves one to believe it had a short, limited production or may have been given away by Crosley dealers with the purchase of an appliance (like the popular Westinghouse "Refrigerator" radios).
The Crosley brothers with Powel as the creative generous, his brother Lewis the business man were (in my opinion) two of the greatest American industrialists of the 20th century. There created and produced many "first's" for American households and at affordable prices.
For those of you who are not all that familiar with these brothers, the empire they created and their contribution to our country, I suggest you get and read the book: Crosley- Two Brothers and a Business Empire That Transformed the Nation
I just completed the restoration of this neat little
radio, below are some images before restoration.
© C.E. Clutter