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Philco Radio model 49-901 "Secretary"
Philco Radio & Television Corp.

 

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A unique radio, the Philco model 49-901 (1949)
this radio's for sale

Referred to as the "Secretary", all functions of this unique radio are operated with one control.  Circuitry features a standard 5 tube (all American five) super-het with 6 pre-sets for tuning.

Here's how it works; The large splined cylinder serves as the on/off switch, volume control and tuning control. The cylinder rotates for on/off, volume and is pushed downward to change stations. There are 6 pre-sets that are easily set from the radio's underside. Each station has both inductive and capacitive tuning for maximum sensitivity and selectivity. With each station selected the color of the jewel just below the cylinder (control) changes > (see below).

From my long time collection, now offered for sale, this piece was acquired from another collector years ago and appeared to be unsold in it original box. The radio looked brand new but had all the bottom labels secured in place with clear shipping tape. He (the other collector) said they were all coming loose loose so he taped 'em back in place using clear shipping tape - (ugh!, bad move). I removed the labels, scanned, re-mastered and re-printed them so they now look original. Had not so mentioned, you would think they were new and all original.

I also replaced the old capacitors (a must on any old radio or electronic piece). Tuned it up and all works well.

more images

Since childhood Philco has always been  my favorite brand of radio.  From around the age of 12, I can't remember a time when I did not own a Philco radio or have one at my bedside.

Philco was founded in the late 1800's as the Philadelphia Storage Battery Company. They made batteries for the early electric cars. In the 1920s, their production switched to making batteries & home charging equipment for battery radios.

As the electric radios were fast fast becoming the new, popular technology, Philco built their first all electric radio (called light socket powered then) in 1928.

With great promotional venues and a quality product at much lower prices than their competition, Philco became the industry leader in radio manufacturing by 1930! In 1939, they built their first television. For the budget minded, the Philco line of radios where among the best in quality and performance in my (and many other's) opinion .

The Philco line of radios, TVs and other home appliances came to an end in the early 1960s when the company was bought out by the Ford Motor Co. A sad ending for a great American company.

Some of Philco Firsts:

  • First in sales - and in only two years after introducing their first radio.

  • First in economy - by 1930, they sold more radios than any other brand. Philco sets performed as good as or better than other national brands, some costing much more.

  • First with Hi-Fidelity - introduced in 1935

  • First wireless remote - with the "Mystery Box" 1939

  • First with AFC in television - 1946, did not need a fine tuning control that most TV's needed well into the 1960s.

  • First all transistor, portable Television, - 1959 Battery operated, 100% American designed, engineered and built with all American parts by Philco!

More images of the 49-901

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