Wavebands - MW

Valves - unknown

Date - 1939

Status - Contributed photo

Jeremy Stevens provided this photo. Details of the history of his A1 and his restoration of it are in the Recent Repairs section.

Five Star Baby Grand

Wavebands - SW, MW

Valves - 42, 75, 78, 6A7, 80

Date - 1933

Status - Contributed photo and description

Jon Evans provided the photo and the following information:

This set dates from the heyday of Philco design, which had started in 1930 with their first "Cathedral" style of set until they moved downmarket in 1939 with cheaper sets in plain cabinets.

The set includes a somewhat crude tone control, which is simply a capacitor switched across the anode and cathode of the output valve. An unusual feature of this set is that the double diodes in the '75' valve are simply wired in parallel.

The circuit and layout of the chassis looks remarkably similar to the model 263 of 1934 but utilising a mains transformer instead of the mains dropper resistor of the AC/DC model 263. The model 263 also had a better tone control (a selection of capacitors across the output valve!) and a tuning indicator

A printed paper label attached inside the cabinet indicates that whilst the chassis, identified as a model number 260, was made in Canada, but the cabinet was made in England. The book "Radio! Radio!" goes on to say that the cabinet was made by the firm Carrington Manufacturing Co. Ltd.

A useful site for Philco related information is at Also there is a recently published book "Philco Radio, 1928-1942" by Ron Ramirez and Michael Prosise, ISBN 0-88740-547-9, though the book only seems to cover the American sets and omits anything to do with sets for the British (European?) market.

In reply to Jon's comments, paralleling the diodes in a double-diode valve is actually a fairly common arrangement in American designs, as regular readers of Radiophile will know. It seems strange that they just parallel the diodes, rather than using the second one to produce a proper delayed AGC.

The idea of an American book ignoring everything outside America doesn't surprise me. One only has to spend a few days in the States, to know that it nothing short of a major disaster outside the States will get mentioned on USA news channels such as CNN. Maybe this addresses the double-diode point - as long as their radio sets will pick up USA stations, they probably don't care about foreign stuff! :)

No offence intended to American visitors - this is just my observations!!!


Wavebands - SW, MW, LW

Valves - 78, 6A7, 78, 75, 43, 35RE

Date - 1937

Status - Contributed photo and description

Nigel Hughes provided the following description:

The Philco is my First Radio Restoration and still my favourite. It was American designed and all the components were American, but it was made in Perivale in Middlesex. The model number is nowhere to be found on the set but I assume that it is something very close to the U647, the latter being a very similar set, but having an additional short waveband. This one covers long, medium and a single short wave (6-18 Mc/s). The tuning has a geared, anti-backlash, slow motion drive and the scale is large and long, making tuning a pleasure.

The set has 6 UX-based valves including the rectifier and the line up is 78 RF amplifier, 6A7 frequency changer, 78 IF amplifier, 75 Detector and AF amplifier, 43 power pentode, 35RE rectifier. Also, the set has a tuning indicator which shows a bar of shadow against a light background at the top of the tuning dial, the bar changing in width with signal strength. The set performs very well, being particularly good on short wave, where the selectivity of the RF stage reduces image interference to a low level. If anybody knows the proper model number for this radio, would they please let me know.

If you can help Nigel please contact me and I will pass the information on to him.

One-O-Two (102)

Wavebands - MW, LW, VHF

Valves - UCC85, UCH81, UF89, UABC80, UL84, UY85

Date - 1959

Status - Contributed photo and description

These photos were kindly supplied by Steve Johnson. In his accompanying email he said:

I acquired this set in March 2003, in remarkable (almost pristine) condition. It is completely original/unrestored, but fully functional. This is surprising, as many people do not rate Philco sets as they tend to be regarded as "cheap American imports", assembled in Perivale. The view is that they were built to a cost, not a quality. So I was pleasantly surprised (and pleased) by the performance of this small set.

This later Philco set is clearly made by Thorn, since it uses the same chassis and knobs as some Ferguson, HMV and Marconiphone sets from the same period. See the Ferguson 621U. The external cabinet design does not look like their work however, so I think Philco still had some influence here. I was not previously aware of any connection between Thorn and Philco - can anyone provide more details?

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Last updated 14th April 2006.