Philco for 1931 (introduced January 1931, with some changes in March 1931)

Overview

For the new year of 1931, many changes were made to the Philco line­up. Mod­el 41 and the Con­cert Grand were dis­con­tin­ued. Most ver­sions of Mod­els 30 and 77 remained in the line except for the Mod­el 30 high­boy and the Mod­el 77 table mod­el. Some changes were made to the cathe­dral and con­sole ver­sions of the Mod­el 20. Mod­els 96 and 296 also remained avail­able.

The big news in the New Year of 1931 was Super­hetero­dyne. The Super­hetero­dyne cir­cuit had been devel­oped by one of radio's great­est inven­tors, Major Edwin Howard Arm­strong. Through­out the 1920s, the Radio Cor­po­ra­tion of Amer­i­ca (RCA) had com­plete con­trol over the super­hetero­dyne patent, refus­ing to license oth­er man­u­fac­tur­ers to use this supe­ri­or cir­cuit. Fol­low­ing a 1930 law­suit, how­ev­er, RCA began to license oth­er radio mak­ers to use the cir­cuit.

Philco's first super­hetero­dyne, Mod­el 111, was intro­duced to the pub­lic in Jan­u­ary 1931. With 11 tubes, AVC and a local-dis­tance switch, this was tru­ly a super-deluxe set in its time; espe­cial­ly the Mod­el 211 radio-phono­graph ver­sion with its Cape­hart auto­mat­ic record chang­er.

Speak­ing of radio-phono­graphs, Philco added anoth­er radio-phono­graph com­bi­na­tion on the low­er end of the line­up, using the Mod­el 20 chas­sis.

In March 1931, Mod­el 20 was dis­con­tin­ued and replaced with Mod­el 21, which con­sist­ed of a slight­ly revised chas­sis using two Type 45 out­put tubes in place of the 71A tubes used in Mod­el 20. The new set was avail­able in a com­plete­ly new Baby Grand cab­i­net which was the fore­run­ner of the pop­u­lar Mod­el 70 and 90 Baby Grand mod­els which would fol­low a few months lat­er. Philco also intro­duced a new DC-only set, Mod­el 46, which was sim­i­lar in cir­cuit­ry to Mod­el 20 and also housed in the new Baby Grand cab­i­net.

Model Index

The fol­low­ing 1930 mod­els were dis­con­tin­ued: 20 Baby Grand, 20 Con­sole, 30 High­boy, 77 Con­sole, Con­cert Grand. Mod­el 96 and Mod­el 30 low­boy remained in the Philco line­up.

Click on a thumb­nail to see infor­ma­tion and pho­tos for each mod­el:

Jan­u­ary 1931

20 Revised Baby Grand Con­sole (20) 111 Low­boy 111 High­boy 211 Radio-Phono­graph 220 Radio-Phono­graph (Ear­ly ver­sion) 220 Radio-Phono­graph (Late ver­sion)

March 1931

Baby Grand (21 & 46) Baby Grand Con­sole (21 & 46)

Models

January 1931

Model 20 Revised

Model 20 Revised
Model 20 Revised - Image courtesy of Nigel Featherston. Model 20 Revised - Baby grand table (first version). Model 20 Revised - Baby grand table (second version).

A quilt­ed maple front arch, columns on either side of the low­er front pan­el, and dif­fer­ent bot­tom mold­ing were added to the basic Baby Grand cab­i­net, giv­ing it a classier appear­ance at no increase in price. This mod­el is wide­ly known among col­lec­tors today as the Mod­el 20 Deluxe.

Orig­i­nal sell­ing price: $49.50

Num­ber made: 343,903 (Note: This fig­ure includes August 1930 Mod­el 20 Orig­i­nal or Plain)


Baby Grand Console (Model 20)

Baby Grand Console (Model 20) - Image courtesy of Mike Nudelman.

A revi­sion of the orig­i­nal, adding a fan­cy cutout grille in place of the plain grille open­ing of the ear­ly ver­sion.

Orig­i­nal sell­ing price: $69.50

Num­ber made: 16,500 (Note: Fig­ure includes pro­duc­tion of March 1931 Mod­el 21 & 46 con­soles)


Model 111 Lowboy

Model 111 Lowboy - Note: The original grille cloth used was the "falling leaves" pattern as may be seen on the June 1930 page. However, as this pattern is not being reproduced, the 70/90 pattern shown here is a good substitute.

The entry-lev­el Super­hetero­dyne-Plus was housed in the June 1930 Low­boy cab­i­net.

Orig­i­nal sell­ing price: Unknown

Num­ber made: 130,504 (Note: Fig­ure includes pro­duc­tion of June 1930 Mod­els 30, 41, 77 & 96 low­boys)


Model 111 Highboy

Model 111 Highboy
Model 111 Highboy

A new High­boy was designed for the 111. Dou­ble doors make their return on a Philco high­boy for the first time since late 1929-ear­ly 1930.

Orig­i­nal sell­ing price: $155

Num­ber made: 23,440


Model 211 Radio-Phonograph

Model 211 Radio-Phonograph - Model 211, closed.
Model 211 Radio-Phonograph - Model 211, open. Model 211 Radio-Phonograph - Model 211 record changer.

The suc­ces­sor to the Con­cert Grand was cheap­er than the Grand but still offered more for the mon­ey, includ­ing the new 11-tube Super­hetero­dyne-Plus chas­sis and a Cape­hart auto­mat­ic record chang­er. This mod­el sold much bet­ter than the Con­cert Grand, yet is near­ly as hard to find today as is the Grand.

Orig­i­nal sell­ing price: $272

Num­ber made: 2,780


Model 220 Radio-Phonograph (Early version)

Model 220 Radio-Phonograph (Early version)

A "Baby Grand Com­bi­na­tion" was made by cou­pling a sin­gle play 78 rpm phono­graph with a Mod­el 20 chas­sis in a small­ish cab­i­net.

Orig­i­nal sell­ing price: $99.50

Num­ber made: 2,000


Model 220 Radio-Phonograph (Late version)

Model 220 Radio-Phonograph (Late version) - Image courtesy of Sigurjón Björnsson.

The ear­ly 220 radio-phono­graph was only in pro­duc­tion for 39 days before being replaced by this ver­sion. While more exam­ples of the new­er 220 were pro­duced, it is also dif­fi­cult to find.

Orig­i­nal sell­ing price: $99.50

Num­ber made: 11,500


March 1931

Baby Grand (Models 21 & 46)

Baby Grand (Models 21 & 46) - Model 21 Baby Grand shown; Model 46 Baby Grand is identical in appearance. Image courtesy of Ron Boucher.
Baby Grand (Models 21 & 46) - Model 21B.

The first ver­sion of the clas­sic Baby Grand style of cab­i­net, which is high­ly rec­og­nized and sought after.

Mod­el 21 was a revi­sion of Mod­el 20; it used Type 45 out­put tubes instead of the 71A audio out­put tubes used in Mod­el 20. How­ev­er, very ear­ly pro­duc­tion sets using the new 21 cab­i­net used Mod­el 20 chas­sis.

Mod­el 46 was designed to oper­ate on 110 volts, direct cur­rent (DC) only.

Orig­i­nal sell­ing price: $49.50 (Mod­el 21), $60.95 (Mod­el 46)

Num­ber made: 288,620 (Note: Fig­ure includes pro­duc­tion of June 1931 Mod­els 35 & 70 Baby Grands, as well as the ear­ly ver­sion of Fall 1931 Mod­el 50 Baby Grand)


Baby Grand Console (Models 21 & 46)

Baby Grand Console (Models 21 & 46) - Model 20 Lowboy shown. Image courtesy of Mike Nudelman.

Illus­tra­tion is rep­re­sen­ta­tive of both Mod­els 21 and 46 con­soles, as both are iden­ti­cal in appear­ance.

The Mod­el 20 chas­sis and speak­er was also used in this very com­pact floor mod­el cab­i­net, which made a "fur­ni­ture" mod­el radio afford­able.

Orig­i­nal sell­ing price: $69.50 (Mod­els 21 & 46)

Num­ber made: 70,000 (Note: Fig­ure includes pro­duc­tion of Jan­u­ary 1931 Mod­el 20 Con­sole)


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