Philco for 1932 (introduced January 1932)


The short­wave spec­trum made its first appear­ance in the Philco line in Jan­u­ary 1932. The com­pa­ny offered a three tube short­wave con­vert­er, as well as two con­soles which offered AM as well as short­wave cov­er­age.

A new, small clock with a built-in radio also debuted in Jan­u­ary 1932.

Philco began to work towards high fideli­ty repro­duc­tion with two new mod­els, the 90X and 112X. These mod­els fea­tured a speak­er which was tilt­ed at a spe­cif­ic angle, which was though to allow high­er fre­quen­cy audio waves to bet­ter reach the lis­ten­er.

Model Index

The fol­low­ing mod­els were dis­con­tin­ued: 50 Baby Grand, 50 Low­boy. All oth­er June/Fall 1931 mod­els remained in the Philco line­up.

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

4 Short­wave Con­vert­er 51 Baby Grand 51 Low­boy 90X Con­sole 112X Con­sole 470 & 490 551 Colo­nial Clock


Model 4 Shortwave Converter

Model 4 Shortwave Converter - Note: Tuning knob shown is incorrect; it should be the large "rosette" type.

Just as many oth­er man­u­fac­tur­ers were doing at the time, Philco offered its own short­wave con­vert­er at the begin­ning of 1932. This unit cov­ers three bands from 1500 kc (1.5 MC) to 19 MC. Unlike many con­vert­ers offered by oth­ers, how­ev­er, Philco's Mod­el 4 had its own pow­er sup­ply.

It oper­at­ed by being hooked up to an AM radio which was then tuned to 1000 kc. The SW con­vert­er was then turned on, and was used for tun­ing in short­wave sta­tions. It works very well.

Orig­i­nal sell­ing price: $39.50

Num­ber made: 7,029

Model 51 Baby Grand

Model 51 Baby Grand

The suc­ces­sor to the Mod­el 50 used a super­hetero­dyne cir­cuit and five tubes. Some Mod­el 50 chas­sis have been found in this style cab­i­net.

Orig­i­nal sell­ing price: $39.50

Num­ber made: 23,800

Model 51 Lowboy

Model 51 Lowboy

This cab­i­net is iden­ti­cal to the Fall 1931 Mod­el 50 Low­boy.

Orig­i­nal sell­ing price: Unknown

Num­ber made: 39,000 (Note: Fig­ure includes pro­duc­tion of Fall 1931 Mod­el 50 Low­boy)

Model 90X Console

Model 90X Console - Image courtesy of Lee Holmes.

Philco's first high-fideli­ty efforts were built into a spe­cial cab­i­net with a speak­er board known as the "Inclined Sound­ing Board" which was tilt­ed up at a spe­cif­ic angle. The intent was to aim high-fre­quen­cy sounds, which were believed to trav­el in a straight line at the time, toward the lis­ten­er.

Orig­i­nal sell­ing price: $100

Num­ber made: 5,000

Model 112X Console

Model 112X Console - Image courtesy of Clifford R. Huff.
Model 112X Console

Anoth­er "Inclined Sound­ing Board" Philco, a pio­neer­ing high-fideli­ty effort on Philco's part.

Orig­i­nal sell­ing price: $150

Num­ber made: 25,500

Models 470 & 490

Models 470 & 490 - Model 470. Image courtesy of John Sedlacek.
Models 470 & 490 - Model 490. Image courtesy of John Miller. Models 470 & 490 - Model 490.

Philco com­bined its Mod­el 4 short­wave con­vert­er with a Mod­el 70 chas­sis to pro­vide all-wave cov­er­age. The result was Mod­el 470. The Mod­el 4 chas­sis in this mod­el was mod­i­fied, remov­ing its sep­a­rate pow­er sup­ply; pow­er to both chas­sis was sup­plied from the upper Mod­el 70 chas­sis, which was spe­cial­ly mod­i­fied to han­dle the extra load.

Mod­el 490 also com­bined a mod­i­fied Mod­el 4 short­wave con­vert­er with a Mod­el 90 chas­sis.

Orig­i­nal sell­ing price: Not avail­able (470, 490)

Num­ber made: 6,000 (Note: This fig­ure includes pro­duc­tion of Mod­el 470 & 490 con­soles)

Model 551 Colonial Clock

Model 551 Colonial Clock - Image courtesy of Barry Johnson.

A table or man­tle clock with a Mod­el 51 chas­sis. A com­pact, yet very attrac­tive set.

Orig­i­nal sell­ing price: $60

Num­ber made: 8,000 (Note: Fig­ure includes pro­duc­tion of June 1932 Mod­el 52 Colo­nial Clock as well as Fall 1932 Mod­el 80 Colo­nial Clock)

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