Philco for 1942 (introduced January 1942)


By Jan­u­ary 1942, Amer­i­ca was offi­cial­ly involved in World War II, Pearl Har­bor hav­ing been attacked by the Japan­ese less than a month ear­li­er. With­in a few months, Philco's pro­duc­tion lines would con­vert com­plete­ly to war work for the U.S. Gov­ern­ment.

But this did not stop Philco from adding nine new mod­els to its 1942 line­up. Two of the new mod­els were recy­cled car radios, con­vert­ed to AC, installed in wood­en cab­i­nets and shipped out the door to get rid of oth­er­wise unus­able car radio inven­to­ry (auto­mo­bile man­u­fac­tur­ers were also con­vert­ing to war work, leav­ing new car radios with no new cars to be installed into).

It would be four years before Philco pro­duced any more new radios for civil­ian use.

Model Index

All June 1941 mod­els con­tin­ued in the Philco line­up; none were dis­con­tin­ued until 100% con­ver­sion to war work for the dura­tion (approx. March 1942).

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

Bat­tery-oper­at­ed Farm Set


Elec­tric (AC) Mod­els

A-361 A-801

Philco Trop­ic Mod­els

42-720T, 42-721T & 42-722T A-707

Philco Tran­si­tone Mod­els

42-PT3 42-PT96


Battery-operated Farm Set

Model 42-131T

Model 42-131T - Image used with permission.
Model 42-131T

The 42-131T is elec­tri­cal­ly iden­ti­cal to the 42-121CB. It uses four tubes and tunes the AM band only.

Orig­i­nal sell­ing price: $24.95

Num­ber made: 10,550

Electric (AC) Models

Model A-361

Model A-361 - Image courtesy of Shiloh Reed.

One of two Philco home sets to use con­vert­ed Philco car radio chas­sis. The heart of the A-361 was an F-1942 (Ford) AM receiv­er, con­vert­ed to oper­ate on AC and placed in a medi­um size con­sole cab­i­net.

Orig­i­nal sell­ing price: Unknown

Num­ber made: 35,800

Model A-801

Model A-801 - Image courtesy of Lee Holmes.
Model A-801 - Image courtesy of Lee Holmes.

This is Philco's oth­er con­vert­ed car radio, using a C-1908 (Chrysler) auto radio chas­sis, changed to AC oper­a­tion and installed in a chair­side cab­i­net that is either dec­o­ra­tive or unat­trac­tive, depend­ing on your point of view.

Orig­i­nal sell­ing price: Unknown

Num­ber made: Unknown

Philco Tropic Models

Models 42-720T, 42-721T & 42-722T

Models 42-720T, 42-721T & 42-722T

These three new export mod­els shared cab­i­nets and fre­quen­cy cov­er­age (540-1600 kc, 3.0-9.3 mc, 9.3-12 mc & 12-22 mc). It is known that mod­el 42-720 used five tubes and oper­at­ed on 115 volts AC. The num­ber of tubes and type of pow­er used by the oth­er two is not known at this time.

Orig­i­nal sell­ing price: Unknown

Num­ber made: 3,570 (Note: Fig­ure includes pro­duc­tion of mod­els 42-720T, 42-721T & 42-722T)

Model A-707

Model A-707
Model A-707

This set used the same photofin­ished cab­i­net as the new 42-PT3 (see below), but was capa­ble of receiv­ing AM and short­wave from 2.3 to 7.5 mc and 7 to 22 mc. It used five tubes (plus a bal­last) and could oper­ate from 115 or 230 volts, AC or DC.

The chas­sis is the same as the June 1941 mod­el 42-706.

Orig­i­nal sell­ing price: Unknown

Num­ber made: 10,100

Philco Transitone Models

Model 42-PT3

Model 42-PT3 - Image courtesy of Thomas Spiegle.

As with mod­el A-707 above, the new 42-PT3 fea­tured a cab­i­net fin­ished entire­ly in photofin­ish; under­neath that fan­cy-look­ing tiger striped pat­tern is a very plain white wood.

The 42-PT3 uses the same chas­sis as the June 1941 42-PT2.

Orig­i­nal sell­ing price: $22.95

Num­ber made: 42,465

Model 42-PT96

Model 42-PT96

The oth­er new mid-sea­son Tran­si­tone, it also had a photofin­ished cab­i­net hous­ing a chas­sis iden­ti­cal to the June 1941 mod­el 42-PT91.

Orig­i­nal sell­ing price: $18.95

Num­ber made: 34,360

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