Zenith Radio Corp. and FM
Zenith model 103 Ultra
1933 Zenith radios 1932-1934 is my favorite time period of Zenith radios.
Zenith Speaker manufacturer info An attept to solve the manufacturer puzzle of prewar Zeniths.
First, I want to apologize for the poor quality of some of these images. They were taken with either an old Kodak
Ektralite 110 camera or a low cost 35 mm camera and scanned. Over time, I will be replacing them with better
images taken with my Olympus C3030 digital camera. Yes, the Stratosphere will be back. I'm currently editing a new page for it.
Zenith model 40A (1928)
I suppose I'm going to start off with a bang here as this is the physically largest Zenith radio in my collection.
This model came about in 1928 and sold for $850. It was by far one of the most beautiful models that Zenith ever made
with its "Italian Renaissance" cabinet style. It has a 10 tube TRF circuit using type 27, 26, 10 and 81 type
tubes. It also has a phonograph within a drawer in the center of the cabinet. This was one of the first models to use
Automatic tuning with 9 preset levers within the door to the right of the dial. This model also contains a directional
loop antenna which is rotated by a lever underneath the speaker
About the speaker, this model, as well as other Zenith models of the time, used a Peerless brand electromagnetic speaker
which is unusual because the voice coil in these speakers consisted of ONE TURN! It was a flat metal strip that made one turn
and connected through two straps which acted as the spider to the output transformer. The transformer also had a one turn
secondary winding. So, what would the impedance be? Certainly not anywhere near 8 ohms! Probably .1 ohm?
Here are a few other pictures of this huge set. It took me and 3 other men to move this radio.
Looking down onto the phonograph
Looking into the back of the set
view with the cane backs in place
Zenith model 619 (1933)
This is probably my favourite radio of my entire collection. It was within the "Top-of-the-Line" of the 1933
model line-up. It is a 12 tube chassis using 56, 57, 58, 59 and 80 type tubes. This radio, as well as a few others with
the same chassis used 12" Jensen brand speakers wheras most of the rest of the 1933 console line used 10" or 8" Utah brand
One note about this radio. The cabinet was a left-over from the previous year. It was originally made to house the 14 tube
model 103. Evidently, they had plenty left over so they simply "grafted" a newer chassis into the cabinet to use
them up. The 103 had Automatic tuning behind the door on the right, however, the position the newer chassis had to be in
prevented the Automatic mechanism from being installed, so they simply left it out :(
The other models with this chassis had Automatic tuning installed.
Here are a few more pictures of this radio:
Here is the door where the Automatic mechanism would have been
A close-up of the dial
View of the back
close-up of the chassis
Close-up of the speakers
Zenith model 92 (1932)
This is one of the first Zeniths to use the Superheterodyne circuit which Zenith aquired a license for in 1931.
Before this, most Superhets were made almost exclusively by RCA.
It has a 10 tube chassis using type 35, 24A, 27, 45 and 80 tubes. The dial is a bit unusual with its huge smile
and has a tuning meter above it.
I actually purchased this radio by auction at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn Michigan on October 7, 1995.
I was surprised to walk away with this beauty for only $300! I believe the reason was that it sold within 20
minutes of the auctions beginning. Therefore, everyone was "holding off" untill the BIG dollar radios
sold (which by the way, a very early Marconi radio sold for over $40,000 not long after I bought my Zenith).
I am very happy to be able to claim a radio that came from the Ford Museum!
I need to take some pictures of the chassis of this set.
Zenith Aviatrix model 767 (1934)
This is the infamous Aviatrix model which is prized for its "Art-Deco" style. It has a 9 tube chassis
using type 56, 57, 58, 59 and 80 tubes. I also have the model 777 with 12 tubes in the same cabinet. It uses
two 8" Utah brand speakers and has a respectable sound. I bought this radio at an estate auction back in June
of 1987. Long before I knew of its popularity (It may not have been as sought after in 1987). It was the first
Zenith I aquired that used "Shadow tuning indicator" which was also used by Philco and several other
This is a list of the Zenith radios in my collection. It may become this page one day with a link to each and every one, but that is a rather ambitious undertaking.
More to come