Zenith Radios

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 speakers.

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 It was originally made to house the 14 tube model 103.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 brands.
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