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 Post subject: Brunswick Radio Identification Help
PostPosted: Jul Fri 20, 2018 6:11 am 
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This afternoon I saved a beautiful wooden console radio that a neighbor had left outside with his/her Friday trash. I'm hoping to identify the radio and determine whether it can or should be restored.

The cabinet is probably 4 feet tall, 2.5 feet wide, and 1.5 feet deep. It weighs about 70lbs. It has a two sliding door that's open to reveal the radio. The only indication of a brand is "Brunswock" inscribed on the metal opening for the tuning wheel. Any plates on the back are gone. All cords on the back have been removed. And the speaker is ripped.

At first I thought the whole thing was a Brunswick. But now I'm wondering if it's a Brunswick radio in a third part cabinet.

Can you help me identify it? Is it possible or worth restoring? (I'm and amateur hobbyist and generally avoid electrical repair work; I've successfully finished mechanical victrola restorations)


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 Post subject: Re: Brunswick Radio Identification Help
PostPosted: Jul Fri 20, 2018 11:17 am 
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I believe that that is a true Brunswick but not the same Brunswick that were all familiar with. I think this Brunswick was made by some very small radio manufacturer and the name itself may have been the brand name for a single department store or chain. I've seen that very same dial escutcheon bearing a slew of various generic names on it. It looks like the chassis has been updated with octal tubes and a newer speaker. The knobs don't look original. Their style arn't matched up to the time period of the rest of the radio. That radio still deserves restoration either to it's original state or with the electrical modifications.

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 Post subject: Re: Brunswick Radio Identification Help
PostPosted: Jul Fri 20, 2018 3:25 pm 
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I'm not sure who built this particular "Brunswick" but the company was originally Brunswick-Balke-Collender which made billiard tables.
They got into the phonograph and record business by 1920s and soon were contracting with RCA for radio equipment to make radio phonographs (Called Panatropes).

About 1928/29 they bought Bremer Tully in Chicago to make radios under the Brunswick name, but sold the record and radio business in 1930 to Warner Brothers which moved it all to NYC.

With Warner Brothers, Brunswick radio chassis were made by someone else and put into their cabinets. I've seen RCA and Stewart Warner made radios in Brunswick Panatropes.

Brunswick is still in business and you will see the name at most bowling alleys along with their competitor AMF.

-Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Brunswick Radio Identification Help
PostPosted: Jul Fri 20, 2018 10:43 pm 
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Thanks for the comments! Could you elaborate on what you mean by "a true Brunswick but not the same Brunswick that were all familiar with"? For what it's worth, this radio was found in NYC and probably was built/originates from there.

Also, could you elaborate on what needs to be done to get this radio back into working condition? I'm a complete novice and am trying to figure out what (if anything) I can do on my own. What type of "electrical modifications" are generally done to these radios? I'm guessing I'm not going to come across any electrical schematics to help with the process.

Thanks again!


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 Post subject: Re: Brunswick Radio Identification Help
PostPosted: Jul Fri 20, 2018 11:04 pm 
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Let's see some more pictures of the chassis (removed from the cabinet). I'm looking for 2 things:

1. Does the tuning capacitor and mechanism match up to what we see from the front? IOW, do they seem to belong together?

2. evidence of the chassis being modified to use the octal tubes (as previously suggested). I don't see this in the pictures so far.

Also, tell us what the tubes are

I'm thinking it's more likely that its a chassis out of some other set

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 Post subject: Re: Brunswick Radio Identification Help
PostPosted: Jul Fri 20, 2018 11:59 pm 
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Davenportblues wrote:
Could you elaborate on what you mean by "a true Brunswick but not the same Brunswick that were all familiar with"?


I have never seen nor have I ever heard of this particular model of Brunswick radio with an arch dial before. I looked all over the internet but I can find nothing about this set. The only Brunswicks that I'm familiar with are the models shown in this Google search.

https://www.google.com/search?q=Brunswi ... BaMrQNxJ4M:

It wasn't all that rare for another company to buy out a brand name that was no longer being used in a particular line of merchandise. I don't know if Brunswick let someone else use thier brand name for radios, or if Brunswick made this radio themselves, or if they contracted someone else to make this radio for them or if this was just a pirated brand name that some little manufacturer or retailer used.

azenithnut wrote:
About 1928/29 they bought Bremer Tully in Chicago to make radios under the Brunswick name...


Image
About 1929

azenithnut wrote:
...but sold the record and radio business in 1930 to Warner Brothers which moved it all to NYC.


Image
About 1931

The style of your set is from around 1931 to 1933, a time period in which I'm totally unfamiliar with any Brunswick radios but I'm not convinced that your set was made by the Warner Brothers or contracted by the Warner Brothers to be made for them. To me, this is a true mystery set who's history will be solved here at ARF.

The dial on your Brunswick was made by Crow of Chicago. That style/model of escutcheon was used extensively by small radio manufacturers, private brand radio manufacturers, and hobbyists. It was an escutcheon specifically designed to put whatever name or generic name on it. Here is an example which was used by the Wilson Radio Laboratories of Alexandria, Indiana.

Image

Image
1931 Wilson

The fancy trim on your dial escutcheon is slightly fancier then that of my Wilson dial escutcheon but you get the idea.

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 Post subject: Re: Brunswick Radio Identification Help
PostPosted: Jul Sat 21, 2018 12:49 am 
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The 1931 model 15 shown by Mike is made by Bremer Tully, but notice the address on the instruction manual of the model 42 Automatic Panatrope as shown on this page.

http://www.mulhollandpress.com/styled-2 ... index.html

The 42 uses the same radio chassis as the 15 :D

It will be interesting to figure out who made this particular radio. It is a beauty even if the chassis and speaker have been updated.

-Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Brunswick Radio Identification Help
PostPosted: Jul Sat 21, 2018 1:04 am 
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azenithnut wrote:
The 1931 model 15 shown by Mike is made by Bremer Tully...


OK, I'm just a little confused here. I thought you said that Brunswick sold their radio and phono business, in 1930, to Warner Brothers which moved it all to NYC. Shouldn't that make this 15 a Warner/Brunswick then since it dates from 1931?

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Last edited by Indiana Radios on Jul Sat 21, 2018 1:46 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Brunswick Radio Identification Help
PostPosted: Jul Sat 21, 2018 1:15 am 
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As I recall reading the sale took place in 1930, but production of the radios were probably already underway for the 1931 model year.
As with most model years of radios being made the previous year in time for the Christmas selling season.

I'm not familiar with any Brunswick/Bremer Tully radios made after this series.

As I am not at home, reference material is not at hand, but I bet some additional info can be found in the Douglas books.

-Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Brunswick Radio Identification Help
PostPosted: Jul Sat 21, 2018 1:46 am 
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I think I see my confusion here.

azenithnut wrote:
About 1928/29 they bought Bremer Tully in Chicago to make radios under the Brunswick name, but sold the record and radio business in 1930 to Warner Brothers which moved it all to NYC.


Wikipedia..."In 1930, Brunswick sold the control of the record company to Warner Brothers...."

Steve, I think you made the mistake of including the radio division as being sold to Warner Brothers. According to Wikipedia, it was just the record division which would make sense since Warner Brothers was a record/music company. So Bremer Tully made Brunswick's radios from 1929 to about 1931 and stopped there. The Brunswick, in question, looks like it falls just beyond that 1931 cutoff time. My guess, someone else picked up the Brunswick radio brand and ran with it for a short period of time.

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 Post subject: Re: Brunswick Radio Identification Help
PostPosted: Jul Sat 21, 2018 2:04 am 
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Here on page 90 of Alan Douglas' book "Radio Manufacturers of the 1920s" Vol 1

-Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Brunswick Radio Identification Help
PostPosted: Jul Sat 21, 2018 5:02 pm 
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What? No further comment? :D

The info from Alan Douglas says that "Warners discontinued production within a few years".
The Brunswicks I recall made by Bremer Tully include the models shown in this ad.
(Which also says a division of Warner Brothers)

These had a very beefy chassis with a bizarre variable capacitor assembly.
Built like the proverbial "Brick Out House"

I don't think I recall seeing Brunswick/Bremer Tully radios after this.

The radio Davenportblues posted does not look like anything Bremer Tully would make.
It certainly looks to be just after the models shown in this ad.

Perhaps you're right and another company used the name?

I think its worth further research :D

-Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Brunswick Radio Identification Help
PostPosted: Jul Sat 21, 2018 5:09 pm 
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Just tired of trying to figure it all out. I'll just go along with whatever you say.

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 Post subject: Re: Brunswick Radio Identification Help
PostPosted: Jul Sat 21, 2018 5:15 pm 
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Or maybe I shouldn't post unless I'm at home with info at hand to back up my statements…

-Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Brunswick Radio Identification Help
PostPosted: Jul Sat 21, 2018 5:54 pm 
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Looking in the Mallory Radio Encyclopedia, it seems the next step of the "Brunswick" name was with Mersman Bros.

Trying to find info, I ran across this website.

http://www.antiquetrader.com/featured/m ... furniture/

J. B. Mersman started making furniture in Ottoville Ohio after moving sawmill operations from Indiana around Angola and Kendallville.
Later moving to Celina Ohio, later transferring the business to his sons Edward and Walter.

Interesting… it does mention radio cabinets.

Is there any "Mersman" markings inside the cabinet? I wonder if this is an early Mersman offering?

-Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Brunswick Radio Identification Help
PostPosted: Jul Sat 21, 2018 7:16 pm 
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Hmm, looking closer at the images once downloaded (I hate sideways images and the EXIF orientation BS) I see it possibly says "Bronswick"?

There is a "Bronswick" in the misc section of Riders vol 4.
I remember now as it has an odd AVC setup.
This puts it in the right time frame.

Still, who actually made this thing?

http://www.nostalgiaair.org/pagesbymode ... 002460.pdf

-Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Brunswick Radio Identification Help
PostPosted: Jul Sat 21, 2018 7:29 pm 
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Good eye, Steve. Yup, I see it to. Definitely an O instead of a U. Well that changes everything.

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 Post subject: Re: Brunswick Radio Identification Help
PostPosted: Jul Sat 21, 2018 11:47 pm 
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Riders has the schematic under Brunswick Balke Collendar, perhaps the bezel was misspelled and rather than change the tooling the company created the "Bronswick" model?

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 Post subject: Re: Brunswick Radio Identification Help
PostPosted: Jul Sat 21, 2018 11:49 pm 
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Nostalgia Air included it in the Brunswick Balke Collender section, but it is actually in the "Misc" section at the very back of Volume 4 of Riders.

-Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Brunswick Radio Identification Help
PostPosted: Jul Sun 22, 2018 12:24 am 
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I'll add a little bit to this mystery. There was an article in the Feb '37 issue of The Rotarian that talked about bootlegged products. One of the parts of the article was about bootlegged radios constructed from various bankrupt manufacturers parts. The name "Bronswick" was mentioned in the article.

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