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 Post subject: ugliest console?
PostPosted: Nov Sat 09, 2013 8:33 pm 
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I realize it's all personal taste - so there are no wrong answers, but what do you consider the ugliest console?

I vote for the Zenith 6-D-360 (off the top of my head, may be off on the numbers). A small slant-front console. Also the 4-K-658. Both most be pretty rare, however. Perhaps rarer than the 1000Z?


I enjoy consoles a lot - even more than tabletops - although I like most all pre-war radios. A question about the most beautiful console would be a long thread, as there are so many.

Travis


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 Post subject: Re: ugliest console?
PostPosted: Nov Sat 09, 2013 11:03 pm 
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This Stromberg Carlson 2151, while probably not the ugliest radio, is certainly not the most esthetically pleasing looking radio that there is.

I find nothing attractive about thick slabs of wood slapped together like some big shipping crate with brass strips crisscrossing over the speaker and a dial with numbers so large that they might as well be in braille. Worse, yet, is when the radio's dial, escutcheon, faceplate, and knobs are all in that Brown and Gold color combination that was ever so popular after the war. Brown and Gold isn't exactly the happiest or the cheeriest color combination that I can think of, especially when matched up with a clunky, boxy, minimalistic styled cabinet with big huge brass handles that look like a Pilgrim's belt buckle. Unfortunately, so many of the post war console radios tend to look like this.

Thankfully, there are some people who do like these types of postwar radios and I say that's great, knock your socks off and collect all you want. I'll even give the ones I come across for free. As for myself, I think I'll just stick to the really classic looking console sets of the 20s and 30s.

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Last edited by Indiana Radios on Nov Sun 10, 2013 3:29 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: ugliest console?
PostPosted: Nov Sat 09, 2013 11:51 pm 
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Well one can't say the same (ugly) about your radios. The sets are lovely and the pictures are magnificent. Your pages are a treasure.

Travis


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 Post subject: Re: ugliest console?
PostPosted: Nov Sun 10, 2013 12:38 am 
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I once bought a Bendix console/chairside that looked similar in Florida only because it was 'cheap' at $40. Money thrown away IMO.

Lesson learned. Buy nice looking stuff, not just cheap stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: ugliest console?
PostPosted: Nov Sun 10, 2013 12:51 am 
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The cabinet this Meissner 9-1093 was installed in is about as plain as it gets. Amazing for something around 1950, it is a pressed particle-board cabinet.
The two chassis have a total of 23 tubes driving a 15" Jensen coaxial speaker, so it was worth getting. I just don't know if I really want to keep it in this cabinet.

I am pretty certain the Meissner and cabinet were bought separately and put together by the owner, or a dealer. Just look at how the dial opening was cutout?

-Steve


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meissner9-2093-7f.jpg
meissner9-2093-7f.jpg [ 105.44 KiB | Viewed 1311 times ]
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dial-hole.jpg [ 66.11 KiB | Viewed 1311 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: ugliest console?
PostPosted: Nov Sun 10, 2013 1:01 am 
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Yikes, even though it had an escutcheon to cover it, that looks like woodworking I'd do. Perhaps they were like Midwest and one had the option of using another cabinet.

Have you ever come across the two models I mentioned in my first post, Steve?


Last edited by Midwest39 on Nov Sun 10, 2013 1:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: ugliest console?
PostPosted: Nov Sun 10, 2013 1:05 am 
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Well, according to the Meissner catalog, the speaker and cabinet were not included.

http://radiorestorer.com/meiscat.PDF

Thanks Jeremy for hosting this catalog!

-Steve

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 Post subject: Re: ugliest console?
PostPosted: Nov Sun 10, 2013 1:49 am 
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Location: Pocasset, Cape Cod, MA
There was a 1942 auto-radio-in-a-console pictured here not long ago that might qualify, though those sets do have some technical interest. My own vote would go to the Crosley repwood horrors.


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 Post subject: Re: ugliest console?
PostPosted: Nov Sun 10, 2013 1:54 am 
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How about a Westinghouse WR 338
and it hasn't been cut down.
Ed


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 Post subject: Re: ugliest console?
PostPosted: Nov Sun 10, 2013 2:44 am 
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Midwest39 wrote:
Well one can't say the same (ugly) about your radios. The sets are lovely and the pictures are magnificent. Your pages are a treasure. Travis


Well, I thank you very much for the kind comment. Say, your ARF ID: "Midwest39" grabbed my attention because I just so happen to be listening to a 1939 Midwest console radio as I'm typing this response. It's a 17-39 which I acquired last year and I've just now finished restoring the electronics. I've been running it every day for the past week to make sure that there's no bugs or glitches and, so far, it's working like a charm. Even the electric push button tuning, when you press a button, the needle just flies across the dial to the desired station. It's sound is just like that of a late 30s Zenith console, just big and boomy.

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My 1939 Midwest 17-39 console radio.

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 Post subject: Re: ugliest console?
PostPosted: Nov Sun 10, 2013 2:48 am 
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Location: Newburyport, MA. USA
I'll second Travis' mention of 4-K-658, it's just sad looking with that dial. What makes it such a strong contender for ugliest is that it's from the classic prewar era by a company known for nicely designed consoles. And its a 4 tube console ! yes, it must be rare - surely most were scrapped without a second thought. I've never seen one in person in 20 years of going to shows. Whats strange is, I actually want one because it's the antithesis of the mighty Zenith which are so sought after....an outcast if you will.

Radio Museum image;
http://www.radiomuseum.org/images/radio ... 709856.jpg


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 Post subject: Re: ugliest console?
PostPosted: Nov Sun 10, 2013 1:54 pm 
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Here is a post war Meissner ad. This cabinet looks pretty nice and I would call it in the moderne style

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 Post subject: Re: ugliest console?
PostPosted: Nov Sun 10, 2013 2:22 pm 
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Indiana Radios wrote:
Midwest39 wrote:
Well one can't say the same (ugly) about your radios. The sets are lovely and the pictures are magnificent. Your pages are a treasure. Travis


Well, I thank you very much for the kind comment. Say, your ARF ID: "Midwest39" grabbed my attention because I just so happen to be listening to a 1939 Midwest console radio as I'm typing this response. It's a 17-39 which I acquired last year and I've just now finished restoring the electronics. I've been running it every day for the past week to make sure that there's no bugs or glitches and, so far, it's working like a charm. Even the electric push button tuning, when you press a button, the needle just flies across the dial to the desired station. It's sound is just like that of a late 30s Zenith console, just big and boomy.

Image
My 1939 Midwest 17-39 console radio.


Good looking set Mike, I dont remember seeing one before. Must be pretty scarce

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 Post subject: Re: ugliest console?
PostPosted: Nov Sun 10, 2013 2:56 pm 
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Bill,

I consider the 1940 models to be the scarcest, closely followed by the 1939 models and then the 1938 models though I've seen a few 38 models pop up on Ebay and at radio swap meets over the years. All the other model years (34, 35, 36, 37, 41, 42, 46, 47, etc.) seem to be fairly abundant. It took me about 20 years of being on the lookout for a 39 model until last year when I finally found this one in nice condition.

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 Post subject: Re: ugliest console?
PostPosted: Nov Tue 12, 2013 6:00 am 
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Ed Jacobs wrote:
How about a Westinghouse WR 338
and it hasn't been cut down.
Ed


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Where's the speaker?


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 Post subject: Re: ugliest console?
PostPosted: Nov Tue 12, 2013 6:31 am 
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It's actually a chairside, so the speaker's on the end. This was apparently Westinghouse's answer to having to lean over the side of the chair to tune the radio... put the dial up high enough that you could see it directly. But then I guess you have to reach up to ear-height to set down your drink and find the ashtray.

Which, judging by the top of the one Ed pictured, is a serious issue! ;-)

http://www.radiomuseum.org/r/westinghou_wr338.html

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 Post subject: Re: ugliest console?
PostPosted: Nov Tue 12, 2013 6:54 am 
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What year is your Midwest console Rodney? I seem to recall a similar year to the one Bruce has referenced.

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Last edited by LedHed on Nov Tue 12, 2013 5:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: ugliest console?
PostPosted: Nov Tue 12, 2013 7:18 am 
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Yup, mine is the 1940 Midwest A-17. A bit of a snoozer cabinet, but neat radio chassis.
Attachment:
Midwest_A17.jpg
Midwest_A17.jpg [ 32.08 KiB | Viewed 950 times ]


Alright, here's my candidate for the ugliest console. At least the ugliest I've seen by far!

Defiant MSH-942 AC, 9-tube console (8-tube chassis + eye tube). Dial face about the size of a baseball diamond. One knob and 20 pushbuttons. Squat little slant-front cabinet, probably about 16 inches deep at the bottom, and only 11 inches deep at the top. Its trapezoidal shape doesn't really come out in my picture because of the perspective, but it truly makes it look pear-bottomed. I was offered this a couple weeks ago for free, and I had no trouble replying smoothly, "Let me think about it..." Not without it's charms though... It's got 5 bands (LW, MW, and 3 SW), and I do believe it has a motor to drive to the presets.

It's not listed in RMorg, but it seems to be the same chassis as this table radio:
http://www.radiomuseum.org/r/co_op_msh938ac.html

Sorry the pics are so bad... cell phone pics in a dimly-lit basement.

-Rodney


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Defiant_MSH942AC_02.jpg
Defiant_MSH942AC_02.jpg [ 88.05 KiB | Viewed 950 times ]
Defiant_MSH942AC_04.jpg
Defiant_MSH942AC_04.jpg [ 71.16 KiB | Viewed 950 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: ugliest console?
PostPosted: Nov Tue 12, 2013 12:36 pm 
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I am surprised you guys would actually post pictures of your Midwest consoles in an "Ugliest Console" thread! :lol: :wink:

-Steve

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 Post subject: Re: ugliest console?
PostPosted: Nov Tue 12, 2013 4:52 pm 
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In my opinion, it's hard to pick an "ugliest" console, but the postwar era would win hands down. Most consoles made between 1946 and about 1952 are homely.

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