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 Post subject: Wells Gardner Airline Radio
PostPosted: Dec Mon 24, 2007 4:21 am 
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Joined: Dec Mon 24, 2007 4:10 am
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Location: Tennessee
I just got a Montgomery-Ward floor model radio with the model no. WG-24 Series A-3. The cabinet is pretty rough, but the console was intact and looked to be in fairly good shape. It even had a set of buttons. I have never seen a radio like this one. It has a red dial face with two rows of 3 buttons on each side of the dial. The words, "East, Central and West are on each side also. The console has a "magic eye" It is really heavy with what looks like a 12" speaker in the bottom. Can anyone help me with further info. I read the postings about Wells Gardner radios, but there was only a brief mention of a WG 24. If anyone has a picture, that would be great. Thanks


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Dec Mon 24, 2007 5:09 am 
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If it's a Wells-Gardner A-3 chassis, the schematic and other info can be found here on Nostalgia Air: http://www.nostalgiaair.org/Resources/520/M0023520.htm

Looks like a 13 tube set with PP 6L6 output tubes, and a tuning eye. Most likely around a 1938 model.

In order to find additional information or a photo, a Wards Airline model number will be needed. Probably starts with 62-.

The only Airline model number I can find which matches the tube lineup of the Wells-Gardner A-3 13 tube chassis is the model 62-433, but there isn't any further info shown.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Dec Mon 24, 2007 8:06 am 
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Location: 253 Blanche St. Plymouth, MI USA
I believe you have a 13 tube "Movie Dial" set. I have one of those for parts right or restoration by a very determined woodworker/restorer as this one got munched by UPS quiet well. That set is from 1938. the dial should be rectangular with a grey screen in the middle, right?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Dec Mon 24, 2007 4:09 pm 
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Thanks for the info. I believe that it has the type dial that you described. Is this a fairly rare radio. I can't find a picture of one anywhere.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Dec Tue 25, 2007 2:51 am 
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Location: British Columbia
The movie dial sets were the backbone of the Ward's Airline sets from 1937-38. I don't know about your particular model but movie dial sets in themselves aren't especially rare, probably because Wells Gardener built them so well.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Dec Tue 25, 2007 2:54 am 
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Anything with 13 tubes is going to be rare, it would have been one of the higher end sets, and thus more expensive, and many fewer would have been made.

Peter


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Dec Tue 25, 2007 5:15 am 
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Peter wrote:
Anything with 13 tubes is going to be rare, it would have been one of the higher end sets, and thus more expensive, and many fewer would have been made.

Peter


Anything? There are quite a few 10 tube and higher RCAs and Philcos around, the Philco 16 and 116s spring to mind. With the Airlines being a private label radio they likely would have been less expensive then a name brand equivailent, doesn't mean that they are any more common. However I have also run across some rather rare low end radios, four tube sets were often rarer then 5 or 6 tube ones, sometimes 8 tubers. One of the most common radios in Canada, or circuit/chassis designs was from 1940-46 and used seven tubes. It all depends on how expensive the set was, and how much more it cost then it's lesser siblings, chances are if the price gap between the 13 tuber and the 9 or 10 tuber was small they likely would have sold more then they otherwise would have.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Dec Tue 25, 2007 5:55 am 
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Location: Ga
Philco sold a lot of the 37/38-116's even though they were much more expensive than the 37-9/10/11 and 38-1/2 versions. So you were looking at a much more expensive 15 tube radio compared to a mid-priced 10-12 tube model. I guess even in the late 30's if the bell's and whistles were great enough people would spend the extra bucks, and sometimes a bunch of extra bucks.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Dec Tue 25, 2007 8:36 am 
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Location: Oak Creek, WI USA
It's been my experience that the 10 and 11 tube sets of the late 30s are at the upper bounds of "common". Adding those two tubes to make 12 and 13 tube sets makes for a much less frequently seen set. Of course there are many that can't be called rare but as a rule 12+ tube sets had much less production than the 11-tube sets.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Dec Tue 25, 2007 6:34 pm 
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Location: Northport wa. USA.
Sound like a movie dial to me. First off is caution about touching or cleaning the film drum. It is best just to leave alone. With extreme care, a soft artist brush you could dust it off very lightly. At the present time I know no one making reproductions of these dials, and they vary between models with different frequency coverage. This set I believe may have electric tuning. The chassis is probably chromed. On the deluxe 13 tube sets 2 speakers were used. If you check (search) the photo gallery here you may find the model number. Also check the Radio Attic for pictures. The 62-### number may be stamped into the wood on the cabinet back edge.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Dec Tue 25, 2007 7:12 pm 
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Location: Moline Illinois
Jim Berg wrote:
On the deluxe 13 tube sets 2 speakers were used......

Jim is right, the very detailed schematics mention in the fine print the A3 used 1 speaker and the A6 used 2. 20 thumping watts of output too. I personally think the Wells-Gardners are much better designed performers than the similar Sears Silvertones but that's just my opinion. Usually the Wards cabinets are small and rather plain to look at, as a tradeoff compared to the Sears ones, which were nicer to look at.

BTW-The 13 tube mentioned above that was smashed was the one I had bought and it was fork-lift speared in shipping. It's a model 62-403 and was before it's damage - a wonderful survivor console. A real shame on that one.

The Movie dial Airlines (AKA Wells-Gardner) do seem to be chrome plated. I have a small one in Moline that is chrome plated but not sure of the specific model nor the tube count but I seem to remember it was less than 13 tubes, perhaps 10 ?

Here's a photo of mine, behind it are 2 - 12 tube Zeniths for a size comparison:

Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Dec Tue 25, 2007 9:35 pm 
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Location: Wells, ME and Scottsdale, AZ
So here's a mystery. I have a chassis (no cabinet) that is clearly labelled W.G.-24. It has only 7 tubes, and a control layout that is nowhere near the layout discussed above. For quite a while, I doubted that it was Wells-Gardener, but I was assured in 2002 by Bonita Lee Geniac that it is, indeed, W-G. Riders doesn't list a WG-24, but she (he?) pointed out that the tube layout is exactly the same as a WG-72 (Riders 1-3), although the tube list is not particularly similar.

So what gives? The WG-24 referred to in this thread is in no way similar to the WG-24 that I have. Did WG reuse the model number? (Bigger picture of label is available.)

Image

Bill


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Dec Wed 26, 2007 6:01 am 
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Location: Beaver Falls, PA. USA
It's possible that WG24 was a license number.

Tim KA3JRT


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