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 Post subject: Where are all the MIDWEST radios from the 30's ??
PostPosted: Apr Sun 13, 2008 9:19 pm 
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Location: Moline Illinois
I hope this thread draws some good discussion.

In my daily searches on that auction site, I start out looking for any EH Scott radios that are for sale. Usually there are between 3-5 pre war Scott consoles or sets w/o cabinets.

According to my estimates AND a note to me from Kent King, noted Scott historian, EH Scott probably produced 2500-3000 radios per year in the mid 30's. (Thats about 50-60 per week)

Then I hop over and search for both Midwests and McMurdo Silvers. I would expect there to be very few MS's for sale but Midwest MUST have produced and sold many times the number of Scotts. Usually there are either NONE or sometimes only 1 Midwest for sale

Where are all the Midwests ? Surely they can't all be in Mike Simpson's collection? (a great Midwest museum to visit BTW).

I have 3 pre-war and 2 post war ones but thats it. Where did they all go ??

Bruce


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Sun 13, 2008 10:29 pm 
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Joined: Jun Mon 11, 2007 12:27 am
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Location: Atlanta
I happen to know a HH-7, ('35 or '36) is going to be listed on e-bay this evening.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Sun 13, 2008 10:43 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 2777
Location: Niantic, CT , USA
I Have a 16-35 chassis and Magnavox speaker.
I would love to find a cabinet.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Sun 13, 2008 11:35 pm 
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Location: Portland, TX, US
I have an 18-37 chassis in a W-18 cabinet. It is a good performer.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Sun 13, 2008 11:42 pm 
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Location: Indy
I have three. They are certainly not common.

Peter


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Sun 13, 2008 11:53 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Valley City ND USA
Largely mail order sales I guess. Fringe locations where a strong receiver was desired, and not a lot of regular brand retail stores existed. Canada?

I would like one. I've never seen one but for a brochure I no longer posses. Sent said brochure to a guy in Canada years ago.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Mon 14, 2008 12:07 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 2848
Location: Ga
I picked on up last year (39 model 17 tuber) which was in decent shape located in the town I grew up at. You don't see a lot of them, if you do it is the 816 without a cabinet.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Mon 14, 2008 12:45 am 
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Location: The Great Pacific Northwest
Hmmm...interesting. :)

I was reading about Cigar Store Indians, and how few real ones survived. (thus making a real CSI worth $100K :shock: ).
During the Depression, many were thrown on bonfires to keep people warm. :cry:
Could That also have been the fate of many consoles?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Mon 14, 2008 12:58 am 
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Location: Ga
I was at a Walmart looking for some lacquer and some other things and the sales person there said I can't remember how many consoles were pitched into the culverts to stop the rain washoff. So I think there was a ton of consoles that were burned, thrown in the ditches or landfills.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Mon 14, 2008 1:12 am 
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Location: Detroit, MI USA
I suspect the problem is that Scott radios were marketed to the wealthy, elite customers and they knew what they had, therefore many more of them survived than ordinary radios. In addition, they originally cost quite a bit more than other brands on the market at the time, so the logic behind keeping the radio was obvious.

Midwest, on the other hand, being sold through magazine ads, appealed to the working class buyer thinking maybe they could get a better radio that way than buying one mailorder from Sears or Wards, or at the radio store in town selling Philco or RCA sets. Therefore, it's doubtful that huge numbers of Midwest sets were ever sold, let alone saved when they stopped working.

Does anyone have sales figures for Midwest sets? I suspect Mike does, I'll have to ask him next time I see him at one of the shows. He was very pleased to get the Midwest TV that I found about 20 years ago. Their radios and TV's were never commonly seen even here in the midwest.

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Dennis

Experience is what you gain when the results aren't what you were expecting.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Mon 14, 2008 3:18 am 
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Location: Northport wa. USA.
I have 4 or 5 complete sets and a couple chassis here. I think many were sold without cabinets, and maybe put it in the existing cabinet. Then the whole unit junked when it quit. Also the cabinets Midwest sold were not real heavy duty and may have fallen apart.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Mon 14, 2008 4:28 am 
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Location: British Columbia
49Stude63 wrote:
I was at a Walmart looking for some lacquer and some other things and the sales person there said I can't remember how many consoles were pitched into the culverts to stop the rain washoff. So I think there was a ton of consoles that were burned, thrown in the ditches or landfills.


Remember what Walmart pays for wages, if they knew what they were talking about they wouldn't be working there, quite frankly it sounds like a fish story. I rather doubt that very many were thrown into ditches for any sort of fill, old wooden furniture makes a poor substitute for gravel and sand. I don't doubt that many were thrown out, especially after they had lived their life, many were converted in to liquor cabinets or other such pieces of furniture. But judging by how many are still around, considering that they accounted for just 25%-30% of the cabinet styles, they have a decent survival rate.
As for the Midwest radios, many of which were sold as chassis without cabinets just like Scotts, but they were very cheaply built. One would assume that they sold more then Scott or McMurdo-Silver but does anyone know that for sure? Also because they were cheapely built the survival rate may have been lower then your average RCA or Philco.
Best Regards
Arran


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Mon 14, 2008 5:33 am 
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Location: Woodinville, WA USA
Well, one of them is sitting in our family room :-)

http://www.antiqueradio.org/MidwestDD-18.htm

I see your point, though. This is the only prewar Midwest console I've ever seen in the flesh. I have run across two or three postwar sets in stores or swaps, but even those are not numerous.

Price must have been a factor. Scotts, like Zenith TransOceanics, were expensive when new. It's less likely they would be thrown out, because, "Grandpa paid a lot of money for that radio!" Well-heeled folks are also more likely to have ample storage space, and may have moved less often than those less fortunate. Every move is an opportunity to toss things that you don't use or want.

I would be interested to know how many were sold in the first place. Midwest did a fair amount of advertising, but when Grandpa decided to junk his old set or trade up to the latest model, and walked into the local radio shop, it's likely they would sell him a Philco, RCA, Zenith, or whatever they were licensed for, rather than steer him to the back page ads in a magazine.

Phil Nelson
Phil's Old Radios
http://antiqueradio.org/index.html


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Mon 14, 2008 5:59 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 5060
Location: Ortonville, Michigan
I have had a 16-43 and 16-35 chassis, and sold them both to appreciating new owners.

I have an Imperial 18 tube from 1935, which I've re- capped and aligned. While Midwest's ads were high puffery, this fella delivers. I've had it for 29 years, and after the re-cap, I had it in the living room for a short time, and it was a performing demon with about a 10 foot antenna.

One of my old friends told of a radio shop in his town, who'd advertise trimming up the alignment on Midwests that people had. They were in poor alignment when they left the factory. A peaking operation, and they were screamin' demons. Midwests were well engineered, and built on a shoestring, so they could undersell almost everyone.

Sure, they had a bloated tube count to a degree, but they were not alone in that regard. Midwest got a bum rap for having tubes in the set that only had filaments working, and that was absolutely not true. You could pull some tubes out, and the set would work, but you can pull 8 or 9 tubes out of a Zenith Stratosphere, and it'll still work. How many tibes can you yank from a Crosley 37 tuber before it quits? Probably 20!

The fact that the owner of the Midwest had a modest price in it, was probably why he tended to just pitch it if something went wrong. Saved the tubes for the next few radios he would own, and go buy a new set. They would have had to have a big production rate in order to stay in business.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Mon 14, 2008 6:35 pm 
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Posts: 1744
Location: Mt. Prospect, IL USA
Hi,

I have a Midwest 16-33 chassis, which uses both an 80 and an 82 rectifier, has three IF stages, an amplifier for the oscillator tube, two speaker fields, an AVC tube, a silencing tube, and a 42 driving a pair of 46's. The 42 has its own 6.3-volt heater winding, on one of the two power transformers. The set has 4 bands, all with their own colored dial lamp. There is a screw-in fuse on the back side of the chassis. The tone control is mounted on the top of the chassis, rather than the front. But the dial just has numbers from zero to 100... :roll:

Also I have an 18-tube job from the early 40's. It has four filaments in series as the cathode biasing resistor for the parallel push-pull 6V6G's. But the dial stringing involves gluing the cord to one of the pulleys. And it shares one feature with its older cousin... it has bypass caps built into the IF cans.

Both of my Midwests have some creative/offbeat engineering details. And they both use a ton of tubes. But all the tubes do serve a purpose in both sets, unlike the (in)famous Kadette "10-tube" or my Air King 1200 "12-tube" set with 6 ballasts... :lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Mon 14, 2008 7:51 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 4840
Location: La Porte, IN, USA
Very interesting.
I got my 18-37 installed in a cabinet not made by Midwest, but the installation was neatly done and it looks nice--though not authentic. On the other hand, weren't many of these sets sold sans cabinets, to be installed in wahtever cabinet the owner saw fit?
The magazine ads hint at this, and definitely say you could by the set without tubes...

Image
BTW, this is one of my favorite sets for AM BCB DXing as well as SWL. Very sensitive, selective, and I love the tuning light theat dims when you tune in a station.
A kind of a "Poor man's Scott or McMurdo Silver" in my opinion.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Mon 14, 2008 8:46 pm 
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Location: Philadelphia, PA
I'll add one here. Just an 18-37 chassis. No cabinet or speakers.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Tue 15, 2008 12:37 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 7532
Location: Indy
Here is one of mine:

Image

This is, I believe, a Midwest model H-6. I've had it for 5-6 years and I've never seen another. Perhaps it's the only surviving example? I dunno. Even the midwest radio museum doesn't have one...

Peter


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Tue 15, 2008 1:07 am 
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Joined: Sep Fri 15, 2006 2:43 pm
Posts: 684
Location: Long Beach, CA.
Here is the only one I have. Haven't done anything to it after dragging it home eleven months ago, except finding three octagon wood knobs for it. I just that a start.

Mark

Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Tue 15, 2008 5:40 am 
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Location: Woodinville, WA USA
OZ132HOME wrote:
I love the tuning light theat dims when you tune in a station.

That is the Midwest "Tunalite" feature. See the link in my previous post.

Phil Nelson
Phil's Old Radios
http://antiqueradio.org/index.html


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