Forums :: Resources :: Features :: Photo Gallery :: Vintage Radio Shows :: Archives :: Books
Support This Site: Contributors :: Advertise


It is currently Dec Thu 18, 2014 11:27 pm


All times are UTC [ DST ]



Post New Topic Post Reply  [ 40 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Steinite Radio
PostPosted: Feb Mon 12, 2007 4:54 am 
New Member

Joined: Feb Mon 12, 2007 4:33 am
Posts: 11
I have the opportunity to bid on a Steinite radio located close to my home. No model number apparently could be found by the owner but it has 8 tubes and the cabinet measures 46" tall X 15" deep X 26" wide. I would post a link to the radio but am not sure whether it is permitted in this forum or not. Apparently seven of the eight tubes are o.k. and it works except for the one dial to tune stations.

Normally I wouldn't think of buying something I know nothing about. I am adept at refinishing furniture and the cabinet needs just a bit of TLC, nothing major, and the cloth needs replacing. I am sure that's fairly easy to find. The cabinet alone is a gorgeous piece of furniture, even if the radio never worked again.

My father has recently been diagnosed with a terminal illness with an estimated year or so left but is currently in great shape functionally for a man of 85. He was an electronics engineer for 39-1/2 years and I'm thinking that getting this old radio working again might be a fun project for both of us to work on together.

I know I haven't even posted a picture of the radio, but in general are parts really hard to find for Steinite radios or are replacements reproduced?

Thanks in advance for any advice.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Mon 12, 2007 5:28 am 
Member

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 1537
Location: Swansea, SC US
Here it is.

http://cgi.ebay.com/antique-1930-s-STEI ... dZViewItem


Image

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Mon 12, 2007 6:44 am 
ChristinaR

The radio that Catfish posted (above), is a 1929 Steinite model 40, originally selling for $135.00 (without tubes). Steinite radios were produced untill about 1930 by a Co. in Atchison Kansas.

As a usual thing the most difficult part of many radio restorations is finding cosmetic pieces (knobs, etc). The Steinite looks to be in good shape as far as cabinet condition and the knobs, escutcheon, etc. are in place - - - that would make restoration easier. Tubes and most of the electrical parts required for a "working" restoration can be found. There are a no. of dealers that sell tubes, others who sell capacitors, resistors, and even used transformers can be located and purchased (or rewound, though it's costly to do so).

If you decide to purchase and restore the Steinite, needed parts might be found by posting a "wanted" ad in this site's want-ad section. Too, you will likely find answers to restoration question by posting queries on this forum. There are many here who have the expertise and will be able to offer thoughts and aid.

Christina, I know I speak for many here who are saddened to hear of your Father's condition and wish both you and your Father well. If those of us who frequent this site can be of help, please feel free to ask for our assistance.

Dale
Image


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Mon 12, 2007 8:36 am 
Member

Joined: Nov Thu 23, 2006 2:45 am
Posts: 1460
Location: USA
That is a real nice looking one, also pretty rare I'd imagine as I've never seen a steinite console.

I would definately go for it, if it works (at the least partly) then it shouldn't be too bad of a restoration.

Finishing isn't too hard and usually can be done over and over again with wood.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Tue 13, 2007 1:10 am 
Member

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 5072
Location: Ortonville, Michigan
If that's the set that you're talking about, whatever you do, leave the finish alone! Much as you feel that you're good at refinishing, you cannot duplicate the original finish!

Just get the radio going. That should be a piece of cake. The set is far more desirable with the original finish than with a "nice fresh refinish". You can really ruin the value of something like this by tampering around with the finish.

As someone has already said, a Steinite console is unusual, and one in nice shape is VERY unusual.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Tue 13, 2007 1:37 am 
New Member

Joined: Feb Mon 12, 2007 4:33 am
Posts: 11
I want to thank all of you for your warm welcome and replies. With E-Bay, you can't "count your chickens" until the auction is over, but I'd like to believe this radio has my name on it.

You've answered my main questions, i.e. availability of parts and the model number, and from your comments it certainly seems a worthwhile radio to restore to working condition. For the price it sold for in 1929, without tubes, this radio must have been affordable only to the wealthy.

Did the tuner on this radio operate by something as simple as a band, which may be why the seller can't get it to work?

Regarding the finish, I know there's no way to duplicate that patina. I'd guess there's lots of veneer on the cabinet also, which is tricky to refinish even when completely intact. Briwax makes beautiful tinted waxes that could make the banged up areas less noticeable.

Dad's a radio buff all the way back to his teenage years. I'm certain the challenge of getting this old Steinite working again would put a twinkle in his eye! The photo below is dad at age 15 with a ham radio he built. He still has that microphone and I have the oak table:

http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a367/ ... n00011.jpg


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Thu 15, 2007 4:03 am 
Member

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 256
Location: Cape Girardeau MO
That's really a neat photo of your dad and the radio room around him. Spend as much time as you can with your dad. Ask him as many questions as you can think of. Questions about everyting you may want to know about now and latter on and of couse let him know he is loved!


Last edited by rick01 on Feb Thu 15, 2007 6:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Thu 15, 2007 6:28 am 
New Member

Joined: Feb Mon 12, 2007 4:33 am
Posts: 11
I know what you mean about asking questions now. Dad is the only family my brother and I have left. Dad himself has been in the humbling position many times of having to say those who could answer our questions are not here any more to ask.

He had his first chemotherapy infusion today on top of the radiation and so far no side effects except for tiredness. He's having to endure exactly what he helped my mother go through only five years ago.

I'm getting nervous about the Steinite auction, ending tomorrow. I know many "hits" to the auction were added from posting it on this web site, but there were almost 200 before that. I don't usually bid until the last minute or so...I'll just bid my maximum and if it was meant to be, it will be....


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Thu 15, 2007 8:22 am 
Member
User avatar

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 13268
Location: Tennessee,USA
Hi Christina,
I hope that you are able to get the radio. Ebay is tricky, but bid your max, right at the end and you never know.

I also pray that your dad does well with his treatment. It always is best to keep the positive attitude, and it seems this is the case. CHerish every second you have with him.

Even if you don't get the Stenite, which is a nice receiver, find another set, anything else to repair together. Document the progress in word and photos too so we can see how it comes along. You will cherish those moments forever.

We are happy to have you here on the board and if you need any help let us know.
Take care, and keep in touch :)
Gary.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Fri 16, 2007 5:45 am 
New Member

Joined: Feb Mon 12, 2007 4:33 am
Posts: 11
Well, I am the proud winner of a 1929 Steinite model 40 radio!

Since it seems to be relatively rare radio, when I get it home, could I submit a photo of my own to post in the gallery on your web site?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Fri 16, 2007 6:02 am 
Member
User avatar

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 4803
Location: Covington, WA
That was a good price you got it for. I hope you are able to pick it up. I can't imagine shipping it but if they do they should remove the chassis and box it separately. good luck with it!

_________________
If it glows in the dark and heats up the house, it's MY kind of radio


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Fri 16, 2007 6:24 am 
Member

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 1537
Location: Swansea, SC US
When you post your pics, I'll delete the ones in my post if you want.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Fri 16, 2007 7:01 am 
New Member

Joined: Feb Mon 12, 2007 4:33 am
Posts: 11
Catfish, the listing photos will most likely in time become unavailable. I'm sure I'll have questions and it'll be nice to have the photos in this thread available for reference.

The radio is 10 miles from me. I will, however, have to lay it on its side or flat. The seller says nothing is loose in the radio portion, but he may have never layed it down or on its side. Is it important to keep the radio "chassis?" (the part with the tubes) upright?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Fri 16, 2007 4:53 pm 
ChristinaR:

Congratulations; and my apologies for not keeping up with the forum or this thread for the
past few days. My computer died and I'm left with reading and posting at the office for a while.

What a great find, and only ten miles from where you live. I have been a fan of Steinite sets
for years and have restored several, though never a model 40.

Steinite built good, medium priced radios and most are pretty straightforward to service
and restore. Your Steinite looks to be in good condition for a radio more than seventy years
old. Several years ago I bought a Steinite Cathedral-style set from another collector and he
sent me a picture of the set along with a description of the set's condition which he
admitted was a lot less than wonderful. When it arrived the cabinet and chassis were
boxed separately.

Here's how the cabinet looked when I unpacked it:
Image

I did rebuild the cabinet and the Steinite is one of my favorite sets now. My point is that
most sets can be repaired - - - some can be restored more easily than others.

Be sure and check to make sure the speaker and BOTH chassis are firmly bolted to the
cabinet before attempting to lay the set on it's side (preferable) or back. Use blankets or
some such to pad underneath the set while it's being transported (to protect
the finish
) and the set should survive the move with little problem. Placing the set
on it's left side (where the heavy lower chassis is) might help the receiver make the trip a
little more safely.

Pictures of the Steinite as it is now (and more pictures as refurbishment takes place)
would be great.

Good luck to you and your Father Christina; and please let us know if we can be of help
in any way.

Dale
Image
~Radio Imp~


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Sat 17, 2007 4:59 am 
Dale, do you have a photo posted in the gallery of your radio after it was completed?

My son and I got the radio home just fine. Forgive my amateurish assessment but there's a heck of a lot of radio in that cabinet! Man, it is HEAVY!

I used some Briwax in walnut color today. I wonder if the radio was kept near a heat source at one time because the finish is just about gone on its right side and flakes off easily. That wood needs to be protected but the refinishing only portions and matching color would be quite a challenge. Other parts, as you can see in the closer up photo below, need absolutely nothing done. The seller acquired it on a buying trip in, as I recall, Oklahoma. He seemed to believe there is no veneer on the cabinet at all. If there is veneer, it would be on the face of the cabinet, the pretty burl-like wood, which may be bookmatched.

There is an emblem with a number attached to the top shelf. Would that be a serial number?

As you can see, the radio has lots of old friends to keep it company. The dining room set and buffet were made by Grand Rapids Chair Company in the 1920s and the cut glass collection is all from the early 1900s.

Tomorrow I'm going to email my dad some photos of the radio and see if I can tempt him into coming over to see it...and begin the project.

Image
[img]

Image
[/img]


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Sat 17, 2007 7:46 am 
"Guest" wrote:
Quote:
"Dale, do you have a photo posted in the gallery of your radio after it was completed?


I'm sorry to say I don't Christina. My computer expired (apparently permanently) this week. I'm working with an ancient Packard Bell that refuses to see either my scanner or the camera USB. I never got around to posting a piccy in the Gallery, and I'm not able to scan anything to post at the moment. Maybe a bit later I can post a picture for you.

I did a bit of research and discovered that there are two versions of the model 40 Steinite receivers. They are listed as Models 40A and 40C. The difference between the two versions is in the type of output tube used. You will need to determine the version you have in order to secure the correct schematic. The schematic is available free, on-line from "Nostalgiaire," or one of us can scan and e-mail to you.

40A uses two type "71" tubes for the output and model 40C has two type "45" output tubes. The 40C version with type 45 tubes will probably have a bit more volume and may sound a wee bit better than the 40A version. Either version should be a very decent performing set for the day and age when it was manufactured.

The other tubes used in the Model "40" receivers are five type "27" tubes and a single type "80" which will be the tube in the chassis mounted on the lower shelf.

I think you'll discover that the cabinet of your Model "40" is constructed primarily of ply-wood with good quality veneers. The legs/framing are most likely some sort of softer "box" wood, suitably stained and finished to match or contrast with the veneers.


Dale
Image
Reliable Radio Parts
*~Cleveland Ohio~*


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Sat 17, 2007 9:42 am 
(ChristinaR)

Dale, thank you so much for your research. My model 40 has ouput tubes that are marked 71A. The 27s and 80 tubes are also present.

I'm curious about something. Earlier in this thread an original price of $135, without tubes, was given. Why would a radio even be offered for sale without such an essential part?

I didn't have very good light today examining the cabinet but didn't see any nail holes or other evidence a back to the cabinet was ever present. Were backs of radios of this period left open, perhaps due to heat production during use?

I will see if I can print out the schematic for a Steinite Model 40A from Nostalgiaire.[/b]


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Sat 17, 2007 2:16 pm 
Member

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 28204
Location: Pocasset, Cape Cod, MA
Radios were commonlyshipped and priced without tubes, which would have been added by the local dealer.

Many did not have backs.

I would be very surprised if the cabinet were made of solid lumber, since that is not dimensionally stable. The finish is almost certainly nitrocellulose lacquer. Depending on the maker, this can remain in nearly perfect condition for 70 years but most likely your set faced a sunny window all its life. The one side could be refinished by itself, any time in the future, as long as no silicone-containing polishes are used on it. I have a 1928 Steinite with an oval label inside proclaiming that it was finished in Duco lacquer. This must have been a sales point at the time, when lacquer was the latest thing.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Sun 18, 2007 5:46 am 
Member

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 10787
Location: Valley City ND USA
Hi, Nice to see a nice radio got a good home with Christina.

I learned a bit by following this thread. I didn't know the company was that short lived. Did someone else take the name by chance?

Ya see, I was given a Steinite years ago. It was in a thick wood coffin cabinet. Hole was cut for the window dial. but trim not installed. No speaker of course, but the guts fit the smallish cabinet...Kinda. It must have been an attempted swap job that never got done.

The chassis is small and compact compared to Christina's. It has a thumbwheel dial knob beside the window.
It can use a pm speaker I'm told. It has never computed to me. It computes less if it must fit the 1930 or before time frame.

I took the liberty of tacking this on because the Steinite Guys might be watching. I hope I didn't screw anything up.

Thanks for your time,


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Feb Sun 18, 2007 7:46 am 
Member
User avatar

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 1252
Location: Making For Arcady
That is a very attractive radio, made by a most interesting firm. Steinite produced some of the earliest successful radios for A.C. mains operation. Prior to 1925, almost all radios were powered by batteries. You can read a splendid article about Steinite in the third volume of “Radio Manufacturers of the 1920s” by Mr Alan Douglas, who has posted a message above.

I have seen some solid wood console radios, although those with no plywood at all in the construction are rare. Table radios of the 1920s often had solid wood cabinets. Interestingly, I own two table-top Steinite Model A.C. sets, and apart from different internal horn speakers, they also differ in that one has a veneered cabinet, and the other has a solid oak cabinet. Both cabinets have a two-tone design.

DUCO was a high-grade lacquer introduced by DuPont in the 1920s. The use of this higher-cost product would indeed seem to be a selling point, and perhaps the inclusion of the DUCO tag in some radios (one of my Steinite sets has this tag, too) resulted from deals with DuPont in which the lacquer was provided at a slightly lower cost, in exchange for the bit of advertising. Some lacquer finishes have survived relatively intact, whereas many are now in atrocious shape even if proper storage conditions were maintained at all times. It is arguable that lacquer is an expedient, rather than a suitable, wood finish, especially if long-term durability is a desideratum. The problem with refinishing old radios is that in many, if not most, cases, the various wood tones were obtained by tinted lacquer. The appearance can be hard to replicate by other finishing methods, especially when the underlying wood surface is of low quality (or even mis-matched).

You have chosen a radio that is not only of delightful appearance (even the chassis are more attractive than most of this kind) and from a manufacturer with an interesting place in radio history, but also of a design that should present little difficulty and cost in restoring to operation.

In answer to Terry above, I will point out that horn and high-impedance cone speakers of the 1920s were of the permanent magnet type. But to use a modern low-impedance P.M. speaker with that Steinite radio, you will need to also employ an output transformer.


Top
 Profile  
 
Post New Topic Post Reply  [ 40 posts ]  Moderator: sofaslug Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 15 guests



Search for:
Jump to:  
















Privacy Policy :: Powered by phpBB