Westinghouse Model H-126 Refrigerator Radio (1946)

     

This unique Westinghouse H-126 "Little Jewel" radio resembles a mini refrigerator and that's no accident. It was given as a premium to customers who bought a new Westinghouse refigerator in the years 1945-1947.

The "Little Jewel" was offered in four colors: dark green (model H-124), pale green (H-125), ivory (H-126), like my radio, and burgundy (H-127).

  

It's not uncommon to see these radios repainted in other colors. I suppose that does no great harm, since the radios were painted in the first place, but if you see one in pink or metallic purple, be aware that that is not an authentic factory color!

This is an AC-powered AM radio, receiving the standard broadcast band. Its sturdy cabinet is made of plastic and metal and it measures 9 inches high and 6 inches wide. Small enough to be easily moved, it has a swing-up handle.

The case is opened by removing a screw on the side. In the next photo, you can see the compact chassis. A label inside the cover identifies this as a model H-126.

In the previous photo, the built-in loop antenna has been lifted up and propped above the chassis. This antenna will work fine for receiving strong local stations.

On the bottom of the case is a connector for an external antenna.

All four of the H-12x models use the same chassis and thus the same schematic.

This radio uses six tubes, including an RF (radio frequency) amplifier. Despite the small size, it should surpass many inexpensive five-tube radios at pulling in distant stations. Adding a long wire antenna will improve distance reception, of course.

Here is the tube lineup:

Tube Type Function
V1 12SK7 RF Amplifier
V2 12SA7 Converter
V3 12SF7 1st Detector / AVC
V4 12SJ7 Audio Amplifier
V5 35A5 Audio Output
V6 35Z5GT Rectifier

I bought this radio for $25 in 2012, in response to a local ad. That was a bit of a bargain, but not a huge steal. These radios turn up quite frequently. Westinghouse must have sold a lot of refrigerators in those years!

The paint on my radio has some scuffs and scratches typical of a radio 60-odd years old. Otherwise, it's in excellent shape. When I get around to restoring this set, I'll polish the metal parts a bit more.

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