Crosley Model F5-TWE "Musical Chef" Radio (1954)
The quintessential kitchen radio, this bakelite set is
painted a brilliant white and features a wind-up timer.
The timer knob is on the left and the tuner and power/volume
controls are on the right.
During a summertime visit to Minnesota, I found it playing
merrily away at a garage sale. When I saw the pricetag of $5,
I scooped it up without a moment's hesitation.
This radio is in excellent shape. Apart from a tiny
paint scratch on the top, it looks like it just came out
of the box. Even the gold lettering on the knobs, often
the first thing to wear away, still looks like new.
Inside is a conventional "All American Five" radio with
12BE6, 12BD6, 12AT6, 50C5, and 35W4 tubes. The construction
is remarkably sturdy and the chassis is
mounted vertically. Instead of facing upward, as in most
tabletop radios, the tubes face the back of the set,
quite convenient for repairs, come to think of it.
Somebody suggested these Musical Chefs might have been given as
premiums for buying a refrigerator. If anybody can confirm
that theory, please send me some email.
Several years after I created this web page, a fellow collector sent me a
still photo from the 1954 science fiction movie "Killers From Space."
Yes, that looks like a Musical Chef there on a workbench among the paint cans.
The movie stars Peter Graves and looks about as cheesy as most early 1950s sci-fi films,
but it's always fun to spot one of your radios in a movie.