Philco Model 49-603 Radio (1949)


This unusual Philco radio has what one might call an "easel" style case.

The first photo shows the radio when closed up. It's roughly the size of a book, or perhaps a large pocketbook

The two-piece hinged cabinet is made of dark Bakelite and the front is covered in brown leather, with gold embossing around the edges. A tiny peekaboo tuning dial is visible at the upper right. At lower right is a Bakelite button that you press to open the case.

At first glance, you might think this is a portable radio, but in fact it's an AC-only tabletop set. The next photo shows the radio unfolded and ready to play.

This photo gives a better view of the two thumbwheel knobs: power/volume on the left and tuning on the right.

Who would want this sort of radio? Well, it wouldn't look out of place on a desk or dressing table, where you want a radio but you don't want something big, and you would appreciate the understated styling with gold-embossed leather.

This radio receives the standard broadcast (AM) band and employs five tubes, of types 12BE6 (RF amplifier and converter), 12BA6 (IF amplifier), 12AT6 (detector, AVC, and first audio amplifier), 50B5 (audio output), and 35W4 (rectifier). This is a conventional lineup for a 1949 radio using five miniature tubes.

The next photo shows the inside. The radio is lying on its face with the cabinet open.

Notice how the entire chassis is enclosed in a ventilated metal cage. This radio is designed to be played when unfolded. The cage is a safety feature to keep fingers away from the "hot chassis" at all times.

A previous owner of this set had cut a tiny opening in the cabinet side to allow you to extend the AC cord and play the set when closed. I would strongly advise against doing that. With no ventilation whatsoever, the radio might overheat and damage itself.

I owned this radio for a couple of years and never got around to restoring it. I eventually gave it to a fellow collector as a Christmas gift.

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