Delco Model R-1233 Bakelite Radio (1948)


This sweet midget-sized bakelite radio sits on a high shelf in our kitchen. It's a pretty bold design in a small package, with that unique ribbon-shaped grillpiece amidst thick vertical louvers. There's something timeless in this design. At least, I never seem to tire of looking at it!

I bought this radio in 1997, in a small Minnesota shop which was run by a young Russian woman. She had very few radios, but the few that she did have were unusual. I also bought my Philco 52-548 tabletop from her.

After a cautious power-up, I discovered that the radio works well. Like all sets of its age, it will get a routine capacitor replacement before being used regularly.

The cardboard rim surrounding the speaker had some loose edges, which I secured with ordinary household glue. Over time, the glue had dried out, so that the edge of the speaker wasn't mounted securely in its metal frame. This caused buzzing at high volume. A previous "repairman" had stuck masking tape around the edges, but that, too, had dried out. It took only a few minutes to make a permanent fix.

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