RCA 100-A Speaker

I bought this stately old speaker in a package deal along with my Dominion Electrohome console. The two pieces don't work together, but I knew the speaker had been sitting in the shop for a long time, so when the owner refused to come down on the radio's price those last couple of bucks, I said, "Throw in the speaker and we've got a deal."

The cabinet is heavy cast metal, painted dark bronze, with a raised floral trim surrounding the round speaker opening. The grill cloth pattern is a classic basketweave. This speaker is designed to sit on top of a radio, so it looks the same back and front, with round grill openings on both faces.

Like many metal-cased speakers of this vintage, this one has lost a couple of chips to corrosion on the top and side surfaces. I've been told that automotive "bondo" is a good repair material.

Speakers like this hail from the transitional period between the earliest days, when radios could only power a set of headphones, and later times, when every set came with an onboard speaker. This unit produced great sound when I tested it. Now, all I need is a radio of the right vintage!

Cast on the very bottom of the front edge of the cabinet is the legend See License Notice On Bottom. The paper label on the bottom reads:

In connection with devices it sells, Radio Corporation of America has rights under patents having claims [A] on the devices themselves and [B] on combinations of the devices with other devices or elements. As for example, in various circuits and hook-ups the sale of this device carries a license under the patent claims of [A] but only for [1] talking machine uses [2] radio amateur uses [3] radio experimental uses and [4] radio broadcast reception and only where no business features are involved. The sale does not carry a license under patent claims of [B] except only [1] for legitimate renewals and repairs in apparatus and systems already licensed for use under such patent claims on combinations [2] for assembling by amateurs and experimenters, and not by other with other licensed parts or devices or with parts or devices made by themselves, but only for their own amateur and experimental radio uses where no business features are involved and not for sale to or for use by others [3] for use with licensed talking machines and licensed radio broadcast receiving devices and only where no business features are involved. Patents 1271527 1271529 1365898 1631646

Phew! Whether or not you can follow it, this legalese is a reminder that the early days of radio were a litigious, as well as a creative, time, with pioneering individuals and companies often battling fiercely over the bragging rights and profits attached to technical innovations.

©1995-2023 Philip I. Nelson, all rights reserved