Monday, October 8
1923 Complete Western Electric Receiving Wireless Radio Set & Antenna
'Here is a complete, working Western Electric No. 6004-B radio receiving outfit, manufactured in 1923 and leased to radio stations and other commercial institutions for broadcast radio reception. The outfit comprises a Western Electric No. 4-B Radio Receiver; a Western Electric No. 1-B Loop Antenna; a Western Electric No. 10-A Battery Box; a pair of Western Electric CW-834 Headphones; and six Western Electric 215-A peanut tubes.
The outfit is possibly the only one of its kind still intact. A virtually identical outfit was allegedly once used in the White House (infuriating David Sarnoff, who wanted to know why AT&T and not RCA was behind the best superhetrodyne radios in the world), and this example probably belongs in the National Museum of American History, but for now it's just set up in my living room, waiting to find a new home (it doesn't have to be white).
All components in the outfit are in excellent, original, working condition, and none of them have been repaired, restored or otherwise embellished. The cabinet finish on both the radio and the battery box is original and in excellent condition. The wiring harness that connects the battery box to the radio is original and in excellent condition. The wiring diagram inside the battery box is original and in excellent condition. The wires inside the battery box are original and in excellent condition. The paint on the loop antenna is original and in excellent condition. The paint on the radio's panel is original and in excellent condition. The interior of the radio is of course entirely original and in excellent condition (actually, it's almost like new, with a nearly perfect schematic affixed to the back). The loop wire is original and in excellent condition. The flat cloth wiring harness on the loop is original and in excellent condition. The headphone band exhibits moderate wear consistent with age and use, but the headpieces themselves are in excellent condition.
The radio and loop have been tested as recently as this past weekend, and they still work great. You don't need an outdoor aerial for this outfit, just the Western Electric No. 1 loop, but if you'd like to use an outdoor aerial, you can couple the radio with the Stanrad 1-tube antenna amplifier/tuner that I'm listing in a separate auction. The Stanrad unit was found with this outfit, and it was obviously used with it at some point, but I'm listing it separately because it's not technically a part of the outfit and because it (the Stanrad unit) can be used with many different models of Western Electric radios.
If you'd like to operate the set, you'll need a good regulated power supply (I'd recommend an ARBEIII). You can also, optionally, connect the radio to a 1920's horn loudspeaker, preferably one made by Western Electric. No loudspeaker was sold with the outfit, but just about any sensitive 1920's horn will work with it.'