“Electric tuning. Sensational! Amazing! Modern! Here’s the instrument you’ve always wanted. No dial twisting, no groping, no guessing. Push a button, there’s your station” (1937 RCA 811K ad, see below)
The walnut, teak and mahogany radio has been in Keith’s family for years. Specifically, the original owners were William T. & Grace F.Howard who were both born in 1889 in New York and lived for many years in Springfield, Vermont, which is apparently where they were when they bought this radio.
Last year we had the unexpected opportunity to get our 1938 RCA 811K console radio repaired and refinished. I journaled about our adventure and have updated the progress on my post entitled Old Radio. To add to that, in January 2010 Keith narrated a video about this cool antique radio. So now you can actually see & hear the beautiful radio. In this fascinating 12 minute video Keith describes the radio, what all we’ve done to it plus he shows you the “magic eye” and the superheterodyne tuner.
In December 2009 we listened to traditional Christmas songs played through the original 1938 speakers for the first time. Our daughter, a teenager at the time we refinished & repaired the radio, asked to one day be the owner of this radio, which I think is a clear indicator of how neat this radio is.
Here is an ad for the radio that appeared in Life Magazine in 1937.
Note: I got a video camera for Christmas in 2009 and was anxious to use it and my editing software. Before I switched in the spring of 2009 to a Mac I was using Adobe Premiere Elements but now I’m using Final Cut Express. This video was my second one to edit with the new software and I still had much to learn.