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 Post subject: Help me Identify this radio
PostPosted: May Sun 03, 2020 10:52 am 
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Joined: Oct Sat 01, 2011 2:02 pm
Posts: 235
Location: Vulcan Michigan
I recently purchased this battery operated portable tube radio, but other than a name on the front of the cabinet, there is nothing else noted. It's called a "Monarch"but that's it .no model number. Doing some research finds that this was also called by Imperial brand too. I understand that it's a early generic set from the late 30's and 40's, but who really made it? It has a Reed type of speaker, and overall in very good condition for it's age. I hooked it up to my ARBE 3, and plays very good!. It's the typical 4 tube set using a 1C5G,1A7G,1H5G,1N5G, I tried looking up at Grillecloth website, but no luck. This is a neat little radio, and enjoying reading about the development, of the portable radio, Using The portable radio in American Life, Micheal Brian Schiffer as reference, Thanks again , Perry


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 Post subject: Re: Help me Identify this radio
PostPosted: May Sun 03, 2020 11:20 am 
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Certainly an interesting find, and glad to hear that it still works. It is typically a bad idea to just power it up without first recapping it though. Maybe somebody who knows their radios can come along and identify it.


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 Post subject: Re: Help me Identify this radio
PostPosted: May Sun 03, 2020 11:48 am 
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Joined: Oct Sat 01, 2011 2:02 pm
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Location: Vulcan Michigan
Your absolutely correct, if it was AC set with electrolytics, that wouldn't happen. Being a battery only set, I figured I would be okay, thanks for the response, Perry


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 Post subject: Re: Help me Identify this radio
PostPosted: May Sun 03, 2020 12:55 pm 
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Location: Carmel, Indiana
Monarch was a brand name for the Champion Radio Labs., but this set looks like something Sentinel could have made.

Image
Sentinel 124

Image
Sentinel bakelite radio

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 Post subject: Re: Help me Identify this radio
PostPosted: May Sun 03, 2020 3:58 pm 
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Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
I have pictures of another Monarch from I think an online listing. I will put them up here for reference.
I think we can say 1939 for the earliest likely date of manufacture.
Also cabinets are often identical for a variety of name brands, so it was suggested that luggage factories may have produced at least some of the cabinets.
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Funny one, Perry, my pictures match your radio perfectly, right down to the scratches and spots!
Sorry, will take them down if you wish. I try to attribute the pic to the owner if possible.

Here's a link to last year's thread, lots of great examples:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=350377&start=20

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 Post subject: Re: Help me Identify this radio
PostPosted: May Sun 03, 2020 5:49 pm 
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Location: Beaver Falls, PA. USA
The speculation is that Monarch was a distributor brand, and was sold by independent stores, such as "five and tens". Champion was one supplier, but some came from RPC/Continental.

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 Post subject: Re: Help me Identify this radio
PostPosted: May Sun 03, 2020 5:56 pm 
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Location: Detroit, MI USA
Detrola built a significant number of Monarch branded radios as well.

One of the Detrola managers who was a good friend told me years ago that Monarch was distributed out of Chicago but I haven't had any luck finding more details. It's also entirely possible that there could have been more than one wholesale distribution company selling radios branded as Monarch.

John's mention of luggage companies making at least some of the portable radio cabinets back then is correct. Detrola got many of theirs from Shwayder brothers, who were most famous for Samsonite card tables and luggage and were located just a short distance from the Detrola factory.

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 Post subject: Re: Help me Identify this radio
PostPosted: May Sun 03, 2020 8:43 pm 
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I believe 'decojoe67' wears his alligator cowboy boots when he listens to his shiny Imperial.
Pic is from the thread linked above.

3 pics below that show a Travel-Aire badge, TravLer dial. And one of a similar but different TravLer.
Cheers.


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 Post subject: Re: Help me Identify this radio
PostPosted: May Sun 03, 2020 10:30 pm 
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Location: Detroit, MI USA
You can clearly see in the bottom photo just above where the dial escutcheon used to be.

I think we have a winner, since Trav-Ler was a prolific manufacturer for house brand radios back in those days. The model number could be 551, or 552. The tube layout matches perfectly. There was also a nearly identical 553 and 554, using a 1Q5 for the output tube.

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Experience is what you gain when the results aren't what you were expecting.


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 Post subject: Re: Help me Identify this radio
PostPosted: May Sun 03, 2020 10:37 pm 
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ballroad wrote:
Your absolutely correct, if it was AC set with electrolytics, that wouldn't happen. Being a battery only set, I figured I would be okay, thanks for the response, Perry

You can't really harm anything in the circuit by powering up an ancient virgin battery only radio, but I can tell you that replacing the one or more Electrolytic's and all wax caps should show a definite improvement in sensitivity and volume. Tweaking the IF cores and the RF antenna gang trimmer will gain even more performance improvement.

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 Post subject: Re: Help me Identify this radio
PostPosted: May Sun 03, 2020 10:53 pm 
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Joined: Oct Sat 01, 2011 2:02 pm
Posts: 235
Location: Vulcan Michigan
Well, thanks again, that was some good news,I will change out the wax capacitors in the next few weeks, Perry


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