The International Kadette Model 86X
BY RICHARD ARNOLD
Once again Richard Arnold shares with us one of his interesting "finds." In fact, as he says, this one may be the only one anywhere! (Editor)
I bought this radio, a 1936 International Kadette Model 86X, shown in Figure 1, in April of 2003. It was my first eBay purchase, and the radio is the only Kadette in my collection. I was the only bidder. I think that the radio is unusual looking but rather plain. I suppose that is what attracted me to it and perhaps the reason that I was the only bidder.
After I received the radio, I had to refinish the cabinet. It was not quite as "beautiful" as the owner had described or pictured. However, the chassis was in excellent condition -- complete and with no rust. The radio did work.
Figure 1. The International Kadette Model 86X.
There is a metal plate attached to the rear of the "blue" colored chassis that says it is a Model 86X. The tubes used are one each of the following: a 6A7 1st detector/oscillator, a 6D6 IF, a 75 2nd detector and AVC, a 25B5 power tube, a 25Z5 rectifier, and a 165-R4 ballast. A rear view of the set is shown in Figure 2. The set also uses a 6v pilot lamp. The IF is 448 Kc, according to Rider.
The chassis is a superheterodyne that tunes the broadcast band of 550 to 1600 kHz and a shortwave band of 1.5 to 4.4 MHz. Compared to some of my other radios, this radio doesn't seem to be very selective, at least not where I am in southern Oklahoma.
The three plastic bullet tipped knobs are original. Left to right, they are for on/off volume, tuning, and band selection. The grille cloth is also original. Although rather crude in construction, the cabinet is made of solid walnut. The top and bottom are almost one inch thick while the sides and front are 1/4 inch thick.
This company made some really nice, very desirable radios. But then, they also made some not so great ones like this one -- cabinet-wise that is.
Figure 2. A rear view of the Kadette 86X showing its five tubes.
There is a story concerning the International Radio Corporation and its problems with its overuse of false advertising for the ballast tube in their radios. This bad marketing error helped put the company out of business around 1939 after only eight years.
Well, I still like the radio. I play it every once in a while, and I have not seen any more like it. Heck, I may have the only one.
Voorhees, Alan. International Radio Corporation, at www.antiqueradios.com/kadette.shtml.
Adams, Arthur F., N6HPL, "Kadette Marketing Error," California Historical Radio Society Journal, 1994.
(Richard Arnold, P.O. Box 275, Lone Grove, Oklahoma 73443. E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org)
Richard Arnold, a frequent contributor to A.R.C. has been collecting radios since 1985. His interest is primarily in cathedrals and 1920s battery sets, and his collection ranges from crystal sets to a 1928 American Bosch in a Pooley cabinet. His prize is the 1932 Jackson Bell Peter Pan featured in the June 1991 A.R.C.