Radiola 33 and Advertising in 1929
By Stan Shelofsky
Old radio newspaper ads sometimes trigger memories and serve as real sources of information. A 2004 A.R.C. article containing a 1942 GE ad reminded subscriber Stan Shelofsky of a 1929 ad, and the result is the following article. (Editor)
In your December 2004 issue, an article entitled "Enjoy a new GE Radio -- Let the Boys in Service Enjoy your Old One" included a newspaper ad. It reminded me of my own experience of several years ago.
I have been in the television and radio repair business since 1948. However, I didn't start collecting until 1990 after reading an issue of A.R.C. that had been given to me. Since then, whenever I do a TV house call, I always ask my customer if he or she has any old radios to sell.
Sure enough, one day a customer said that he had a radio in the attic and that I could have it for free. I took the radio minus the speaker, which has never been found, and returned to my shop.
I put the radio aside, but about a month later, I got around to testing it. Troubleshooting the set, I found an open resistor. I substituted a different speaker for the missing one, hooked up an antenna, plugged the radio in, and it played beautifully!
A Radiola 33 advertisement from the "New York Evening Journal," September 26, 1929.
About a week later, a friend said he had an old newspaper containing an advertisement of a radio that looked just like mine. He gave me the paper, which was the New York Evening Journal, dated Thursday, September 26, 1929. At that time, I was three months old!
Lo and behold, the ad featured my radio -- a Radiola 33! All the usual claims of contemporary ads are present, such as a slashed price ($77.50 to $54); "Extra Liberal Trade-In Allowance"; "Real Bargain if there ever was one." However, in the tiniest print next to the set, is the note, "Speaker and tubes excluded." It seems that advertising was deceptive even in the old days.
(Stan Shelofsky, 34 Devon Drive, Orangeburg, NY 10962)
The "All-Electric" Radiola 33.