The Atwater Kent Model 8
The Forgotten Breadboard
By Dave Crocker
Radio collectors are always on the lookout for Atwater Kent breadboard radios. No doubt any one of us would consider finding the Model 8 described below as a real coup. (Editor)
Seldom pictured in old radio catalogs and hardly ever mentioned in early Atwater Kent radio articles, is an obscure breadboard radio known as the Duplex Model 8, shown in Figure 1. Even the late and respected Ralph Williams, the noted Atwater Kent expert, didn't picture this set in his articles. That's just how scarce this radio is. And since Atwater Kent assigned everything it made a part number, this 5-tube receiver was tagged as the Type 4325. It was manufactured in September 1923 and appeared briefly before the well-known Model 5 (Type 4333). Production figures indicate that only 17 Model 8 receivers were sold in 1923.
The Duplex consisted of a Type 11 coupled circuit tuner (4051), a variable plate condenser (4564) and a 5-tube TA unit (4330). A closeup of the TA unit is shown in Figure 2. These 3 items were mounted on a standard Atwater Kent mahogany board having bus-bar wiring underneath. The 5-tube TA unit, was the same one used on the Model 5. It incorporated a detector, two stages of radio frequency amplification and two stages of audio amplification.
Figure 1. The Atwater Kent Duplex Model 8 receiver.
In all appearances, Atwater Kent's Duplex was actually a Model 5 with a tuning condenser mounted in the center. The Duplex sold for $68 in 1923, $13 more than the Model 5. If you added $6.50 each for the five Type 0-1A tubes needed, you broke the $100 mark -- more than seven weeks' pay for the average working man of the day. Since none of these Model 8s have surfaced for decades, it would be hard to imagine what price a set would bring at an auction today. Perhaps one is hidden in an attic somewhere and will surface when we least expect it. If it happens, be sure to send the news to A.R.C. for publication.
Catalog of Radio Apparatus, 1923-1924. Boston, Mass.: Pettingell-Andrews Co., Pearl St. & Atlantic Ave., Boston Mass.
(Dave Crocker, 35 Santuit Pond Rd., #4B, Mashpee, Cape Cod, MA 02649)
Dave Crocker, a member of the A.R.C. staff, lends his skills as a graphic designer to the layout of the magazine. He has been collecting radios for over 32 years, and many of these years have been spent researching and collecting radios made by the Crosley Radio Company.
Figure 2. The 5-tube TA unit (Type 4330) used on the Model 8.