Kodel Radio Corporation
BY WALLY WORTH
Interesting radio companies are a specialty with Wally Worth. He has come up with a variety
of products manufactured by the Kodel Radio Corp. in the 1920s to share with us. (Editor)
In 1917, Clarence E. Ogden organized the Automatic Electrical Devices Co. which designed and
sold a vibrating-reed rectifier to recharge radio and auto batteries in the home. This led him to enter the
radio manufacturing business in 1923. He then designed a portable radio receiver called "The Kodel"
and started the Kodel Manufacturing Co. Later, he merged the two companies, located in Cincinnati,
Ohio, under the Kodel Radio Corp. name.
In 1925, he came up with another type of rectifier for radio batteries only the Kodel Trickle Charger, shown in Figure 1. This trickle charger, designed to meet the demands of radio, uses a Type KX603
tube for rectification. It has three fixed charge rates low, medium and high each with a separate
binding post on the front panel. The dimensions of this charger are 3" wide x
51/4" tall, x 61/2" deep. It is painted
a deep maroon color.
Figure 1. The Kodel Trickle Charger.
The directions included with this charger say "leave on for a week, but turn off when radio is
played." Remember this was only a trickle charger.
The tiny radio in Figure 2 is a Kodel C-11, a 1-tube receiver in a wood case 5" wide x
63/4" tall x 51/2"
deep. It uses a Type WX-12 tube with a compression variable condenser, a coil for tuning, and two fixed
condensers. It has two binding posts on the front panel for antennas and ground and jacks for the earphones. Wires protruded out the back for the battery connections. The price was $10 in 1924. The interior of the set is
shown in Figure 3 (see print version).
Figure 2. The Kodel Model C-11.
Figure 4. The Kodel Model C-14 with a battery box below.
Figure 4 shows the Kodel C-14 with a battery box below. The battery box was an extra option. The top
lid uses the leatherette covering for a hinge. The set has four Type WX-12 tubes, and the case is
wood-covered with black leatherette. It was made in 1924. Figure 5 shows the rear of the set, and Figure 6 shows the
interior (see print version).
Figure 7 shows the Kodel Model P12,
ca. 1924, a 2-tube portable with a drop-down front. The two
tubes are Type 199s. It has room for the headphones in the lid and for A and B batteries in the back. Two #6
dry cells were used for A batteries, and four batteries, like the early
221/2 v type, for the B supply. Note the
tiny front panel holding a compression type variable condenser and binding posts.
The wooden case of the Model P-12 is covered with black leatherette with a leather handle.
The dimensions are 121/2"" wide x 9" high x 8" deep. Figure 8 (see print version) shows the battery placement in the rear of the set.
Figure 7. The Kodel Model P-12.
Figure 9 (see print version) shows another of the Kodel line items a Kodel "Microphone" speaker. It
is 61/2" diameter x 9" high x 3" deep and has an adjustable screw on the earphone in the base as a driver.
(Wally Worth, 2 W. Elm Ave., Wollaston, MA 02170)
At age 15, Wally Worth began saving his paper route money to buy parts for 1-tube sets. Then, in
1985, fifty years later, he started to collect anything that needed cabinet work. His diverse collecting tastes
include crystal and 1920s battery AC sets, as well as transistor, multiband, and novelty sets. He also collects
early tubes and both horn and cone speakers.
Figure 9. The Kodel "Microphone" speaker.