The 1933 Philco Model 89B
A Baby Grand/Midget Receiver
BY RICHARD ARNOLD
The Philco Model 89B,was a popular model produced in a number of cabnet styles. Richard Arnold tells us why he believes his Model 89 is not all that common. (Editor)
The Philco 89B, produced during the model years 1932-1936, is considered to be one of the more common Philco cathedrals. I got to thinking about that. It seems that the Model 89B may be common, but not the 1933 model in the cabinet style shown in Figure 1.
The front panel veneer on this set is really nice. It has the original tiger stripes and grille cloth. A large metal escutcheon and four rosette style knobs also help to make the good looks of this radio.
Over the years, I cannot remember ever seeing a Philco 89B in any flea market or antique store in either Oklahoma, Texas or Arkansas. I have seen a few at radio auctions, but mostly in a different cabinet style. I began to do a little more research.
A Little Research
I suppose that most of us early collectors -- let's say from 1985-1992 -- will remember Ron Boucher and his "Vintage Radio Services" sales catalogs. These sales catalogs were sent out usually monthly and included a number of radios and radio-related items. There was a short description of each item along with the asking price. There was also a nice photo page so that you could see the item you were interested in. He offered a very large selection of vintage radios each month and many of the items were cathedrals.
Figure 1. My Philco Model 89B from 1933 is a 4-knob version that tunes both the Broadcast and SW bands.
I went through over forty of his photo pages, looking at hundreds of radios from the period of 1986 to 1992. I found lots of cathedrals, mostly Philco sets, but only one listing where he offered a 1933 Philco Model 89B in this cabinet design. There were two offered in his March 1986 issue. I purchased the better of the two for $125. I realize that his area on the East Coast and mine here in the South may not be representative of the U.S. market, but the small number of sightings might indicate that the radio is not all that common.
This cathedral cabinet style may seem common because it is also used in such models as the 19, 43, 44 and 60. However, it would seem that the 1933 Model 89B is not all that common.
The four different cabinet designs of the Model 89B were made from January 1933 to May of 1936. Over the years there were also chassis design changes. This set has a 6-tube chassis consisting of the following types: (2) 44, (1) 36, (1) 42, (1) 75 and (1) 80. Later versions replaced the Type 36 detector/oscillator with the more modern Type 77. The beat or IF is only 260 Kc.
An earlier version of the Model 89B came in a different style cabinet and had three knobs and tuned only the broadcast band. My set has four knobs, tunes the broadcast band along with a short-wave capability of 1.5 to 3.2 Mc.
It might be interesting to find out how many of these 1933 versions are out there in the hands of collectors. If you will contact me and let me know if you have one, I will compile the information and inform ARC at a later date.
Ramirez, Ron with Michael Prosise. Philco Radio. Atglen, Pa.: Schiffer Publishing Co., 1993.
Ron Boucher. Vintage Radio Services Catalogs, 1986-1992.
(Richard Arnold, P.O. Box 275, Lone Grove, OK 73443. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Richard Arnold, a frequent contributor to A.R.C., has been collecting radios since 1985. Primarily interested in cathedrals and 1920s battery sets, his collection ranges from crystal sets to a 1928 American Bosch in a Pooley cabinet. The 1932 Jackson-Bell Peter Pan featured in the June 1991 A.R.C. is his prize.