The 1936 Philco 116B


As we all know, one of the largest and most successful of the early radio companies was Philco. The Philadelphia Storage Battery Company built up an exceedingly effective merchandising organization in the battery industry. With excellent dealer outlets all over the country, Philco had a great dealer base when it entered the radio market in 1928.

One of the company's more interesting models that is now hard to find is the 1936 Model 116B, shown in Figure 1 -- a modification of the 1935 Model 16 (late version). This newer model employed a fifth band that covered long wave frequencies from 150-390 Kc.

The Philco Model 116B
Figure 1. The Philco Model 116B.

A very large tombstone, this radio measures 23 12 x 16 x 12. Its 11 tubes include Types 78 (3), 77 (2), 42 (3), 80 (1), 76 (1), and 37 (1). The 5 frequency bands are the following: 150-390 Kc, 540-1500 Kc, 1.5-4.1 Mc, 4.1-10.0 Mc, and 9.7-22.5 Mc. A small white arrow shows through the dial scale to indicate what band is operative.

The grille cloth has the brown "V" pattern that really helps to give the radio a striking appearance. The front panel has three wooden bars that are inlaid, not painted on like some of the other models.

From 1935 to 1937, there were a number of Philco sets that had cabinet styles similar to the Model 116B. To name a few -- Models 610, 611, 611B, 37-38B, 37-610B and 37-611B.

I do not recall ever seeing a Model 116B for sale or in a contest at the Vintage Radio and Phonograph Society (VRPS) auctions in Dallas over the past ten years.


Ramirez, Ron with Michael Prosise. Philco Radio -- 1928-1942. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing Ltd., 1993.

(Richard Arnold, Box 275, Lone Grove, OK 73443)

Richard Arnold 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.

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