Stromberg Carlson 1121-HW

... BIG American postwar radio (1946)

When you get tired of regular old cathedrals, tombstones and bakelite or plastic table radios, there's always another interesting project around the corner if you have the space. Oversized radios seem to find me cuz I'm a sucker and will always make space for them.
Stromberg Carlson is one of the venerable names in the electronics industry, not just in the US, but worldwide. They've been around since the 1890's in the telephone business and remain so to this day. In 1946 they were shifting gears from being a major electronics supplier during the war years and this particular radio echos the durability that has made them successful.

I found the chassis on ebay for $10 with no other interested takers. I bought it for parts, particularly the pushbuttons which I guessed would fit another Sparkbench project (The Silvertone 1581). When it arrived, I realized I had a gem on my hands and scrapping it was out of the question.

The pieces, the reassembly and the finished box.

As a shot in the dark, I posted a notice on the radio groups that I was looking for a cabinet suitable for modification to adapt to this chassis. I saw in the Stromberg Carlson schematic data that this unit was typically sold as part of a large phono console, but there was a table model version. Lo and behold I got a response. A chap on the West Coast had one of the cabinets in a pretty deteriorated condition, along with the speaker, TWO more chassis-one being perfect, the escutcheon for this model as well as the console model along with the 12" dynamic speaker for the console. The Mother Lode. The shipping cost almost as much as the purchase because there's a lot of steel in that lot.

Refurbing the chassis was a piece of cake because it was in excellent condition. Somebody had replaced one of the octal sockets with a 7-pin miniature and I put that back to original. I recapped it 100%, cleaned it up and it fired up perfectly the first time I turned it on. A good alignment after a couple hours of fighting the dialstring assembly made it play like new.

This radio will chase you out of the room at quarter volume on a weak Shortwave station. A pair of 6F6s in the audio output, supposedly at 8 watts out. Audio output ratings were different in those days-haha. It has regular AM band, shortwave from 9-10 Mcs, FM 88-108 and the old FM band 42-49 Mcs. The FM bands are marked by the old style channel numbers which is pretty unique. Another feature of this radio is that is was setup to work with a companion wire-recorder in some of the console models. There's a plug-n-play jack on the back for that purpose.

One of the console models that uses the same chassis.

Return to Sparkbench Home Page