Thursday, December 05, 2013

The Philco Radio Dial tells All


This is a picture of a nice old Philco I saw at a yard sale. What's interesting about old radio dial presets is that you can use them to determine where the radio came from, and how old it is even without the model number of the radio. The stations listed here are  WOR, WEEU, KYW, WHUM and WRAW.

From even that short list we can limit our time line. 710 WOR-AM signed on in 1922, and is still on air so that's not useful. They encompass the entire consumer-grade history of radio. KYW-AM is in the same bucket. At first I thought WHUM was actually WHOM, but there was actually a WHUM in reading, PA. WHUM-AM changed calls to WAGO-AM in late 1986 and then WIOV-AM in  about 1990. So we know this device had to have been set up prior to at least the mid 1980s. Seems late but you'd be surprised.

The real  deal closers are WEEU and WRAW. There is a 1340 WRAW-AM in Reading today; where they have been since before 1950. WEEU has a tenure in reading just as long.  So what we have here are two clear channels stations audible anywhere in the north east (KYW, and WOR) and three much smaller AM stations providing local service to the Reading area. I'm pretty confident this radio spend most of it's life on a kitchen table in Reading probably prior to 1960.