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Klick here for "all" Lafayette models.
Use the "Advanced search" for limiting by years - to get the later models.
Lafayette is known as a mail-order catalog business with sales outlets in different cities.See company description and the text about these catalogs.
See also the next main catalog, the Lafayette Radio Catalog no. 56, 1935 for season 1934/35
and the main catalog before this one here, Lafayette Radio Catalog no. 53, 1933 for 1932/33.
But directly next after this catalog here are only supplements, followed by the main catalog.
With the supplements we deal at the end of this post.
The catalog directly before this Lafayette main catalog is catalog no. 54, Spring 1933.
What is Lafayette, what is "Wholesale Radio Service Co. Inc." ?
We read in other sources that "Wholesale Radio Service Co. Inc." or "Lafayette" sold off older sets from various manufacturers - and just put their name on such sets. Is that true?
Some other catalog sellers like Allied, Concord, Radolek, Burstein-Applebee, Radio Trading Co., Try-Mo, Radio Shak etc. They bought always, often or sometimes remainders from various companies from the prior manufacturing year and re-labeled with the house brand.
So some of these catalogs may seem at least partly a year behind in style and features. Or they bought cabinets from local manufacturers for such chassis, maybe what they call custom built. Some of them had retail stores in Major cities like New York and Chicago.
Lafayette shows on the next catalog - besides the main address in New York, NY some "Serving centers" in Atlanta, GA and Newark, NJ, the following catalog adds Bronx, NY and the wording "Serving" has gone. In 1936 Lafayette catalogs add Chicago, IL. At least in the 40s Lafayette had 3 mail order centers (Chicago, New York and Atlanta).
At least in the catalog 1930 for season 1929/30 Lafayette sold the then brand new models with screen grid tubes.
After having entered all the models for the pre WW2 period we hope to be able to answer the question with solid facts. What we see is that in the second part of catalogs older sets can be found too.
Lafayette Radio Catalog no. 55, 1934
for season 1933/34
I link this thread to each model from this catalog.
We then have a common text for each model in this catalog and can inform about the specific model year etc. We then don't have to change on each model if we find something new or an error etc.
Dating the models by a catalog
Catalog no. 53 for 1933 has a note "Copyright 1932" and therefore we list those models as 1932/33. It shows the address "Wholesale Radio Service Co., Inc., 100 Sixth Avenue, New York NY. I think for good reasons we do continue to list the models for a season, not for a year, - here for 1933/34.
Rider's volume 4 with copyright 1934 for models before 1934 and perhaps also for 1934 lists Lafayette only under "Misc." (miscellaneous). It displays the technical information for the models A-11, A-12, A-14 and A-19. Only beginning with volume 5, Lafayette is listed under the L for "Lafayette Radio & Television Corp.".
Dating models by a schematic
Interesting is the fact that the Lafayette car radio L-22 Universal is not listed before 1940, in Rider's volume 11. This proves again that one can be very mistaken to date a model by some schematic collections.
At which time is Lafayette what?
There are many different views about mail-order organizations and here we would like to know more about Lafayette instead of just repeating views without much ground.
It would be interesting to find out the origin of some models. Maybe the prefix letter does indicate the manufacturer. As soon as we have uploaded the professional search, allowing any combination I would like to check the Lafayette De Luxe B-57, which is a 12 tube Superheterodyne with a distinctive scale including also a meter tuning indicator. If we have displayed the pictures of such 12 tube models it should be an easy task. Perhaps it is even possible to find out by a schematic. See the same tube line up at model Airline 62-89 from Montgomery Ward & Co. Chicago - but there are also others.
But as a first step: Please compare the two schematics, Airline in vol. 4 and Lafayette in vol. 5 and you will notice that inclusive the chassis picture and parts list, they are exactly the same ...
We believe they are in fact made by Wells Gardner for both of them - like this model Lafayette B-21 All-Wave Radio Robot from the catalog for 1936. Lafayette names this also custom built. To check further we need to complete the models of Wells Gardner first - at least the tube line up.
For the 12 tube set we have not to forget that Lafayette is writing for this model "12 tube custom built" ... When we read on page 13 under: "Highest Workmanship Throughout" - then this tells us "Extremely close manufacturing tolerances, brood safety factors and frequent testing make this custom built instrument a permanent investment for the home. The usual high Lafayette standards of workmanship and quality are evident throughout." They follow for there first model with a visual tuning aid: "Pick out a station and tune it in - the Lafayette way. A visual tuning meter tells you instantly when you're tuned in." This is only "well selling" yet now it comes: "Lafayette engineers have forestalled this possibility by the use of a tuning meter mounted directly on the front panel." This can only be interpreted that at least Lafayette had the idea to put a tuning meter to that set. We need more to examine before coming to a conclusion which is based on solid facts.
Supplements to Lafayette catalog no. 55, 1934
We don't know the dates of publication of theses supplements, therefore we are not sure if 1933 or 1934 is the right model year for such products.
Supplement C to catalog no. 55 of the Newark Branch
219 Central Ave. (Cor. Lock St.).
The supplement C has 80 pages, size 260 x 178 mm.
We find the models T-22, T-21, SL-71, SL-45, SL-40, A-14, A-11, AM-8, AM-9, AM-10, 6-tube Dual-Wave "Explorer" SF-51, A-19, (AM-10 repeated), AM-11, F-34, F-35, Chassis with F-36, F-37, F-52, F-53, F-39, F-35 and F-34; Chassis with B-51, B-52, B-53, B-54, Auto Radio L-23, followed by accessories, tubes, amplifiers, Public Address tuners, speakers, microphones, SW equipment for the HAM (National products) etc. (called "the SW and Brass Pounders Section") and at the back cover the car radio C-23 and a console B-60.
Not even on page 16/17 with the general "praising" we find a copyright year.
This article was edited 09.Nov.09 10:56 by Ernst Erb .