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Model Year

Jürgen Stichling Ernst Erb Vincent de Franco Bernhard Nagel Mark Hippenstiel Eilert Menke 
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Forum » Manufacturer's / brands history » MANUFACTURERS and TRADE NAMES (present in the museum) » Model Year
Konrad Birkner † 12.08.2014
Konrad Birkner † 12.08.2014
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26.Jun.10 16:08

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There are always arguments regarding the model dates.
A certain model runs always from mid (or autumn) Y to the same time in the following year Y+1.

Y+1 is usually the so called model year, but production and marketing always started during the previous year Y, mainly to meet the X-mas business, where a model for the next Year would suggest to be the latest, advanced model..

Often the first model release date is known, or a rubberstamp tells a production date, both conflicting with the model year!
It is our policy in RMorg to cover both dates by listing from-to (as far as available). That reflects the true model season and can avoid ambiguities.

That must not be compared with the automobile market, where the sales are mainly in springtime. The model year is more or less congruent with the calender year.

Ernst Erb
Ernst Erb
CH  Articles: 5661
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Pict.: 31014
14.Aug.11 09:47

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To backup my discussion with an US member: Here you find a nice example. On the model page for Kadette K-1149 from International Radio Corp., Ann Arbor, MI you find two ads, one from "Radio Retailing" August 1937, the other from September.

The August ad brings the complete "1938" line with the following text: "For Kadette dealers the 1938 line will bring the biggest profits in radio history." Similar it is in September: "The public is still discovering the phenomenal value built into the 1938 Kadettes - the demand for Kadette is bigger than ever. ... Throughout the country they're pulling the public into dealer's stores."

This says clearly that at least in September the models were on the market. If you compare sales figures for radios, it is also obvious that the vast sales are in 1937 - quite different to cars, where the biggest sales are in Spring.

Ernst Erb
Ernst Erb
CH  Articles: 5661
Schem.: 13754
Pict.: 31014
26.Jun.14 09:09

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We bought many folders from the author Mark V. Stein. Some of the folders show no date, some have definitly date information and some are marked by hand with a year. Only if there is an official date by the manufacturer we have a proof.

We can also then work through other models if we find some models for which we have a proof, for instance by an ad or description in a journal. If the models lasted for a season only, then we can determine the rest of the models on a given folder. I now list modles from a given folder with many models.

A part of the folder reflects the brand or name Consoltone with the sentence: "New Zenith table models with Consoltone":

There is one problem with them and most of the others too:
The third or forth digit in the name is written like the letter "O" (example 5DO11) but we present them with the number "0". The reason is most probably the Rider's schematic. In order that both ways of writings can be found, we use both versions in the field model name.

Interesting is also to see on the example of the 5DO11 that the folder names only two versions, the 5DO11Y in black and the 5DO11W as soft-white. The schematic is for 5DO11 (chassis or 5D011), 5DO11W, 5DO11Y, 5DO11Z, 5DO11ZW and 5DO11ZY - but also for 5DO27 (5D027), Ch.5CO1 (5C01), 5DO27Z, Erly, Late, Chassis 5CO1Z (5C01Z).

Now the models on the folder:
5DO11Y, 5DO11W, 5DO27, 6DO30, 5DO30E (here one can see the difference clearly on the folder between O and 0! and the 5DO30E it is called: "New bisque mahagony".
5DO27, 6DO14Y, 6DO14W, 6DO15Y, 6DO15W, 6DO29G.

Table combination 5RO86R and 5RO86E - and in this example one can see that not even the person who designed the folder could stay on one version. The same 5RO86 is at the same place clearly written once as 5R086 and once as 5RO86!

New Zenith Console: 8HO61G.
Rural radios that go to town: 4KO16, 4KO35G.
Under "Enjoy AU 3 at their Best!":
12HO94E, 12HO92R, 12HO90, 9HO88R, 9HO81, 9HO79R, 9HO79E, 6RO87G.

On the other side we find names only like the "Cobra Tone Arm and the Silent Speed Record Changer" as "Now, the new way to play records with the sensational radionic". The COBRA has only 2/3 ounce pressure on the record.

The Transoceanic Clipper Portable for standard broadcast and short wave with 5.5-inch Alnico Dynamic Speaker is shown and the Zenith Universal portable.

The folder is R5148 with the slogan "Another 30 years". It tells that since 1918 Zenith led in the manufacture of fine home radios.