Silvertone Radios, service inf. 1928-1936 and Sears Catalogs

ID: 290365
This article refers to the manufacturer: To the manufacturer

Silvertone Radios, service inf. 1928-1936 and Sears Catalogs 
11.Jun.12 15:18

Ernst Erb (CH)
Articles: 5731
Count of Thanks: 20
Ernst Erb

This is additional information to users who click the link on Sears, Roebuck models included in the Silvertone service information 1928-1936 and the Sears Catalogs of that period.

With this method we can easily give common information for each model and at the same time adapt on one place.

John Kusching, USA, has bought the book "Silvertone Radios, Service Information 1928 thru 1936" and is intending to scan and to load up all these service documentations. This is huge work, since he has shown with his work for RCA and other US brands that he uploads top quality information. See the Schematic Finder. On top of that he also completes models which are not yet complete.

Years ago I had bought all catalog pages from Mark V. Stein who did the book "Sears Silvertone Catalogs 1930-1942". I told John Kusching that I will try to let scan here, prepare and upload these pages with every written detail by Monique Ehrat as a paid job. I will update or create the models according to the notes in the catalog. It would be nice to get more sticky articles like repair stories or even explanations about a certain model family like here below model 1587.

Designation (naming) of the models

For Sears, Roebuck & Co.; Chicago, IL, we face quite some challenges regarding the model designations:

1 Brand and Model designation
Not all models carry the brand Silvertone and therefore we can not generally add a brand to the company. Internal we use two fields for the model designation. Meteor, Sears Roebuck and Allstate are for instance other brands of Sears. For USA, normally the second field is for a chassis number, beginning with Ch= .....

We begin with the brand Silvertone (if so branded) and add the model number or name in that field.
Generally the brand Silvertone was introduced in 1924. It was also then not always used.

2 Order number (second field)
At the beginning there is a model number in catalogs plus a different order number.
There are different order numbers for the same model for easy payment and adain often two more for the set including accessories like tubes, batteries, antenna etc.

We will use two where necessary: with and without tubes etc.
We might list in the text the other order numbers and enter prices.
Where different voltages or cycles become an other number, we will use those and not create a new model.
The syntax is the following (example): Order= 57DM 1110 or 1112
We do not enter the additional 1/4 and we do a space to show the usual number without catalog code.

3 Manuafacturer
Sears is a special case like for instance Lafayette. Sears is a general store and catalog seller, not a manufacturer and not a brand. Quite against other beliefs, Sears in fact did manufacture quite some radios, when establishing "King Quality Products, Inc." (KQP) in 1924. In 1929 Sears sold KQP to Colonial Radio Corporation for contracted radio production. Until WW2 Colonial was the largest manufacturer for Sears and even stopped selling radios as Colonial in 1935. But Sears bought from quite a variety of manufacturers. Mark Stein has noted them for some models and we add the information in the notes if possible.

4 Chassis number
If there is a catalog number entered in the designation field two, then we put the chassis number behind, after a comma (,). See an example here.

This number can also tell us which manufacturer was involved.
You can help us in this respect by taking a photo of the sticker on the chassis and uploading in big size. Often it is and the three digits before the dot indicate the manufacturer. A next post by John Kusching will reveal the names with a list.
As a guest: Please use the contact form to send us such photos including the main photo (3 dimensions) and some details. We will add with a courtesy remark in the caption and will fill in the manufacturer name to the model.

5 Catalog numbers
Mark Stein has noted on page 3 the catalog numbers, starting with #160 for pages 512-522 (not 897-910) for the Spring & Summer catalog 1930. But the pages for this show C101 or P151 B-C.
Since we show always also the whole catalgo page, we don't care for that number but might add here a list of the catalogs and their name/date. Stein is ending with catalog #183 for 1941. We will try to find more catalog pages for before and after - and there are also catalogs in between, not covered. We don't know if they would produce new models, but I doubt it.
Example: 1930 Midsummer Sale Catalogue from Boston Mass with a front cover number B446 and back cover C452P-B-K-MN has 176 pages and only page 150 shows radios:
an 8-tube All Electric Console Radio Receiver for $57.50 and a 8-tube all electric table model radio for$39.95 and a 7-tub Battery operated radio for $29.95 all with black and white illustrations.
We have to find more Sears catalog pages for radios!

Advertisements etc. (sources)
Ads are the best proofs for the date of market introduction, if we scan them inclusive the source (newspaper, magazine, event etc.). With a catalog we can only tell that in that year or season the model was offered to a certain price. It is a combination of all kind of information, including folders and fliers. The schematics show us technical data but they can only tell that the market introduction was before - sometimes years before.

Dating the models
When we have only a second source information and/or a date of a schematic, we often have to put a question mark to the year, or even two if we can only guess. When we have a catalog information with its date and name, then we can prove the year of existance in the market, but not necessarily the selling season or first year of market introduction. A combination with earlier or later ads will lead to the right season(s). Interesting is to see different prices for the same model during the time. Since most radios are sold in the "old year", before Christmas, quite in contrary to cars, we name the first hit to the market in the "from year" and try to find the "to year", resulting in a model season or several seasons. Winter is the "radio time", Summer is the "Car time" (mostly sold in Spring).

Pending work on Sears
We list the Sears Manufacturing Co.; (where?). and to that the following 5 models which are not included at Sears, Roebuck: Acme Reflex A, B, Standard (two) and Torodyne. Should probably not be split from the main name - for searching reasons.

We have inconsistencies in the naming which we get rid of when working on a model only.

Later Sears adds a leading zero to the 4 digit number. We might be able to drop that without loosing "findability".

We have to clear a possible Silvertone model 41, a Low-Boy from around 1929/30 (eMail 9.6.12) with plate R 5761 Col. (probably a Colonial made).

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Sears, Roebuck: Silvertone and advertising claims 
20.Jun.12 11:21
205 from 15177

Ernst Erb (CH)
Articles: 5731
Count of Thanks: 18
Ernst Erb

Most people and catalog buyers from Sears will not care and not know if a Silvertone Radio was made by Sears, Roebuck or by others. For us collectors it matters at least if we are in need of a schematic and don't find one under Sears or Silvertone. For most interested collectors it matters in principle.

It is not true that Sears did not manufacture its own radios but it is even less true that Sears should have manufactured most of the Silvertone radios. We know from the post above: "King Quality Products, Inc." (KQP) was a Sears company from 1924 for producing radios, but sold in 1929 to Colonial Radio Corporation. But also from 1924 to 1929 many radios came from different manufacturers. Sears was not interested to communicate this and even in 1931 (Spring & Summer), in the catalog #162, page 483 you can find "stories" like this:

"Sears, Roebuck and Co. were among the first to take part in screen grid development. Just as soon as the Screen Grid tube had been perfected beyond the experimental state and our own laboratories proved its merit; we introduced a Silvertone all-electric screen grid set. In fact, we were the first to build a high grade screen grid for less than $ 100. We are the only radio manufacturer who has consistently LED in building high class radio receivers at a LOW price. No other has so steadily "undersold" the entire country."

You find that page on model 1096C which is also called 1096 or 1097 (right column of the picture with the entire page). You can compare this with "similar stories" from for instance Lafayette. There you can click "about these catalogs" to know more.

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Sears Manufacturer Source Number Codes 
05.Jul.12 03:33
331 from 15177

John Kusching (USA)
Articles: 31
Count of Thanks: 21
John Kusching

The earliest Sears Radio Service Manual that seems to exist is called "Service Information and Parts Lists for Silvertone Radios 1928 Thru 1936", which was compiled by R.T.Lowenthal (Dept 657).  The front cover of this manual also has the following in the upper right corner: "DIV. 57 RL1, May 1937". The manual contains 980 pages and on the inside cover, the manual states that the book is property of Sears, Roebuck and Co. and that "Your store is charged with copy number xxxx", where the store number was stamped.  As such, these manuals were serialized and assigned to specific Sears stores.

The manual identifies the actual radio manufacturer using a 3 digit "Source Number", which is listed for each radio model in the book, usually on the schematic itself or on the parts list.  Sometime after 1936, the radio manufacturers for Sears began stamping a chassis number onto a metal plate, with the plate attached to the back of the chassis itself and the chassis number taking the form xxx.yyyy or xxx-yyyy.  The xxx was always the manufacturer code and the yyyy (which could be a 3 or 4 digit number) identified the chassis.

On page 12 of the Sears 1928 thru 1936 service manual is an "Index of Source Numbers", which is more commonly referred to as the manufacturer codes.  Another source of these codes can be found on page 239 in "The Sears Silvertone Catalogs 1930 - 1942", by Mark V. Stein.  Over time, Sears has re-assigned many of the original manufacturer codes for the manufacturers that have gone out of business.  The latest Sears (and Craftsman) manufacturer codes can be found here: Sears Manufacturer Codes

Below is a table that maps the Manufacturer codes to the manufacturers using the three sources mentioned above. A "Yes" under the Source column indicates that the source confirms the mapping of the manufacturer to the code number.  Companies listed under the Source 3 column indicate that the code number has been re-assigned to a new manufacturer. Codes below 140 come directly from the Sears (Craftsman) web page and so are listed directly in the Manufacturer Column. 

Source 1 = "Service Information and Parts Lists for Silvertone Radios 1928 Thru 1936"

Source 2 = "The Sears Silvertone Catalogs 1930 - 1942"

Source 3 = Sears Manufacturer Codes  (Code has been reassigned if company is listed)

++ Indicates a Code identified in later Div 57 Standard Nomenclature Manuals from Sears

Code Manufacturer Source 1 Source 2 Source 3
100 Stewart Warner Yes Yes -
101 Colonial Radio Yes Yes Atlas Press
102 Majestic Radio & Tel. Yes Yes Walker Turner
103 Emerson Radio & Phono. - Yes Sarlo Power Mower
104 Phonovision (Formerly Corona Radio & Tel. Yes Yes -
105 Continental Radio & Tel. (Later renamed Admiral Radio & Tel. Yes Yes -
106 Electrical Research Lab (ERLA) (Formerly Sentinel Radio Corp.) Yes Yes Whirlpool
107 Howard Radio Co. Yes Yes -
108 Automatic Radio Mfg Co. Yes Yes Covel Mfg Co
109 Detrola Radio Corp. Yes Yes AA Engineering
110 Air-King Products Co. Yes Yes Whirlpool
111 Rola Mfg Co. ++ - - Watson Mfg Co.
112   - - Parks Tool Co.
113 Mission-Bell Radio Mfg - Yes Emerson Electric Co.
114 Pioneer GEN-E Motor Corp. (Pincor) - Yes Yes
115 Parris-Dunn - Yes Rixon
116 Electro-Acoustic - Yes Emerson Electric Co.
117 Grigsby-Grunow Radio Corp (Grunow) Yes Yes -
118 Wholesale Radio Service Co. (Lafayette) Yes Yes -
119 Automatic Radio Mfg Co. Yes Yes Frigidaire
120 Sterling Sales & Mfg Co. Yes Yes -
121 Zenith Radio Mfg Co. Yes Yes Dills & McGuire
122 Warwick Radio Mfg Co. Yes Yes Blair Mfg
123 Crosley Distributing Corp. Yes Yes Yard-Man
124 Operando Mfg Co. Yes Yes -
125 Universal Batter Co. - Yes -
126 RCA Mfg Co. (RCA Victor) - Yes -
127 Continental Motor - Yes -
128 Crowe Nameplate & Mfg Co. - Yes E.T.Rugg
129 Jackson Products - Yes Mono Mfg Co.
132 Noblitt-Sparks Ind. (Arvin) - Yes -
133 International Radio Corp. (Kadette) - Yes American Yard Products
134 Wilcox-Gay Corp. - Yes -
135 Sonora Radio & Tel Corp. - Yes Skil/Bosch
137 Conley - Yes Toro Mfg Co.
138 Erwood Sound Equipment Co. - Yes -
139 General transformer - Yes Chamberlain
140 Air-King Products Co. - Yes -
143 Fisher - - *
164 Freed - - *
176 Murata - - Yes
190 Pioneer - - Yes
216 Phonemate - - Yes
222 Panasonic Video/Audio - - Yes
256 Emerson Electric - - Yes
264 Emerson Electric - - Yes
274 RCA - - Yes
278 General Electric - - Yes
289 Sharp - - Yes
302 IBM - - Yes
330 Apple - - Yes
362 General Electric - - Yes
363 General Electric - - Yes
366 Koss Electronics - - Yes
367 AT&T - - Yes
452 AT&T - - Yes
457 Code-A-Phone - - Yes
459 Technics - - Yes
474 Sony - - Yes
478 Tele-Tone - - *
480 Bose - - Yes
528 Warwick Electronics Inc. - - *
529 Warwick Electronics Inc. - - *
540 Harmon Cardon - - *
547 Westinghouse - - *
548 Audio Industries - - *
549 Hallicrafters - - *
552 Cobra - - Yes
562 Toshiba - - Yes
564 Sanyo - - Yes
565 Sanyo - - Yes
566 Packard Bell - - Yes
568 Panasonic - - Yes
575 Sharp - - Yes
604 Digital Equipment Corp. - - Yes
626 Magnavox (Philips) - - Yes
640 Cerwin Vega - - Yes
683 Philco (Italy) - - Yes
716 H.H.Scott/Emerson - - Yes
721 LG Electronics - - Yes
723 Yamaha - - Yes
733 Fairbanks Morse - - Yes
758 Emerson Electric - - Yes
768 Technics (Matsushita) - - Yes
773 Marantz - - Yes
864 Zenith - - Yes
911 General Electric - - Yes
923 Hewlett Packard - - Yes

* - Source for this code was Sears Employee


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