Sparks-Withington Co: Sparton radio season 1934/35

ID: 302521
Sparks-Withington Co: Sparton radio season 1934/35 
10.Nov.12 22:18

Ernst Erb (CH)
Articles: 5723
Count of Thanks: 10
Ernst Erb

At the moment this is only a provisional text for linking models concerned.
I try here to show problems we face regarding proper information and allocation of models to the right radio seasons.

To be continued ...

Sparks-Withington Co: Sparton radio season 1934/35

Important to know:

Quite in contrast to car seasons: Most radios were sold before the end of the first year of market introduction, not in the year some manufacturers predated to indicate that it is a newer radio than it actually is. We reflect this by having a "from date" for the year of market introduction and a "to date" for the year of the last official sales for the particular model. Only when we have an evidence of a primary source for a certain year of market introduction, we use both fields, assuming the model has been on the market for one season only.
Most often a new model was released in June, July or latest in September.


Provisional text:

To be able to clear at least the known models for season 1934/35 I go through the journal "Radio Retailing", but I have also to check the year before and after 1934. I will put my findings first just into here at random, not yet organized:


In general - found in "Radio Retailing" March 1934:
3,806,000 radio sets were sold, 2,226,000 midget or table radios, 856,000 consoles, 724,000 car radios. 55,605,000 tubes were sold in 1933, 22,836,000 by the set makers and 32,769,000 were sold at retail.
On page 19, we find a statistic for automobile radio sets sold in the USA: 1930 34,000 for $ 3,000,000, 1931 = 108,000 (5,940,000) 1932 = 143,000 (7,150,000) and 1933 = 724,000 (28,598,000). 20,526,100 passenger cars were registrated for 1933.
Thanks to John Kusching I can list the models given by Sparks-Withington in the "Quantity and Type of Tubes" list:
For Sparton 1934 which is season 1933/34:
33-A, 33-B, 36, 43-S, 44-P, 71, 71-B, 72, 72-PQ, 74, 75-A, 76, 78, 81, 81-A, 82, 333, 475-A, 478, 478-A. In total 20 models.

The "Quantity and Type of Tubes" list for Sparton 1935 which is season 1934/35:
53, 57, 58, 65, 65-T, 66, 66-T, 67, 68, 70, 77, 80, 83, 84, 85-X, 86-X, 104, 105-X, 134, 135, 136, 594, 655, 685, 691, 775. In total 26 models. The models 685 and 775 I had to create. Present at Radiomuseum were 67-X, 68-XS, 80-X. 105-XS, but not on this list. Models 85-XS and 835 are not included but named on the origianl schematic from manual 2, bulletin 27-2. As a refernce work we show a model page also if we have not found a picture but data.

Already in March 1934, "Radio Retailing" shows on page 51 the 13 tube Triolian 76, which has not yet a VisoGlo. In the same ad can be seen the car radio 33-A and 33-B with other tubes than the earlier model 33. Also a Sparton Electric Refrigerator model 884 with an "Antifrost clock" can be seen in the ad.
According to an ad September 1934 in "Radio Merchant", page 29, Sparks-Withington Company (Sparton) offered the model 104 and the model 83 with Viso-Glo tuning. Both models offer 4 tuning bands from 540 kHz to 20 MHz. The other models in this ad are the two band receivers 67 and 65 plus the AC-DC broadcast only receiver 53 AC-DC. The Sparton photo is printed in reverse! The version 67X is not mentioned, nor is model 65T. But in August 1934, "Radio Retailing", ad on page 11 there are more models for season 1934/35: Sparton Triolian 134 with 5 bands and Viso-Glo tuning, 57 AC-DC, model 68 but not 68XS, model 80 (but not 80X) and auto radios 333, 33 and 36 from the season before.

The main 8-tube chassis for 1934/35:
The Sparton Radio Service Manual, effective June 1, 1936, Manual 2, Bulletin 27-1 is for Sparton Superheterodyne models 80, 83, 84, 85-X, (85-XS named in the schematic), 86-X and 835. It shows a voltage-resistance chart for line voltage of 120 volts with position of Tone Control, Viso-Glo regulator, Volume Control and Inter-Station Noise Suppressor "full" and Band Selector Switch on Broadcast for 8 tubes plus VisoGlo, which we count as tube. Interesting: The view of the chassis does omit the model 80. The 85-X and 85-XS show an additional toggle switch plus a condenser C24 (10 MFD) and resistor R16 (5k, 0.25 watts). For the others one can install this and drill a hole in the back of the chassis for the toggle switch. The Rider's seems to be a copy, only left out the titles, omitting to name models 85-XS and 835. Note: Export model 86-X has Power Transformer for 125, 150 and 250 volts. Interesting is the much later date than Rider's of 2 years.

Problems for getting the right information for model 80:
Rider's Sparton 5-15 to 5-18 (17 and 18 also for 104 with a 1st audio, 2 x 42 push-pull and 5Z3 instead of 80): IF = 456, date August and September 1934. Inter-Station Noise Suppressor at the back and also optional VisoGlo regulator. 8 Tubes: 78 RF, 6A7 1st det, 76 osc, 78 1st IF, 78 2nd IF, 85 2nd det, 42 output, 80 rect. 9 runed circuits, 4 wave bands.

The dealers brochure tells us a different story: The first detector is an other 78 instead of the 6A7. fortunately they have different bases, so we can check the socket if we find a chassis. Tuning range is from 540 kHz to 20 MHz in 4 bands too. Eight inch speaker, Inter-Station Noise-Suppressor is mentioned too, as is the tone control. The size is listed as 24" wide, 39" high and 11.5" deep. Tuning with 15:1 step-down ratio.

The "Quantity and Type of Tubes" list for Sparton 1936, which is season 1935/36:
506, 516, 536, 616, 666, 676, 686, 716, 726-X, 766, 776, 776-XS, 776-XP, 966, 977!, 1066, 1166, 1166-XS, 1166-XP, 1176, 1186, 1196, 1466, 1476. In total 24 models. Now Sparton models show the number of tubes - without the magic eye in the type number (front).The last digit indicates the second part of the season - sith an exception for model 977.

Now Sparton includes the magic eye in the count for the type number:
517, 527-2, 537, 557, 567, 577, 587-2, 597, 617, 667, 727-XD, 827-XD, 867, 987, 1167, 1567, 1867.
In total 17 models.


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Sparton and Sparton-Cardon tubes 
26.Nov.12 17:18
166 from 5021

Ernst Erb (CH)
Articles: 5723
Count of Thanks: 13
Ernst Erb

Here I will bring in everything which comes to me about the special tubes Sparks & Withingham used for ist Sparton radio models in the 1920s - until they got a licence from RCA.

First you will only find notes I put in here to get all the puzzle stones - and later I will try to use them for a solution. My main interest is to put in the real tubes of the original tube line up, not the sometimes several generations of replacement tubes.

Alan larsen: "The other tube problem with Cardon is the C-201A tube number being very similar to the Cunningham C-301A which further muddies the issue. ...
As far as model dating for the first Sparton radios, Alan Douglas claims that radio production started in December 1925 but the first model was not advertised until April 1926. This leads to to believe it took Sparton a little bit to get production problems ironed out. So when I see the Sparton sets listed on Steven Johannessen's nice website as being 1925 models I have to wonder if they shouldn't really be 1926 models. ...
I also found a Sparton company 40th anniversary brochure from an ARF post. The poster was allowed to copy and post to his Sparton website here. I uploaded the pictures of the three founders to the Sparton home page as well as the picture of the factories. ...
This gives an interesting history of the company but very little useful info about radios except for the pictures of the two 1941 models the 1071 PAD and the 1271 RPA which we needed. I uploaded the 1071 pictures but the 1271 model has an issue. By studying the 1071 PAD and the 1071 RPA which were the same models only the RPA had a disc recorder added I would assume the 1271 model also had a 1271 PAD and the 1271 RPA with recorder. Anyway we only have the model 1271 listed with two pictures there of an ebay model, however the pictures don't match what is in the ad for the 1271 RPA so I doubt these pictures are correct for the 1271 model. I however can find no other pictures at all for a Sparton 1271. ...

ad from Oct. 9th, 1926 for the three dial 5-26. The other ads posted were undated other than year so weren't real useful in pinning down a date. I would think that an October 1926 ad would have been advertising the 26/27 model year?"
I added the 1271-RPA.

The summary "The Quantity and types of tubes used in Sparton receiving sets" by Sparks-Withington, made in 1937 or later gives even a different picture and only offers later made replacement tubes for the early sets. I think they have "lost the truth" about the early history already then - we can only deptend on the models as existing ...:
1926: 5-15, 5-26 nothing before, nothing more for 1926, tubes from 1932: 01A
1927: AC-5, nothing more, - with 401 and BH tubes.
1928: 6-15, 6-26, AC-7, AC-62, AC-63 with 401, 483, BH, 183, 01A (all replacement)
1929: Equasonne line ...
Sparks (Sparton) did not buy Cardon but founded it - by using part of names of his sons ... but after the deal with RCA integrated it.
And it was founded only (here I may be wrong) in 1928. Before it was own Tubes or Kellogg.

Konard's text.
Radio production was added to the company in 1925 under license from Roy Weagant, who formerly designed DeForest TRF sets. Sparton was one of the first to use Kellogg AC tubes. In the late 1920s, Sparton at first refused to license RCA's patents, which led Sparton into the business of making its own tubes under the Cardon brand to guarantee its supply. Sparton's Equasonne models in 1928 were another measure to avoid RCA's patents - these models used a special circuit licensed from Technidyne Corp. In 1929, Sparton finally negotiated a license with RCA - after showing that it had the capability and will to do without RCA if necessary. Once licensed by RCA, Sparton ceased making its own tubes.

Tyne only brings the history of Kellogg's AC tubes, not about Sparton or Cardon.
Page 353 is a note:
Cardon 1930, Made by Cardon Phoncraft Corp., Jackson, Mich.
Page 363:
Sparton (without date): Made by Sparks Withington Co., Jackson, Mich. This firm was licensed by RCA.
Page 357:
Kellogg 1925: Kellogg Swithboard & Supply Co., Chicago. This concern stared out by making ac tubes for F. S. McCullouht and later put out the same tubes under their own name.
Page 345 starts with the AC tube 401! With data.


Something we have to consider - sent by Peter den Boer:

Hi Ernest,
Something you can do only.
First of all I would like to bring all the Cardon tubes to Sparton and close the Cardon brand as for tubes.
The confusion at the highest level, you can find at the 401 type. There are tubes designated as:
C401                 brand is Cardon, the picture has a Cardon label. One set attached
C-401                brand is Sparton, picture is Sparton.  One set attached.  C-401 is what is printed on the tube, not C401
401_Sparton    No picture, the brand is Sparton
401                   The brand is Sparton but the tube is a Cardon tube. Three sets attached.
I will advice to keep the C-401 and 401 and close the others. A Cardon tube can be kept as a variant.
All the Cardon tubes I have seen, started with a C-. But also some Sparton tubes also start with a C- and others do not.
I cheched some 200 tubes of Sparton and the tube type and filament voltage and current matches with common US types.

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