Atwater Kent Model 854 Tombstone Radio (1935)
The Atwater Kent model 854 was introduced in
early 1935 for the second part of the 1935
model year. It had a list price of $27.50. Later,
that summer, as part of AK's 1936 line-up, it was
superseded by model 184, which was basically
the same set upgraded to use the new 6V tubes.
I happen to think that the model 854 is the more
elegant of the two styles, however.
The 854 is an ac-powered 4-tube regenerative
super-het tuning standard broadcast band from
540-1720kc. It uses five 2.5V tubes: 57 (1st
det/LO), 57 (2nd det), 2A5 (AF power) and 80
Like many low-budget, entry level receivers of
the era the 854 has no IF amplifier, no AVC and
has the volume control situated at the antenna
input. It does however use regenerative
feedback in the 2nd detector. The manual states
that once the set has been connected to an
antenna and ground, the sensitivity screw at the
rear of the chassis should be adjusted until the
set falls just short of squealing.
In the photo below, notice the large 8" speaker
contained within this set, which ensures good
|"Four-tube A.C. compact - two position
tone-control - vernier station selector
permits exact tuning - four tuned circuits -
illuminated dial - sensitivity control - large,
powerful dynamic speaker - tuning range 540
- 1720 kilocycles, which includes standard
broadcasts and some police broadcasts. The
cabinet is of rich butt walnut and figured
American walnut with attractive inlay"