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G & F Searchlight Radio (1937/38)
G & F Searchlight Radio (1937/38)
G & F "Searchlight" Novelty Radio (1937/1938)
Over the years, the origins of this rare and unusual radio
have been obscured by the mists of time, so following my
acquisition of one at the Kutztown radio show in the fall of
2008, I endeavored to place the "searchlight", as it has
become known, under a "spotlight" and see just how many
of its secrets could be unveiled.

Upon getting the set home, prompted by a "
patent applied
" sticker I'd seen attached to the rear cover of some ex-
amples of the set, I used Google patents to see if I could
locate a patent for it. Luckily, I soon found design patent
109,040, issued to Irwin Feitler in March of 1938. Subs-
equent research has revealed that Feitler (1903~1990)
was a Chicago entrepreneur, who in 1928 joined Gardner
and Company of Chicago, then a manufacturer of punch-
boards and push-cards. By the early 1940s Feitler had
risen to become sole proprietor of the firm. They remained
in business until the early 1960s, by which time they had
diversified into the manufacture of children's toys and
board games.

During the mid-to-late 1930s, Feitler partnered with
Granger, one of the original group of four who founded
Gardner & Co. back in 1908, to form a novelties company
known as G & F Sales, co-located with Gardner & Co. on
S. Archer Avenue in Chicago. G & F Sales Co., named
after its founders Granger and Feitler, specialized in the
marketing of punch-board and push-card premiums, one
of which was Feitler's searchlight radio, as featured on this
page. Another radio offered by the firm, a short period
after the searchlight, was Majestic's highly collectible
Charlie McCarthy novelty set. You can read more on this
whole topic in my June 2009 Antique Radio Classified art-
icle, the web version of which is available

The radio was almost certainly manufactured for G & F by
Pacific Radio Corporation, then located at 844 W. Adams
St, Chicago, just a few minutes
drive from G & F on S.
Archer Avenue. The schematic corresponds to Pacific
model 3 and can be found
Technical Specifications:
G & F Novelty Searchlight radio, distributed by: G & F
Sales Company, 2309 S. Archer Ave, Chicago.,
subsidiary to Gardner & Co, a manufacturer of
punchboards and pushcards & later a national toy
Design Patent for cabinet: #109,040 (Irwin
Feitler, G & F partner), March 29, 1938.
Model Year: 1937/38.
Chassis (& cabinet?) Manufacturer: Pacific Radio
Corp,  844 W. Adams St, Chicago.
Chassis type: AC/DC superheterodyne (schematic:
same as Pacific Radio Corp. Model 3,
Rider 9-1).
Tubes, 7: 6A7 (mixer/LO), 6D6 (IF), 75 (2nd
det/1st AF), 25L6 (AF), 25Z5 (rectifier), L49C
(ballast tube),6U5/6G5 (tuning eye).
Bands, 3: standard broadcast (550~1600kc), police
(1.8~5mc), shortwave (6~16mc).
Searchlight Radio Rear View
The chassis view to the right (click to expand) shows that
the serial number commences with 25-, which according
to hearsay is an acknowledged hallmark of models manu-
factured by the Pacific Radio Corp. of Chicago (other th-
an this serial number, the chassis tag provides no marks
as to the origins of the set). The same chassis, with minor
variations, appears to have been used for a number of
models sold under various brand names, including
American and Hetro as well as Pacific and, as it now
seems, G & F.  None of this is surprising, as Pacific is
known to have been a supplier of radios to third parties
for sale under their own labels.