The CF-255 uses a highly compact 2-tube
TRF chassis that covers standard broad-
cast from 540-1730kc. The schematic can
be seen
here, courtesy of NostalgiaAir.

In their advertising, Emerson claimed the
set to have "
4-tube performance", usually
neglecting to mention that it truly used just
two tubes. However, both tubes are dual
types and the circuit is in fact comparable to
most TRFs of the day that used four single
function tubes.

The tube complement comprises a 12B8GT
triode-pentode (pentode RF amp & triode
grid-leak detector), and a 32L7GT diode-
pentode (pentode AF amp & diode halfwave
rectifier). A resistive power cord element,
dissipating 20W, supplies the filaments. An
unusual feature is that this cord is tapped to
provide a connection for the 6.3V #44 pilot
light. Views of the chassis are presented
The Emerson CF-255 "Emersonette" was
announced to the world in February of
1939, during an extensive newspaper
advertising campaign. The list price of the
brown bakelite version shown here was
$6.95. The set was also available in red,
green or ivory colored plaskon too, each
for just 50c more.

The CF-255 measures a tiny 6
1/2" wide by
3/4" high by 31/4" deep. Some Emerson
advertising described it as being "
the world's
smallest practical radio
", while a news piece in
the Feb. 1939 edition of Radio Retailing
claimed that it was
"designed for auxiliary use,
such as carrying in luggage, tucking into desk
drawers, for book-ends, playrooms, etc.
". The
cases of these sets are however extremely
fragile, especially the brightly colored
ones, and as a result few appear to have
survived. For sure, I can imagine that
those examples put to the aforementioned
auxiliary uses" would have featured high on
the casualty lists!

The pre-WWII CF-255 was the forerunner
to the post-war Emerson
540 series.
Emerson CF-255 (1939)
Emerson Model CF-255 "Emersonette" Tube Radio (1939)
..small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, yet powerful enough to bring in all standard broadcasts.
Ad in Radio Retailing, Feb 1939
CF-255 Rear View
* AC-DC - Plays Anywhere * 4-tube performance
* Miracle Tone Chamber * 4-inch Permanic Speaker
* Built-in Aerial * Illuminated High-Ratio Slide-
Rule Dial * Bakelite Cabinet  * Choice of Colors

TODAY - see and HEAR this sensational set - for
the traveler, home, office, playroom - the IDEAL
Chassis Rear View
Chassis Speaker View
Chassis Lower View