Philco Model 16X (16) Console Radio (June 1934)
..a radio of great refinement and beauty.
This large and impressive console, whose cabinet was designed
for Philco by Ben Nash*, was the third incarnation of Philco's mo-
del 16X. Introduced for the 1935 model season in June of 1934,
it replaced the short-lived second version, which had debuted
just a few months earlier. This new 16X initially used the same 5-
band chassis as its 16X forerunners, but in the fall it switched ov-
er to using Philco's new and improved 4-band chassis; the list
price was $175 for both. Philcoradio.com reports that this set
went on to become the best selling of all the model 16 consoles,
attaining sales of some 23,475 units. In spite of this relatively
large production number however, surprisingly few of these sets
ever seem to show up today.
* see the ad Dec 9th, bottom right (or click here).
Philco mid-1934 sales literature lists the features of this set as:
|Tuning Range, 540 to 23,000 kilocycles
Five Tuning Bands
Receives all standard American broadcasts, police,
aircraft and amateur stations and all American and
foreign shortwave stations
Inter-Station Noise Suppression
PHILCO Inclined Sounding Board
Super "Class A" Audio System
15 Watts Audio Output
Auditorioum Type PHILCO Electro-Dynamic Speaker
Four-Point Tone Control
PHILCO Simplified Tuning
Automatic Volume Control
PHILCO Shadow Tuning
Station Recording Dial
Wave Band Selector with Automatic Scale Indicator
Dual Ratio Tuning
Full Rubber Floated Chassis
11 PHILCO High-Efficiency Tubes
|"Superbly fashioned from two-toned Walnut and handsomely
high-lighted by Grecian type mouldings and delicate
marquetry, this brilliant new cabinet is certain to find a host of
admirers. All who love fine furniture will recognize in this
model cabinet-making skill far above the ordinary. Curved
side panels of choicely grained Walnut, fluted columns* in front
of the inclined Sounding Board and jet black inlay trimming
make this 16X a radio of great refinement and beauty"
..a PARADE of NATIONS in your home.
Mid-Life Production Changes
In the fall of 1934 (most likely early November) the 16X was
upgraded to use a new, 4-band type 16 chassis. This was
probably coincident with the introduction of the second vers-
ion of the 16B tombstone. In the summer of 1934 promotional
literature for the 16X, such as that quoted from above, refers
to it as a 5-band set, like mine. However by mid November,
advertising was describing it as being a four band receiver. I
found some web photos showing the four-band radio, comp-
lete with the alternate knob set that was used with the new
chassis (here and here). Refer to my 16B pages for a comp-
arison of the two different chassis types (here). Also see the
ads below to the right.
Philco's 5-Millionth Radio
For eleven weeks at the end of 1934 Philco celebrated the
production of their 5 millionth radio, a 4-band version of the 5-
band 16X shown on this page. In conjunction with their distri-
butors and retailers, they mounted a massive advertising cam-
paign, offering "greater values, easier terms and more liberal
trade-in allowances than ever before". Promotional events
were held in stores, where in addition to Philco radios, special
furniture ensemble packages, centered around a Philco radio,
were offered for sale at attractive discounts.
One special event took place at the Franks furniture store in
Wellington, Texas, on Dec 22nd. At the formal re-opening of
the store following extensive re-modelling, Mrs J. M. Hurst was
awarded first prize, a 16X radio, for her entry in a letter writing
competition sponsored by Philco for the Panhandle of Texas
and Oklahoma. Her entry, entitled "Why I would like to own
the 5 millionth Philco", was read aloud at the event:-
|"The model 16X, the 5-millionth Philco radio, renders
true radio entertainment in all its splendor.
The beautiful and scientifically designed cabinet with
its inclined speaker and baffle, not only gives truer
tone, but is an exquisite piece of furniture of which
anyone may be truly proud.
The balanced mechanism ensures sharper tuning. The
tone control gives the listener a wide variety of tonal
quality to please his individual liking, while the auto-
matic volume control prevents fading and distortion.
Its wide range of reception is an outstanding reason
why I would like to own the 16X Philco"
For more on the Philco 5-millionth set celebrations, see
my 45L and 45C pages. See also my Antique Radio
Classified article entitled "Philco Milestone Celebrations",
cited in the bibliography below. An example of a Philco
furniture ensemble package may be seen here.
For technical details on the 16X, see my other model 16
pages:- 16B, 16L, 16B, 16X, 16RX and 16B.
My set uses the early 5-band model 16 chassis & knobs.
"Philco Milestone Celebrations", Antique Radio Classified,
November 2008, pp 12-15 (web edition here)
"Franks to Award radio Saturday", The Wellington Leader,
December 20th 1934, Wellington, Texas, pg 1 & 12
PHILCO MODEL 16 SERIES
Dec 1934 (later 4-band)
June 1934 (5-band)
Nov 24th 1934, ND
*The reference to "fluted columns" in the above snippet,
quoted from a Philco dealers advertising booklet for this
exact model, is confusing, as the columns in front of the
loudspeaker sounding board are inlaid, not grooved.
Perhaps the writers of the piece were thinking of the
earlier set, which certainly did have fluted columns.
Oct 19th 1934, Joplin,
MO (5 band)
click any thumbnail to enlarge
Dec 9th 1934