Philco Model 39-25T Slant-Front Table Radio (1939)
Capitalizing on the success of their
1937/38 "No Squat, No Stoop, No
Squint" console radios, in June/July of
1938, for the 1939 model year, Philco
introduced a series of "slant-front"
table sets. The 39-25T was the entry
level model in this line, with a list price
of $45. Philco would continue to
develop the stylistic theme of these
sets through 1942, when production
was halted by WWII. For an overview
of the series, see my
41-255T page.

The 39-25T is a 5-tube two-band AC
supehet covering standard broadcast
from 540-1720kcs and shortwave from
4900-18000kcs. The tube line-up is
6A8G (mixer/LO), 78 (IF), 75 (2nd
det/AGC/1st AF), 41 AF output and 84
(rectifier). The schematic is available
here, courtesy of NostalgiaAir.

On May 1st of 1938, a month before the new 1939 models were to be announced, thousands
of Philco workers at the unionized Philadelphia plant went out on strike in a dispute over wag-
es. Facing growing unrest, in August James M. Skinner* sent a letter to Philadelphia's Mayor
Wilson requesting city protection for the loyal minority of Philco workers, mainly foremen and
supervisors, who continued to venture into the plants. He wrote that:-

The strike ran through Sept 12th and, having lasted over four months, was crippling to Philco
and cost the company dearly. It forced them to outsource early 1939 production and delayed
availability of their 1939 models, leading to a financial loss for 1938. In its aftermath, Philco
made fundamental changes to the way they procured components, making much greater use
of external suppliers over in-house manufacture. As a result they trimmed the Philadelphia
workforce by many thousands. A similar though much less protracted strike had also taken
place at the plant during the spring of 1937, again over wages.

Philco management had allowed their workers to become unionized as part of an agreement
made in 1933. That agreement included a wage contract that resulted in the workers being
amongst the highest paid in the industry. This in turn sowed the seeds for yet more industrial
strife, which remained a feature of the Philco Philadelphia landscape, on and off, for as long
as the company existed as a corporate entity. One can only but wonder whether the record
of industrial relations problems in Philadelphia was behind Philco's investment in and event-
ual take-over of the Simplex radio plant in Sandusky, Ohio. This began in 1937 and within a
few years much of Philco's manufacturing was relocated to Ohio, where they remained for
over twenty years.

New York Times, Aug 15th 1938   (1938 strike letter to Philadelphia's mayor)
New York Times, May 2nd 1937    (1937 strike)                 (1938 strike aftermath)                         ( Philco Sandusky history)
"The Electrical Workers", R.W. Schatz, University of Illinois Press, 1987       (early unionization @ Philco)
* president, Philadelphia Storage Battery Company
Philco 39-25T (1938/39)
..loyal workers had been slugged entering and leaving factories, attacked in restaur-
ants and in their homes, ambushed on the street and threatened with death, while win-
ows had been broken and paint spattered on their homes.   
.. unless the city gives full
protection to Philco radio plant workers, their homes and their families against a "cam-
paign of terrorism instigated by a small minority group", the radio company will be driv-
en from Philadelphia by labor trouble
. We are reluctant to leave Philadelphia, but terr-
orism is at a point where a grave decision confronts the company.
Philco's Philadelphia Industrial Strife