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Philco Model 50 Baby Grand Cathedral-style Radio (1931)
The Philco model 50 Baby Grand was introduced in Aug-
ust of 1931 and was targeted at the "low price" segment
of the marketplace for tabletop radios. Costing just $36.50
complete with tubes, it offered bare-bones features in a
simple, unembellished cabinet of either genuine mahog-
any or walnut veneers. Compare this price with that of the
model 20 Baby Grand, released just one year earlier, at
around $68 complete!

The 50 utilized a new, no-frills 5-tube TRF screen-grid
chassis. It was positioned as the entry level set in a line-
up that included Philco's now famous model 70 and 90
superheterodyne Baby Grands, introduced just weeks
earlier and destined to become nationwide bestsellers.

It was billed by Philco
"as a radio destined to sweep the
country - powerful, selective, a great distance getter, and  at
the lowest price in Philco history. A set built for those who
demand the best at a price anyone can afford to pay

Well, it so happens that it did not end up "sweeping the
country", since in spite of heavy advertising, it neither re-
peated the enormous success of the model 20, nor would
it match the sales of its contemporary models, the 70 &
90. Nevertheless it did do very well, as some 80,500
model 50s were produced.

There has been some speculation that a few model 50s
were initially released in a cab similar to that of models
21, 70 & 90 (see my
Edward Combs page). A personal
conjecture as to the origin of this variant, is that perhaps
Philco at first planned to ship the 50 in a model 21 style
cabinet but changed its corporate mind shortly after
commencing production to avoid eroding sales of the
more lucrative 70 & 90 superhets, once their sales
started to gain momentum.

The model 50 is a 5-tube Tuned-Radio-Frequency (TRF)
receiver tuning standard broadcast from 550 - 1500kcs.
Tube line-up includes three screen-grid types and a pen-
tode:- 24 (1st RF), 24 (2nd RF), 24 (detector), 47 (power
output), 80 (rectifier). You can find the schematic
courtesy of
...designed by Philco engineers to meet the present demand for a low priced radio
Philco Model 50
newspaper ad. Aug 21st
newspaper ad. Oct 8th