Philco Model 52 Baby Grand (52B) Cathedral Radio (June 1932)
The Philco model 52B Baby Grand, introduced in June
of 1932, was the latest in the company's line of econo-
my compacts, having been preceded by models 50
and 51. It featured a new cabinet by industrial design-
er Clyde Shuler (1, 2), the likeness of which would be
used for most of the Baby Grand radios released
during the next two years.
The 52B had a purchase price of $36.50, complete with
tubes. It was not a big seller and its role as price leader
was short-lived, since that honor was soon to be be-
stowed upon the model 80B midget, introduced that fall.
When this radio was introduced in June, many stores
sold it with a free printed program showing the schedule
of radio broadcasts for the upcoming 1932 "Great Nat-
ional Political Conventions", held that month. The big
issue for the upcoming election was, of course, the
Great Depression, with the Democratic challenger
Franklin Roosevelt claiming that Republican incumbent
Herbert Hoover was to blame for the entire debacle. "I
pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American
people" was Roosevelt's rallying cry at the time. Roose-
velt went on to a sweeping victory in the November bal-
lot, ending forty years of Republican rule. I cannot help
but wonder whether or not this radio was used to listen
to those historic broadcasts and if so, to what extent it
influenced the voting of its owners.
The model 52B uses the same 5-tube superheterodyne
chassis as the model 51. It covers the standard
broadcast band only and has tube line-up 24 (mixer/
LO), 35 (IF amp), 24 (2nd det- ector), 47 (AF output
pentode) and 80 (rectifier). The schematic can be
found here, courtesy of NostalgiaAir.
...startling new Philco radio designs.
ad from July 1932
ad from Dec 1932
The 52B is not that easy to find today. With this in mind,
when I first saw this set although I was aware that the
diagonal veneer had been removed from the front rais-
ed section and that it had been re-finished, I bought it
anyway. The front veneer should look like in the ad