Philco Model 52C Table Model Radio (June 1932)
The Philco ac-powered model 52C was introduced in June of 1932. It represen-
ted a departure from the traditional cathedral style table-top models that Philco
had offered to date.
The cabinet is in Black Walnut with an inlaid stripe around the perimeter. The
radio originally sold for $39.50.
Despite appearing to have been well advertised, at least initially, this model was
not a big seller for Philco. Perhaps this was because of its bland demeanor, in
a style that was unfamiliar to Philco buyers. Its appearance likely conveyed the
impression of it being a "lower end" model and yet its price was relatively high.
For less money shoppers could have purchased the traditionally styled con-
temporaneous model 52B Baby Grand, which offered identical capabilities. By
the fall, sales of the 52C also went up against Philco's newly introduced entry-
level model 80 Junior, offered as the 80C at $25 in a cabinet smaller than but
very similar in appearance to that of the 52C, and at $18.75 as the model 80B
cathedral-style Baby Grand.
The same cabinet style was also used by Philco for the dc-powered model 48C
introduced in the fall of 1932 around the same time as the Junior.
The 52C uses the same ac-powered 5-tube superheterodyne chassis as the
51B, 52B Baby Grands, the 551 colonial clock and several floor models. The
schematic can be found here, courtesy of NostalgiaAir.
The grille cloth in the photograph (as found) is not original and the radio was
stripped of its lacquer finish at some point in the past. It's on my list of models
to restore someday.
Models of this set that I've seen on line, like mine have three rosette knobs
of equal size. Original ads (such as below) and brochures however depict the
set with a smaller upper knob, which would make tuning the set very finicky
(the 52B has the even larger-sized Rosette for tuning). Were the illustrations
wrong? Did Philco originally use the smaller knob but change it once the res-
ultant tuning impracticalities became apparent?
Very compact and convenient set for use on mantel, table or bookshelf....
Ad dated June 1932,
Ad dated Jan 1933,
18" (W) * 71/2" (D) * 101/2" (H)
Ideal for your camp or cottage.