Lineage of the Philco Model 60 (60B) Cathedral Radio (1933-37)
The Philco model 60 Baby Grand cathedral radio enjoyed a prodigious production run between the years
1933 and 1937. During this time a number of different variants appeared and these are often the source of
much confusion today! To help alleviate this, a summary of the progression of the model is presented here.
In reading what follows, be cognizant of the fact that Philco's selling season for one year commenced in June
of the preceding year and that updates were usually made mid-season, around December and January.
The first style, shown to the left, was introduced for the 1934 season in mid 1933 and features a brass
escutcheon, rosette knobs and a two-tone dark walnut front panel. For the mid 1934 season (Jan 1934
timeframe), the front panel was re-designed, though the brass escutcheon and rosette knobs were retained.
The 1935 season saw the introduction of the third style, sporting Hex knobs and a two-tone finish that I think
is the most visually appealing of the series. There were three incarnations of this style; it started out having
the brass escutcheon for early production (perhaps while Philco used up remaining 1st and 2nd-style invent-
ory), progressed to a small bakelite escutcheon during the summer of 1935, and to a larger bakelite escutch-
eon for early 1936. The fourth style was introduced half way through the 1936 season, in early 1936. It had a
plainer cabinet than the models that had preceded it, although with its tiger striped veneer (at least in the
example photographed) the overall impression was not unattractive.
* I initially believed HEX type knobs to be original for this model rather than the rosettes shown in the photograph. However I have encountered several
examples with the rosette style and have to wonder if it in fact came with either. I have similarly seen the second version with HEX knobs as well as rostettes.
The fourth style is sometimes considered the last in the model 60 line, however I believe one is on safe
ground in arguing that the model 60 continued into the 1937 season with a fifth variant, the model 37-60.
Starting with the 1937 model year, Philco changed their model numbering to include the model year as a
prefix. Hence 1937's model 60 became officially known as the 37-60, though when advertised it was often
referred to simply as the 60B. It has very similar styling to the fourth (late 1936) version, though it did
feature modified grille cut outs, a new escutcheon and switched to using FAUX finish for the front, in lieu of
lacquered veneer. The 37-60 and earlier 60s both used five tubes and provided coverage of the standard
broadcast and lower shortwave bands. However, there the similarities stopped. The 1937 model employed
a completely re-designed chassis using the new octal-based tubes and adopted the "unit construction" -
disliked by service technicians then and now because of the relative difficulty in servicing it. Furthermore,
shortwave coverage on the 37-60 was extended from 4000kc to 7400kc and there was an almost
indistinguishable model - the 37-61 - that extended shortwave coverage yet further to 18200kc.
1937 was the last year of Philco cathedral radio production and the ubiquitous model 60 ran through much
of the Philco cathedral era, from 1933 through 1937. It was a very successful line for them.
Ramirez, Ron & Prosise, Michael, "Philco Radio, 1928-1942", Schiffer Publishing Ltd, Atglen PA, 1993.
Riders Manuals for Philco Models 60 and 37-60: pp 4.30 - 4.32, 5.40, 7.19 - 7.22, 7-147 and 8.3.
Numerous 1930's newspaper advertisements featuring Philco model 60 products.
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