Philco Model 650H 'All-Period' Console with Lift-Top (1936)
This unusual Philco model 650H "All Period" console radio was
introduced in the summer of 1935 as one of 43 new cabinet
styles for the 1936 model season. It had an original list price of
$125 and was one of six available model 650 variants that
utilized the 8-tube type 650 chassis (650B, 650X, 650H,
650MX, 650PX & 650RX). All these versions of the 650 were
however discontinued in January of 1936, just 6 months after
their introduction, when they were replaced by the equivalent
models 655, featuring unchanged cabinet styles but having an
updated chassis that eliminated the long wave band.
The 650H was one of several Philco lift-top consoles introduced
for the 1936 line. None were big sellers and perhaps as a result
they were short-lived (as an example, philcoradio.com states
that only 2000 model 650H+655H sets were built). By January
of 1936, a phase-out of the flip-top sets had begun, as at that
time the 680X (Philco's top of the line set for 1936) was updated
to use a more conventional cabinet with a front-facing dial. The
650/655H cabinet continued to be available until June of 1936,
at which time it and all other remaining flip-top models were
discontinued (this discussion of course excludes Philco lift-top
phonographic consoles, which would continue to be offered).
Personally, I have always found sets such as the 650H to be
restrictive in use, as one has to be in a standing position to
operate the radio and the lift-top has a tendency to obscure
both the dial and the shadow meter.
For technical details of the 650H, refer to my 650X page.
Below are two clippings describing the theme of Philco's "All-
Period" cabinetry, new for the 1936 model year. The one on
the right was taken from the June 1935 issue of Radio Retail-
ing and the other from a Philco sales brochure describing the
1936 model line.
Philco 650H... beautiful "All Period" model.
|"Many people have living rooms with carefully
selected and cherished period furniture. Philco
created the 660L and 650H to blend normally and
naturally in such rooms - to give primarily the
impression of a fine musical cabinet. Pressing a
release button raises the lid and reveals the
concealed instrument panel - a new Philco feature"
|"...models known as All-Period models because they
combine the distinguishing features of various periods
of furniture (except moderne) without being definitely
of any one period. Dial and instrument panel are
concealed beneath the top lid of the cabinet.
In designing and constructing this new line, American
walnut, butt walnut, mahogany and East Indian Laurel
predominate. Novel treatments of inlays, marquetry,
and paneling add to their beauty and all "fussiness"
has been done away with"