Silvertone "Pee Wee" 6166 & 6169 "Midget" Tube Radios (1939)
This tiny Silvertone "Pee Wee" or "midget"
radio, measuring just 6.25" wide by 4.75" high
by 4.25" deep, was introduced in late 1938 for
the 1939 model year. According to Sears'
1939 catalog, the cabinet was offered in a
choice of several colors:- red plaskon (model
6169), ivory plaskon (6166), ebony bakelite
(6165) & mottled walnut bakelite (6167). All
were listed in the catalog for just $6.49, re-
gardless of color. Originally intended to sell at
$9.95, Sears claimed they sold so many of
them that they were able to cut the price to
$6.49, sometimes selling them for even less!
These delightful and nowadays hard-to-find
radios were made for Sears by Detrola and
resemble models in Detrola's PeeWee line.
Sears often used these sets as promotional
items, giving them away with appliances,
"just 50 radios given away with these regular
$39.95 Kenmore All-White Washers" or offer-
ing them "for 1Cent when you purchase any
Silvertone Console Radio priced from $39.95
Ascertaining the correct model numbers has
proven tricky, as the labels are incomplete & it
appears models having different chassis types
used the same case design. I have based my
model numbering, 6166 and 6169, on what is
shown in the Sears 1939 catalog. However,
that's not the end of the story, as my sets both
have chassis marked 109-216-1 & Riders
does not show this chassis as matching these
models, so the matter remains unresolved!
The radio covers the standard broadcast
band and uses a 4-tube TRF circuit. Tube
line-up (109-216-1) is 6K7 (RF amp), 6F5
(2nd detector), 25L6 (AF output) & 25Z6
(rectifier). It was designed to use the metal
type tubes. Unsurprisingly, the performance of
this model is not great!
I obtained a reproduction back for this model
|"A tiny set (fits in the palm of your hand)
yet is very powerful. Gets all the network
stations. All you want to hear on the air. A
tone that will amaze you with its clarity and
perfect reproduction. The ideal small set
for that extra radio."
"Small - but a powerhouse in performance.
The case is of bakelite, streamlined in
design with horizontal louvre treatment.
Choose from black and walnut finish with
contrasting knob and electrically lighted
dial. Has four standard size tubes .. a
genuine dynamic speaker and operates on AC
or DC. Built in antenna.**"
"Such a tiny mite you can use it anywhere -
take it with you wherever you go. Its petite
appearance charms the women, its handy
size appeals to men, and its amazing tone
quality completely wins all sceptics"
A midget Silvertone but a GIANT in value! .. a value that's almost unvelievable!
Right: 2 views of the 109-216-1 chassis as
used in both of my models.
**the "built in antenna" was actally a 20' coil of wire that
was included with the radio and known as a "hank" antenna.
Note: My red radio appears to have the incorrect dial, as it is
only a single band model and the dial shows markings for a
police band from 1800 to 4500kcs. The shape and color are
A surprise value YOU NEVER EXPECTED and even we didn't believe possible!
...the most radio for the money ever offered.