The Sparks-Withington Co. introduced the
model 506 in June of 1935 at a retail price   
of $29.95. The 506 is a rare little bird today,
in spite of it having been originally priced at
the entry level in the line of eleven models
introduced that June. Later, in September of
1935 the company unveiled several deluxe
sets styled by Walter Dorwin Teague. Shor-
tly afterwards, inspired by the initial Teague
sets, came the
model 566 Bluebird, which
shared its chassis design with the 506 and
is today often erroneously referred to as the
model 506 (see my 566 page for details).

Why is this set so rarely seen today? It's
conceivable that a number of them have
suffered the fate of having the chassis re-
moved and used as a re-placement for that
of the much more valuable
model 566.  It is
to be noted however that the dial face and
pointer of this model differ from the
dial and
pointer used on the model 566 Bluebird, so
the 506 chassis is by no means a simple
drop-in replacement. Since writing the fore-
going, Geoff Shearer ( has
pointed out to me that the dial face of the
model 506 actually matches that of the 566
peachbird". He also noted that the control
shafts for the 506 chassis are 0.5" shorter
than for the 566, owing to the added depth
of the chrome trim on the 566. Shaft exten-
ders may however be used to solve this
problem when robbing a 506 of its chassis
for use in a 566 Bluebird.

The 506 is a 5-tube AC/DC superhet prov-
iding two-band coverage from 550-6000kc.
The tube line up is 78 (mixer/LO), 78 (IF
amp), 75 (2nd det/AVC/1st af), 43 (AF o/p)
and 25Z5 (rectifier).  
"Everything you've always wanted in a radio"
With the introduction of the new 35th anniversary Sparton, the radio
becomes a thing of beauty as well as a marvelous instrument for
reproduction. Sparton's new-era styling includes beautifully designed
models which fit into the appointments of any home. Sparton offers
smarter styles, finer performance -- and each model a joy to the
Sparton Model 506 Mantel Radio (1935/1936)
Sparton 506 (1935)
Sparton 506 Dial View
SPARTON'S 35th Anniversary Radio... Beautiful, unique, modern design.
Sparton Model 506 5-tube Portable Companion Model -- 110volt AC or DC.
Beautiful, unique, modern design. American Broadcast and short-wave
frequencies covered in two bands. Illuminated easy-tuning airplane dial.
Sparton 506 rear view
As found, this radio was missing much of its original finish & grille cloth but
was otherwise complete. I refinished it using what few photographs I could
find as a guide to toning. A replacement cloth was obtained that was a close
match to the original, as judged by the few fragments adhering to the set
when I came by it.