Emerson Model 744B Bakelite Table Radio (1954)
The Emerson model 744B is a
wonderful AC/DC powered set
from the 50's that has a strong
automobile theme in its design.
It was made, to quote from
original advertising, in a number
of "house and garden color
combinations" that today are all
highly collectible. This one is in
beautifully marbled brown
bakelite with a swirled tan dial
face. The original list price was
1954 Emerson advertising
described this radio as featuring
a "new cabinet design keyed to
new modern interiors" and as
having a "..new magic-ring
speaker", a "..full view easy-see
dial" and "..smooth roll-around
Unfortunately, the "roll-around"
controls were not always as
smooth operating as the
advertising might have wanted
you to believe. The left one
combines on/off and volume
adjustment and the right one
provides for tuning.
The dial-face features a "jewel"
that is illuminated when the radio
is powered on (lower center
The casing accommodates a
small chassis loaded from below.
It uses the miniature AA5 tube
set 12BE6, 12BA6, 12AT6,
50C5 and 35W4, with coverage
of the standard broadcast band
from 540 - 1620kc. A loop
antenna is attached to the
As anyone who has come across
these will know, the two small
decorative feet or tusks at the
front, either side of the Emerson
lettering, are very vulnerable to
breakage and many of these
radios are encountered with
these long missing or damaged.
Functionally, the radio has four
feet beneath the radio tipped
with felt pads and over time this
felt wears or comes off, lowering
the radio and placing weight on
the decorative tusks, deforming
and eventually cracking them.
Tilting the radio forwards while
moving or adjusting it also has
the same effect! The first thing I
did was to affix new, thick felt
pads to the real feet when I got
...the radio with smooth "roll-around" controls.