Philco Model 16X Console Radio (1934)
When I first spied this radio inside a dark antiques barn I
assumed it was a model 18X or perhaps a 14X. Upon closer
inspection, however, I discovered it has an early model 16
code-122 chassis inside (5 bands), sports the escutcheon
unique to the model 16 series and has a squelch on/off switch
protruding from the right side. In spite of it having an inclined
loudspeaker baffle though, it looks nothing like the
normally-seen model 16X cabinets (early version similar to
model 112X and late version).
I wondered initially whether someone in the past had removed
the 8-tube model 18 or 9-tube model 14 chassis and replaced it
with the 16 chassis. However, this is almost certainly not the
case, since these chassis are slightly shorter than that of the 16
and would not fit the mounting holes of this radio. The 14X and
18X escutcheons are also very different to the model 16 seen
here. I popped the escutcheon off to take a look underneath
and it is clear that the cut-out and screw holes are original and
match only the model 16 escutcheon. The sixth photo to the
right shows this.
Neither the model 14 nor 18 has a right side-mounted toggle
switch and yet from the third photo it is evident that such a
switch and its associated cut-out (to the left when viewed from
the rear) are original to this cabinet.
The fourth photo shows the loudspeaker to be of type U-2,
which was as fitted to model 16 consoles such as the 16L. A
perusal of the parts listings for the various 14 and 18
incarnations shows that they used speakers with different part
numbers to the model 16 U-2.
The final piece of evidence is in the form of apparently original
stickers inside the cabinet, shown in the seventh photo below.
Looking further afield, I searched the web for evidence of any
other similar model 16 examples and I turned up one reference
on the antique radio forums at the audiokarma.org website.
Curiously, the model discussed there differs from mine in that it
sports an 18X escutcheon, though the chassis is clearly that of
a model 16.
I also contacted well-known Philco historian and author Ron
Ramirez. He replied that a model 16 in this cabinet does not
appear in any of the known historical records of Philco furniture,
though he has come across two or three such variants over the
The conclusion reached is that this was perhaps a short
production run of the model 16 and it would seem to be a rare
|March 06 Update!
I recently came across an original Philco 16X ad showing
this model as being available from Philco towards the end
of the 1934 model season. Perhaps it was sold for a short
while between the early and late models listed above.
Note the original chassis mounting holes (which do not fit
the model 14 or 18 chassis), the toggle switch cut-out to
the left (14 & 18 have no such switch) and the model 16
stickers inside (see close-up below). Click mouse over the
image for a magnified version.
There is a hole drilled in the chassis mounting board at the
right rear. When I got the radio this contained a socket for
an extension speaker, which was wired to the speaker
terminals in the chamber below. This is the only
after-market modification evident on this radio.
The 16-122 chassis uses type U-2 loudspeaker, consistent
with what appears original in this cabinet.
Model 16-122 chassis as found.
With the escutcheon removed the original screw holes
and cut-out correspond to the model 16 escutcheon
with no evidence of retrofit.
Close-up of the model 16 series stickers attached inside.
|Original page, as put together at a time before I was certain
as to the originality of this style of Philco 16X
|See the updated page here.