Philco Model 19 "Baby Grand" (19B) Cathedral Radio (1933)
19B... Powerful new Baby Grand with shadow tuning & other big set features.
The Philco 19B Baby Grand was introduced in early 1933
and was the latest in a series of models that used the
Clyde Shuler designed cabinet introduced the previous
summer. The 19B's cabinet is quite compact and in my
opinion, its proportions are more pleasing to the eye than
the other, larger models that share the cabinet style. The
initial 1933 purchase price was $37.50, though by late
fall, in time for Christmas, it was being advertised for
$50 ($52.50 in the West).
The model 19B used a new Philco 6-tube superhetero-
dyne chassis. Early production covered the standard
broadcast band only and featured a two-point tone con-
trol. However, in the summer, ready for the 1934 season,
the radio was upgraded to cover the police and amateur
band and to provide a four-point tone control ("brilliant,
bright, mellow, deep"). My model is this later version, distin-
guishable by its four knobs (the early model had three).
The model 19B also featured Philco's shadow tuning, first
introduced in the summer of 1932 for the model 91. This
development was described in Philco advertising thus:-
"Philco Shadow Tuning gives you absolutely correct
tuning, instantly. A shadow band that is projected on a
screen immediately above the station dial contracts in
width as you approach a station, reaching its narrowest
dimension when you are right on the hairline of perfect
" A Child can tune with Philco Shadow Tuning... marks
the greatest advance in ease of operation ever invent-
ed. It is revolutionary, yet so simple a child can tune
The model 19B's new 6-tube superheterodyne chassis
tuned the standard broadcast band from 540-1500kc
and, for the late version, the police/amateur band from
1500-3200kc. The chassis was, I believe, Philco's first to
use the newly introduced type 75 tube, a duo-diode/
triode that combined the functions of "detector rectifier"
and "detector amplifier". The use of this multi-type tube
facilitated the development of a 6-tube chassis having
not only an RF stage, but also Automatic Volume Control
(AVC). Contrast this with the 5-tube model 51B/52B
offered just about a year earlier, which had no RF stage
nor any AVC. The one significant development still miss-
ing from the 19B 's circuit was the pentagrid converter,
which would further advance performance of the lower
tube-count sets by increasing the efficiency and reliability
of the converter as well as by allowing AVC to be applied
to that stage in addition to just the RF and IF amplifiers,
as was the case for the 19. However, the pentagrid conv-
erter's adoption would have to wait for some of Philco's
1934 models, introduced later in 1933.
The 19's tube line up is 44 (tuned RF amp), 36 (LO/mixer
autodyne circuit), 44 (IF amp), 75 (2nd detector/AVC/1st
AF), 42 (AF output) and 80 (rectifier). The schematic for
the early model 19B may be found here, courtesy of
NostalgiaAir. See also the notes on the evolution of the
19B at philcoradio.com.
I bought this radio at the NEARC show in NH in 2003. It had been
slopped with a coat of tinted shellac at some point in its history.
I used denatured alcohol to strip off the shellac, revealing an al-
most pristine original lacquer finish below. I was just amazed that
anybody would have felt inclined to cover up that wonderful old
finish with such a poorly applied and ugly coat of shellac! Any-
how, following some touching-up of the lower trim pieces, a new
decal and grillecloth, this has turned out to be one little gem of a
During the same time period, I restored the radio electrically. In
addition to a full recap and replacement of out-of-tolerance
resistors, I had to contend with an open-circuit shadowmeter.
However, I followed the advice at Philco Repair Bench website to
effect a successful repair. After a careful alignment, the radio
now plays and operates beautifully!
Details of another Philco 19B restoration may be found here.
Ad, Oct 19th 1933
Ad Nov 1933. El Paso TX
Ad, Oct 22 1933, Va