Philco Model 551 Colonial Clock Radio (Jan 1932)
The Philco 551 Colonial Clock-Radio was introduced
in January of 1932 with an original selling price of
$60, complete with "
Philco Balanced Tubes". It was
claimed to be an exact reproduction of a 19th century
Eli Terry Colonial clock, the only changes being the
swapping out of the old clockworks with an electric
mechanism, the placement of the radio chassis in
what was the pendulum chamber and the addition of
the upwards facing loudspeaker and grille.

Philco advertised this model as "
a big performing
5-tube balanced superheterodyne using pentode
tube, improved dynamic speaker and other big Philco
and added that it had an "all-electric
synchronous motor type clock".
The cabinet was of
"genuine hand-rubbed mahogany with a figured
maple panel"

The model 551 embodied a new 5-tube "balanced"
superheterodyne chassis that was also used in the
Baby Grand model
51, released at the same time in
January of 1932. This chassis would serve yet again,
a few months later, for the models
52B and 52C. It
tunes the standard broadcast band from 550-1500kc
and has the tube line-up:- 24 (mixer/LO), 35 (IF), 24
(2nd detector), 47 (AF output) and 80 (rectifier). By
comparison with Philco's 7-tube super-het chassis,
such as used for the model 70 type II, this one has no
RF stage and employs a single stage detector that
does not generate AVC.
..a perfect timepiece and a remarkable performing radio.
Clipped from an ad dated early January 1932
Clipped from an ad dated March 1932
As well as showing a Philco
551 Colonial Clock, the ad
above shows a grandfather
clock that is not from the
Philco stable, even though
it's claimed in the ad to
house a Philco 5-tube sup-
erheterodyne chassis.

The near right clip however,
taken from the Jan 1932
edition of Radio Retailing,
shows how similar clocks
were put together by third
parties, such as Depart-
ment Stores, as a means
of mopping up supplies of
trade-ins. On second thou-
ghts, how many Philco 5-
tube superhets would likely
have been traded in by Mar
1932, as the 551 chassis
from Jan 1932 was their
Jan 1932, Radio Retailing,
pg 23
Philco 551 Colonial Clock Radio (1932)
Philco Model 551 Colonial Clock Radio Rear View (1932)
click any thumnail to enlarge