Zenith Model 288 Tombstone Radio (1934)
The large art-deco model 288 tombstone radio was one of
Zenith's first all-wave receivers. It was introduced in the
summer of 1933 at a sales price of $69.95. The model
shown features the 8-tube 2056 chassis, having 5 freque-
ncy bands, a three-gang tuning condenser, an RF stage,
2 IF stages, phono input and a total of 6 control knobs!

The radio is sometimes referred to as the model 288 Cha-
llenger Tombstone, presumably because in 1933 Zenith
had issued the following challenge to both the radio buying
public and to their competitors:-

"We challenge anyone to name a single demonstrable
improvement in radio not found in the 1933 Zenith line;
and we further challenge anyone to name another radio
line which contains all the improvements found in the new
1933 Zenith line"

Cones and Bryant, in their book "Zenith Radio - The Early
Years 1919 - 1935" state that the styling of this and similar
contemporary cabinets by Zenith marked "the first incurs-
ion of modern industrial design into the Zenith line".

The tube line-up is 58 (RF amp), 58 (mixer), 56 (LO), 58
(1st IF), 58 (2nd IF), 2A6 (detector/AVC/1st AF), 59 (pow-
wer amp) & 80 rectifier. Frequency coverage is in 5 bands
from 540-1560kc, 1.45 -3.4mc, 3.2-6.9mc, 6-12.6mc and
1.5-25mc. The 6 knobs perform the functions of, from left
to right, tone control, volume/on/off, tuning (upper center),
sensitivity/phono-jack-switch (lower center), band switch &
short wave antenna trimmer.

Model 288 also allegedly came as a 5-knob set based on
chassis type
2051, included in the Riders catalogs for this
model. The 6-knob 2056 schematic is however NOT inclu-
ded under model 288 in Riders, but appears instead on
Riders page
4.15 without any model # affiliation.

I've never seen a photograph of the 5-knob 288. That
said, all the ads I've come across for the 288 illustrate it
with 5-knobs. For example, the ad lower right is for the 6-
knob set, as it mentions the antenna trimmer knob offered
only on the 2056 chassis, but the photo shows 5 knobs!
My suspicion is that chassis 2051 was earlier* than 2056 &
that Zenith perhaps planned to use it for model 288 & may
even have offered a few sets for sale using it during the
radio low-season. If they switched later in the year, ahead
of peak sales, then this may explain the comparative rarity
of the 5-knob 288 (*see March 1933 date on

The center ad below, dated Sept 8th 1933 from Kingston
Jamaica, illustrates the beautiful model 476 Modernistic
radio-phonograph alongside the 288! The model 288 has
a robust multi-tapped power transformer so, though Jam-
aica has a 110V 50Hz supply, the set was obviously inten-
ded for domestic and overseas markets.
..a standard and shortwave model with an 8-tube superheterodyne chassis
"Zenith All-Wave Model 288 is a standard and
shortwave radio with an 8-tube superheterodyne
chassis - a full size dynamic speaker -
automatic-volume-control - waveband selector (5
wavebands) - tone control - sensitivity control -
antenna trimmer that makes shortwave tuning
easier - rotating mask dial - 530-25,000
kilocycles (565 to 12 meters). A handsome table
model cabinet."
"...housed in a European-style modernistic
cabinet of butt walnut with black lacquer trim"
Copyright TubeRadioLand.com
Zenith Model 288 Art Deco Tombstone Tube Radio (1934)
Zenith Model 288 Challenger Tombstone Radio (rear view)
Aug 1933, Radio
Retailing pg 28.
Sep 8th, '33
Kingston, JM
June 7th, 1934, Ind