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Philco for 1928 (introduced June 1928)

Click on a thumbnail to see a larger photo below:

Model 511 Model 512 Model 513 Model 514 Model 515 Model 531 Model 551 Model 571 Console Grand speaker table

This marked the battery and "Socket-Power" company's entry into the radio manufacturing business. They aimed to "make a splash" by offering a number of table model sets in different colors, as well as a few console models.

Collectively, this early line of Philco models are known as the "511 series" since all of the sets below used the same 7-tube TRF chassis, which performed quite well. All were designed to operate on 105-115 volt, 60 cycle AC: versions made to run on 25 cycle AC were also available. All had power supplies built as part of the main chassis, unlike most of their competitors which were still using large, separate power supplies.

Of course, these sets received only the AM band, and not the entire AM band as we know it today. These Philcos were designed to receive between 550 and 1500 kc, which was the entire AM (standard broadcast) band as it existed then.

The weak points of these new Philcos were the high-impedance magnetic speakers used, which by 1928 were already becoming obsolete.

The original selling prices of the radio below did not include tubes, or (in the case of the metal table models) speakers.

Philco would finish the year in 26th place in the radio industry, not bad considering their radios had only been on the market during the latter half of 1928.


Table Models

Philco Model 511

Model 511

Photo courtesy Robert Remes

Model 511, the basic entry-level Philco, came in a "Spanish Brown" color scheme. The matching Model 211 speaker (not shown here, sold separately) was painted to match the radio.

The cabinets of all of the table models, and the speaker housings, were made of stamped metal.

A version of Model 511 made to operate on 25 to 40 cycle AC current was Model 521. It is otherwise identical to Model 511.

Original selling price: $115 (511), $25 (211 speaker)

Number made: 68,850 (Note: Number includes all of the 511 series table models, in their various color schemes.)


Philco Model 512

Model 512

Photo courtesy Phil Hall

Model 512 was the Mandarin Red model with a Chinese-type flower motif and a bird painted on the lid.

The matching Model 212 speaker (not shown) could be purchased separately.

The 25-40 cycle AC version of this set was Model 522.

Original selling price: $125 (512), $27.50 (212 speaker)

Number made: 68,850 (Note: Number includes all of the 511 series table models, in their various color schemes.)


Philco Model 513 with matching Model 213 speaker

Model 513

This is Model 513, known as the Labrador Grey set. It is pictured with its matching Model 213 speaker.

A version made to operate on 25 to 40 cycle AC was Model 523.

Original selling price: $125 (513), $27.50 (213 speaker)

Number made: 68,850 (Note: Number includes all of the 511 series table models, in their various color schemes.)


Philco Model 514

Model 514

Photo courtesy Timothy O'Connell

Model 514 is in a Nile Green color scheme, and could be purchased with the (optional) matching Model 214 speaker (not shown).

The 25-40 cycle AC version of this set was Model 524.

Original selling price: $125 (514), $27.50 (214 speaker)

Number made: 68,850 (Note: Number includes all of the 511 series table models, in their various color schemes.)


Philco Model 515

Model 515

Model 515, the Impressionistic, is the rarest of the 511 series of table model radios. The Model 215 speaker was available to match this radio (not shown here).

The 25 to 40 cycle AC version of this model was Model 525.

Please note that the radio in the photograph above is a reproduction of a 515, and is not an original set. Original 515 sets have the lotus leaf design on the sides and back as well as on the front.

Original selling price: $125 (515), $27.50 (215 speaker)

Number made: 68,850 (Note: Number includes all of the 511 series table models, in their various color schemes.)


Consoles

Philco Model 531

Model 531

This is Philco's 1928 Lowboy, Model 531, which has its dial and controls hidden behind a drop-down front panel which could be used as a small writing desk.

The 25-40 cycle version of this set was Model 541.

Original selling price: $215

Number made: 9,009 (Note: This figure includes production of January 1929 Model 86 lowboy)


Philco Model 551

Model 551

The Highboy was Model 551, a large set with double doors which concealed the radio's dial, controls and speaker.

25-40 cycle AC versions of this set are known as Model 561.

Original selling price: $275

Number made: 7,910 (Note: This figure includes production of January 1929 Model 86 highboy)


Radio-Phonograph

Philco Model 571

Model 571

Philco announced a radio-phonograph combination in its 1928 dealer catalog. Model 571 would have combined a 511 series chassis with a single play 78 rpm phonograph.

It appears, however, that this model was never put into production. None are known to exist, and there are no records of its being produced.

Two years would pass before Philco would again offer a radio-phonograph combination - a model that did make it to production. (See the June 1930 lineup for details.)


Speaker Table

Console Grand Speaker Table

Model Console Grand

Photo courtesy Robert Remes

This was known as the Console Grand Speaker. It combined a table large enough to hold one of the 511 series table model sets with a built-in speaker of the same type used in the console models and the small metal-enclosed speaker units.

Original selling price: $50

Number made: 20,025