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The History of Philco


The most well-known use of a Philco chassis in a non-Philco product was in the products manufactured by the Radiobar Company of America.

1937 Radiobar illustration - Click to enlarge
1937 Radiobar illustration - Click to enlarge

The company had been formed by Earnest J. Krause in 1931, in Los Angeles, California. The firm was also affiliated with a New York company of the same name. The idea behind the Radiobar dated back to the days of Prohibition (which was repealed in 1933) – make a functional piece of furniture in which one's liquor stock and glasses could be stored, out of sight.

The earliest Radiobars used West Coast-built radio chassis (Patterson and/or Gilfillin). By mid-1935 (start of the 1936 season), Radiobar was using Philco chassis exclusively in its products. The companies were working so closely together by 1938 that Philco did not produce any of its own radio-phonographs for that model year; instead turning the task over to Radiobar for a line of Phonograph with Philco radio-phonographs that included Capehart automatic changers to go along with Philco-supplied radio chassis.

The higher-end 1939 Phonograph with Philco models continued the use of Capehart changers. Philco also brought out a few "Radiobar with Philco" models for the 1939 season.

Beginning in the 1940 season, the close relationship between Philco and Radiobar ended, and Radiobar continued on by offering sets with or without Philco radios pre-installed.

The Radiobar company would eventually diversify into such products as roller skates and hangers for pants, skirts and linens, under the "Multi-Kwik" name brand.

Author Robert W. Baumbach has gathered more information on the Radiobar Company. If you have an interest in Radiobars, I highly recommend you visit this website. Click here to learn much more about Radiobar and its products at the Mulholland Press website. Follow the links at that site for more Radiobar info.

A Sampling of Radiobar Products

Made by the Radiobar Company of America using Philco chassis

Click thumbnails to enlarge and to see more info on each item.

1936 Radiobar - Click to enlarge
Radiobar 504-37-610 - Click to enlarge
Radiobar 507-37-610 - Click to enlarge
Radiobar 528-37-620 - Click to enlarge
Radiobar 536-37-640 - Click to enlarge
Radiobar 510-37-650 - Click to enlarge
Radiobar 550-37-PC675 - Click to enlarge
Radiobar 550-37-PC675 - Click to enlarge
Radiobar 515-37-650 - Click to enlarge
Radiobar with Philco 38-9 - Click to enlarge
Radiobar with Philco 38-9 - Click to enlarge