For those of all who don't know, I'm a huge fan of antique radios, and I also repair them. I especially love radios from the '20s. I have two Atwater Kents, a Model 57, and a Model 55. I've fully restored both of them electronically a few years ago, and they now perform so well that they are nearly on par with a modern radio! However, I would like to know a bit more about them. Does anyone have any background knowledge behind them, any sources, or any advertisements?
And because everyone likes pics, here they are. The 57 is in original condition, save for a full electrical restoration. The only cosmetic thing I did to it was replace the speaker cone, since the old one was torn. Turns out it was not nearly as big a job as many said it would be!
I haven't finished restoring the 55 yet. Still, the electronics are all done, and it plays great.
I know that after he retired, Arthur Atwater Kent moved from Philadelphia to Beverly Hills, CA. and was very good friends with Mario Lanza, the opera and motion picture star.
He invented and patented the modern type automobile ignition coil, among other electronic components.
He is buried at Forrest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, CA. not far from where I'm located.
Good to see someone your age who knows what an Atwater Kent is! Good for you.
I'm sure Wikipedia has a listing for Atwater Kent.
I have a model 10, 20, 35, 40, 55 & 527, and a couple others I can't recall the model #'s of. I also have some Federals & Kennedys.
Do a search for the Antique Wireless Association. They publish a quarterly magazine and also an annual book. Several years ago the Annual featured a very thorough history of AK. I believe this issue is available on a DVD. AK's were probably the best sellers of the 20's era radios. They started with a number of "breadboard" style sets with exposed tubes and continued the battery (later AC) sets through the wood case and metal case versions. Many of the table top size radios were fit into larger floor style wood cabinets. There were 3 versions (if my memory is correct) of the metal sets like your 57.
Another great source if you ever travel to the Bellingham, Wa. area is the museum there. It has probably the largest collection of early wireless through pre WWII sets around. I have about a dozen AK's left in my collection including a 57 like yours. I've concentrated at some of the other obscure and premium brands. Hope this helps.
I have read the last line of your post a couple of times?? I hope the wording is off.
LOL! Either Mike is speaking to us from the grave, or maybe he means he picked a plot for his eternal rest near his buddy Atwater.
Or, maybe the cemetary is near his house, but what's the fun in that interpretation?
No. Much to the disappointment of some, I haven't cashed it in yet.
What I meant to say was that he's buried at Forrest Lawn Glendale, not far from where I'm at now at work in El Segundo.
Whew! I really need to proofread sometimes.
This is my Model 40. My uncle purchased it new in 1929.
There is a lot of info on the web. I got a lot of help from some of the forums when I changed out the filter capacitors.
I'm listening to the Milwaukee Brewers broadcast on it now.
Thanks Mike, I found that to be a funny statement but wondered if you might have a really good wireless connection.
A couple of years ago my late uncle gave me his Sears Silvertone radio that is now in my den. As a kid I used to play with it and listen to all the bands for short wave and that odd "numbers lady" (what is that?). I think I will go turn it on for an AM station that plays 40's music.
If you've been around long enough, everything reminds you of something else. From these radios it's a short leap to a bedroom in Los Angleles. My folks are visiting with some friends there, and their son, an older boy about ten, has to go to school in the morning and has gone to bed. I'm listening to the single earphone of his cigar box crystal set. Jan Garber's band is playing Harbor Lights. Funny the things you remember.
This is mine. Wish I could get it playing again ...
Thank you all for your replies! Glad to see that I'm not the only AK fan out here. The internet is certainly a good place to start, but it seems to have just about nothing on my 57. I know that the speaker is basically an E speaker but mounted internally, and the chassis is identical to a 40. Beyond that, it seems to be a fairly uncommon radio, with little information on it from the internet (notice I said uncommon, not rare. I'm an enthusiast, not a collector!).
Cameron, this is the site that helped me the most. I bet if you post a question here someone will answer.
Here we have a situation where Bruce McCalley is missed.