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The Early Zenith Radios: The Battery Powered Table Sets 1922-1927

The Early Zenith Radios: The Battery Powered Table Sets 1922-1927

Gilbert M. Hedge with Durell M. Roth

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Covering the tabletop battery radios built by Zenith, the Chicago-based manufacturer, each radio is described in detail. Included are comprehensive functional descriptions on each set’s operation, which uses color-coded diagrams to aid in describing the circuits. Over 400 color photos and over 200 diagrams illustrate the thorough text. Each radio section includes a Quick Reference Guide. Previously unpublished information related to these radios is included for the first time. The restoration section covers the reproduction of vital replacement parts (pointers, pulleys, etc.) that typically need replacing, the repair of other parts (variable capacitor, transformers, etc.), appropriate modifications (battery adapter, etc.), and testing in order to get that early radio working. The techniques presented can be applied to the restoration of any 1920s radio. Also included are instructions on reproducing any battery (“A”, “B”, or “C”) in radios built in the 1920s. This is an indispensable reference guide to early Zenith radios.

Size: 11″ x 8 1/2″ | 433 color photos & 219 diagrams | 256 pp
ISBN13: 9780764346743 | Binding: hard cover


Gilbert Hedge has been collecting and restoring radios for 35 years. After seeing several antique radios at local flea markets he acquired a small wood cabinet set to see if he could get it working. That was all it took, he was hooked. The visits to the flea markets led to meeting other collectors that mentioned that there was an antique radio club in the Houston area (Houston Vintage Radio Association). Over the years his interest evolved into collecting Zenith battery sets, Trans-Oceanic radios and portable radios of the 1920s. Today the main focus of his collection is the early Zenith battery sets of the 1920s (1-R, 3-R, 4-R, etc.) Because of the nature of these early Zenith radios and the lack of available replacement parts Gilbert had to develop a special set of methods and skills in order to make the replacement parts that are usually required to restore them. His interests are in the radios, the literature and memorabilia associated with them and the history of Zenith Radio Corporation. Gilbert graduated with an AAS in Electronics Technology and BS Engineering: Quality Control and Quality Assurance. He is retired from The Boeing Company where he worked for 25 years in various quality engineering disciplines.