Ermco Crest - model 101A Unknown Brand NFO?

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Ermco Crest - model 101A Unknown Brand NFO?

Post by AF7U on Sat Jun 29, 2013 8:38 pm

Good morning/Afternoon and greetings from a new user.
I recently acquired a ERMCO Crest model 101A 5 tube table radio. In 40+ years of bench experience I've never seen or even heard of the 'Ermco' brand, or a model 101A Crest 'table radio' serial # 5416. I've done the usual 'Googling' and I've only found one hit, the radio was for sale but no other information was given. Being semi retired I mainly work in RF but sometimes I still enjoy looking at the older technology. This radio is the usual 5 tube design but with some interesting variations. The B8G 'Loctal' base tube complement is: 50A5 beam Power, 35Y4 Rectifier, 14B6 Triode with dual diode, 14A7 Pentode, and a 14Q7 Pentagrid-Converter, this arrangement is not unheard of, but not common. Here's where it gets REAL interesting... the dial glass has the following text; "Technical Reproductions, Vertugo City, California #c10-1-4-B" I've been to Vertugo City, we used to call it Vertigo City. There is no such business there anymore. The radio is, without a doubt, NOT a reproduction, the Aerovox capacitors are ancient and clearly show their age. Perhaps the dial glass is a reproduction but it's mounting clearly, at least to me, shows signs of being original dial glass. If it was replaced it was a long time ago. So there you are, a real mystery... If any of you guys are of my 'Vintage' and remember the brand Ermco, please drop me a reply here, I would love to learn more about this interesting radio. For what it's worth, The radio was easily made working, R&R all the caps and viola, a working Crest...
Thanks for reading thus far and any nfo would be greatly appreciated.
~Michael - AF7U

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Re: Ermco Crest - model 101A Unknown Brand NFO?

Post by 75X11 on Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:23 pm

I'll bet the reproductions they are referring to are multiple copies of the original artwork for the dial scale, for the radio's original production.
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Re: Ermco Crest - model 101A Unknown Brand NFO?

Post by AF7U on Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:37 pm

Could be... But I've never seen the words "Reproduction" unless it was an actually reproduction, but the longer I do this the more I come to realize how much I don't know. I remember once as a youngster working for a repair shop. I was right out of high school and my job was to clean up the gear before the tech looked at them. Once, after the repair was conducted I was asked to clean up the dial scale of a 60's console stereo. I did it with soap and water with a small tooth brush. The dirt and grime came of just fine... right along with the lettering. Boy, I thought I was toast, but the owner knew of a reproduction house which turned out a perfect dial glass. I think it was an old Packard Bell console stereo.

At any rate, the history of some of these old radios are as interesting as the radio themselves. Must have been a small shop cranking out radios just before the war. I was hoping someone might know something about this guy.
Thanks for the feedback,
~Michael - AF7U

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Re: Ermco Crest - model 101A Unknown Brand NFO?

Post by 75X11 on Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:39 pm

If you live anywhere near there you could inquire at thelocal library for any city directories that might have the firm listed. I would also consider a possible immediate post war vintage on the radio as there was a sudden surge of components on the surplus market as war production turned down.
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Re: Ermco Crest - model 101A Unknown Brand NFO?

Post by AF7U on Sun Jun 30, 2013 12:53 am

I'm in Oregon now so a personal drop-in is not feasible. Interesting note, city directories are available on ancestry.com. We have an account there so I tried and no bonus... neat idea though. Thanks~!~

It would be good to know the time frame of construction, there is no date anywhere that I could see, perhaps somewhere on components. The Loctal was a Sylvania concept but I'm not sure the years they were used, I'm thinking from the late 30's through the 40's is my best guess.

Okay, I guess I'll have to shelve this for a while, no big deal, I was just curious more then anything else.

Thanks again,
~Michael - AF7U


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