Ever Restore a Radio For Someone to Recreate a Memory?

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Ever Restore a Radio For Someone to Recreate a Memory?

Post by hismastersvoice on Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:40 pm

I went to my parents' house on Tuesday. They live about 30 minutes South of me, and I try to get down and see them regularly. They are in their early 70's, so I couldn't wait to show and tell about radios!

I put my Trans-Oceanic on the table, and asked Dad if he had ever seen one. He said, "What is it? A sewing machine?"

I took that as a no. I thought for sure he would know what it was. He thought it was cool nonetheless.

Then Mom says, "We had an old Philco the whole time I was growing up until it died about the time I got out of high school."

Well, of course I started looking. It was kinda funny as her memory had faded a bit. I joked with her..."You don't remember this radio at all!"

This is what I had to go on:

  • There was cloth over the speaker
  • It was wooden
  • The knobs were at the bottom
  • The top corners were rounded


There was a lot of "Is this it?" going on, but I think we found the one.



I'd love to get one and restore it for her. I think the model on this is a Philco 40-95T. Has anyone worked on one of these? Have you ever restored a radio from your childhood or done this for someone else? Share your stories!

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Re: Ever Restore a Radio For Someone to Recreate a Memory?

Post by Wildcat445 on Thu Jan 23, 2014 4:14 pm

My long-suffering wife has her whole house filled with "childhood memories."  I have my grandma's Grunow 1191 that she got for Christmas in 1936 (see my avatar.)  I have my dad's old Zenith 5S56, his milkhouse radio.  I have spent many an hour listening to the Grand Ole Opry, WJJD, WHO and others on that radio while milking the cows.  I have my dad's Newcomb TR-16A record player that he used to call squared dances with, while I played Cliffie Stone records.  I have my inlaws old Magnavox console stereo, in fact I am listening to it as I type this.  It "went on the blink" in 1980 something and went into the back bedroom.  It was either pitch it or fix it.  We made the right choice.  We play CD's on it ten hours a day.  Add to that, a Truetone D-925 that belonged to my grandmother's cousin.  I remember him sitting on his screened-in porch listening to Cubs games when I was a kid.  He always had a pitcher of fresh lemonade all iced up for the game.  I have the radio from my mom's 1955 Buick that she wrecked in 1975.  And about 250 other items of "childhood memories" that belonged to someone else's childhood cluttering up the place.   Very Happy 

How about this? I did it for a neighbor.

http://www.tuberadioforum.com/t2228-hallicrafters-s38c-this-should-be-fun

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WC

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Re: Ever Restore a Radio For Someone to Recreate a Memory?

Post by Dr. Radio on Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:33 pm

I have, but not for "specific" memories--i.e. finding and restoring the *exact* model someone grew up with. I only do restorations (besides my own) for special people in my life. Something that goes beyond just monetary value and labor. There's no real lucrative value in trying to become a full time restorer just for reselling profit.

Back to your question, here's one example (although it was a radio I picked out); a couple I used to work for were celebrating their 60th Wedding Anniversary. I restored a 1951 (the year they were married) GE clock-radio and presented it to them as "Wedding Gift" that could have been Smile
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Re: Ever Restore a Radio For Someone to Recreate a Memory?

Post by willy3486 on Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:24 pm

Wildcats link to the hallicrafters is a really good read. Kudos to Wildcat for fixing one in such bad shape. As far as memories goes I rebuilt my wifes grandparents old radio and got it going. I have quite a few from my family that they gave me. One that brings me some of the fondest memories is one from my dads aunt. I don't remember the brand but if I ever see one I can afford I will get one. It was the one of the first tube radios if not the first I ever worked on. She asked me to look at it when I was in the 8th grade. I actually got it going. It was in good shape and a nice radio.

Years after that when I was just married she asked me to look at it again. I don't know where she had it but it was in sad shape. The sides were pulled apart, a lot of rust, I had to repaint the dial back. But I got it going again and fixed the case. It was a decent radio still. It was a wooden table top. I still think of that cold winter out of school due to snow and working on it. I listened to it the day I got it going. I had a lot of fond memories. I hope to find one like it one day. That is if I can ever remember what it was. I think I need to do a search for it.

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Re: Ever Restore a Radio For Someone to Recreate a Memory?

Post by Doug Burskey on Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:27 pm

Oh yes, many times! One time when I demonstrated a set that I restored for someone it got quite emotional. The memories of long passed loved ones listening to that radio got the tears flowing. Including me!

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Re: Ever Restore a Radio For Someone to Recreate a Memory?

Post by Bill Cahill on Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:30 pm

When I was younger an uncle gave me his old battery operated radio. that had broken down. It was a late thirties set. Don't remember the brand. It had a very tall case, and, leather carrying handle on it. Inside the chassis was mounted upside down from the top, and, there were dead batteries on the bottom.
I believe it was am, and, one sw band. The case was light brown tweed, with stripes around the center. Antenna for am was a large loop mounted on back cover. It had a single screw terminal on the bottom for I guess the sw antenna..
Wish I had that one back........
I also wish I had my aunt Mabel's 21" rectangular table model Westinghouse tv back. It had one control in middle of right sided front panel, and, large channels selector knob under that. Chassis was copper plated, and, had that unique Westinghouse look to it.
Wish I had that set.........

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Re: Ever Restore a Radio For Someone to Recreate a Memory?

Post by hismastersvoice on Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:59 am

Wildcat, that is crazy! I would have cheated, and just like put a few screws from the bad radio into one in better condition. Ok, no I wouldn't because I understand that sentimental place...however, I also know "too far gone" when I see it...most of the time.
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Re: Ever Restore a Radio For Someone to Recreate a Memory?

Post by Wildcat445 on Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:08 pm

I have fixed a lot of pure-dee junk in my day.  I have no interest in the "desirable" stuff that money can buy.  I like to take a genuine piece of crap and return it to working condition.  My wife just wishes she could do the same with me, sometimes!   Very Happy 

How do I play CD's on a 1961 console stereo, someone asked. By connecting a 300 disc Sony CDP-CX355 changer into the tape input of the old Magnavox, turning her up, and letting the memories flow. Frankie Carle is playing "Alexander's Ragtime Band" as we speak. From his 1960 RCA Victor album "The Four Fabulous Hands Of Frankie Carle."  Smile 

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Re: Ever Restore a Radio For Someone to Recreate a Memory?

Post by Bill Cahill on Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:19 pm

I'd rather have the original records.
I know how you feel. Nearly everything I own was junk when I got it. A lot still is, but, I'm working on that. All, but, two of my cylinder players, and, two of my Edison DD players were definitely junk. Not any more!!  Very Happy 

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Re: Ever Restore a Radio For Someone to Recreate a Memory?

Post by hismastersvoice on Sat Jan 25, 2014 2:43 am

I can relate. There is a great sense of accomplishment in fixing something that's broken, polishing something that doesn't shine anymore, and removing the blemishes...it's like turning time backward in the only way we can.

I'm afraid I wouldn't be familiar with much of your music library, but I like music of all kinds...except Rap, and I'm not much for Opera or Polka.  Smile 
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Re: Ever Restore a Radio For Someone to Recreate a Memory?

Post by Bill Cahill on Sat Jan 25, 2014 10:21 am

What? You don't like polka?? Geez.... I can't dance the polka, but, I love old Polish plkas. Especially with all the whoopin'.
I have the remains of a Dana 78 polka sung in English. It's a funny play on words. Wish I could find a good replacement for it. Let me write a verse, and, chorus for you....

"I took my Fanny to the seashore so she could get a tan.. I guess she thought I took her there so she could get a man.. When she saw the handsmoe lifeguard she started on the mate. How-he tried to shake my fanny, but, my fanny wouldn't shake.
chorus:
Fanny, Fanny, why don't you shake? How he tried to shake my Fanny, but, my Fanny wouldn't shake. whoo ha!!"

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Re: Ever Restore a Radio For Someone to Recreate a Memory?

Post by willy3486 on Sat Jan 25, 2014 10:55 am

I am with Bill and wildcat on fixing junk. My philco cathedral was junk, probably only good for parts.
http://www.tuberadioforum.com/t2913-basket-case-philco-cathedral
It truely was a basket case, I had to make a new front, chassis was a rust bucket,etc. Probably one of the worst I ever fixed. I never had the money to spend on mint condition 300 buck or more radios,then replace a cap and it was ready to go. For me it is a hobby so what I make on the side is where I get the cash. But because of this I got a lot of stuff just junk. I fixed junk and got my skills better. Now I can do a heck of a lot more than I use to because of experience on junk. Now a radio will not usually catch my eye unless it is a basket case. Now they are challenges to myself to see if I can get them going. I have one guy I buy from at the Nashville meet that when I go there I ask him for my basket case. He usually has all kinds to fix from some that need very little to basket cases.

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Re: Ever Restore a Radio For Someone to Recreate a Memory?

Post by hismastersvoice on Sat Jan 25, 2014 12:17 pm

Okay, Bill, now that's funny. Perhaps I just haven't been exposed to the *right* polka.  Very Happy 

I did a quick search for your lyrics there, and couldn't find a thing. What's the name of the song? If it's out there on the web, I can find it for you.

Welp, Willy, it looks like I'm going to have to have to get good at fixing junk as well because I'm not spending $300 on a radio!
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Re: Ever Restore a Radio For Someone to Recreate a Memory?

Post by 75X11 on Sat Jan 25, 2014 3:18 pm

My next door neighbor had a Motorola console radio for AM and SW with a turntable that was his folks home radio. He had moved it around with him for 45 years because he couldn't bear to get rid of it. He asked me to try getting it back in running condition I did, and made an adapter to connect the phono input to his choice of audio as he didn't want to do an overhaul of the phono. He's been mighty pleased with the result.
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Re: Ever Restore a Radio For Someone to Recreate a Memory?

Post by Bill Cahill on Sat Jan 25, 2014 5:40 pm

"My fanny polka" is the title. The other side, without words, is titled "Hopscotch Polka". It's a 78 rpm record, and, manufacturer was Dana.

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Re: Ever Restore a Radio For Someone to Recreate a Memory?

Post by Wildcat445 on Sat Jan 25, 2014 6:54 pm

HMV, you just ain't heard the right polka.  Lawrence Welk always said that polka music was happy music.  You cannot listen to polka music and not be happy.  How about the "Too Fat Polka" made famous by Arthur Godfrey.  Remember that one, Bill?  "I don't want her, you can have her, she's too fat for me.  She's too fat for me, much to fat for me.........."  "Can she fit in my coupe, by herself she's a group. Can she possibly sit upon my knee, no, no, no.........." Seriously!

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Re: Ever Restore a Radio For Someone to Recreate a Memory?

Post by Bill Cahill on Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:17 pm

Yah, but, I like "Dance me loose" better.
"I warm so easy, so, danze me looess. Danze me looess, Danze me looess. I warm so easy, so, danze me looess, it shines so brrright, the moon."
Or, what about the "One note polka"?
"Check my coat, and, open my tie. Turn me loose, I'm ready to fly.. Just to hear them strike up the band. "
Forgot the rest of the words. Old age. Ya gotta love it.

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Re: Ever Restore a Radio For Someone to Recreate a Memory?

Post by Wildcat445 on Sat Jan 25, 2014 8:32 pm

Younger people who have never heard of what we are talking about are sure we are not taking our medication...... Shocked 

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Re: Ever Restore a Radio For Someone to Recreate a Memory?

Post by hismastersvoice on Sun Jan 26, 2014 1:27 pm

Very Happy Y'all are funny!
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Re: Ever Restore a Radio For Someone to Recreate a Memory?

Post by 75X11 on Sun Jan 26, 2014 2:23 pm

I think nearly television market in the country had a polka, folk (country) and rock and roll program as they were cheap to produce. here is an example of a polka program from a local station. Take your medication, and away we go!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmeNoOS0o3Y
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Re: Ever Restore a Radio For Someone to Recreate a Memory?

Post by Wildcat445 on Sun Jan 26, 2014 2:28 pm

I'm dead serious, HMV. I still have the record. 78 rpm, on Columbia, 1946. It was a huge hit in its day. A record like that could not be played on radio today. That was during a time when people did not take themselves so seriously. I have a later version by Frankie Yankovic and Drew Carey (yeah, the "Price is Right" Drew Carey) from the late 1990's that is pretty good, but the Arthur Godfrey version is the bomb.

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Re: Ever Restore a Radio For Someone to Recreate a Memory?

Post by Wildcat445 on Sun Jan 26, 2014 2:30 pm

The "Polka Joe" program is on RFD tv.  I think his daughter is doing it now.  The very definition of hokey.  Not very good polka, either. A bunch of out-of-shape farmers boot scooting to mediocre (at best) polka bands.

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