1924 Freshman Masterpiece

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This little battery-powered pre-AC sweetie was the radio that broke the $60 price barrier. Early radios were hideously expensive. Charles Freshman was the McDonalds of radios, and he put out this little TRF set with a maximum of fanfare. It sold like mad, and Freshman made a tidy sum on it.

The first time I saw this set, I said, "Poor little thing." It looked like it had been at the bottom of the Atlantic for 60 years. There was no finish at all. Bare, worm-eaten wood was all that greeted the eye. Still, all the hardware seemed to be there, and the bakelite front panel seemed ok, so I sighed and lifted the lid. I nearly dropped dead.

The inside was as well-preserved as the outside was not!

It was quite a shock. There, inside the little set, was a little jewel box in which glittered bright stainless steel, brass and three green and purple silk-covered wire basket coils; it was the strangest combination of decay and preservation I'd ever seen.

I like this little set a lot; it's the only 3-dial TRF I have, and it's a blast tuning a station in and trying to get all three big bakelite 0-100 knobs just right for "maximum smoke". Makes you think highly of one-knob tuning!

The photo is a bit contrasty, but the set now has it's nice mahogany finish back thanks to a long time of French Polishing; I wish I has the space on this server to show you the insides. Maybe later!
General Specifications
Design TypeTuning RangeNumber of TubesWeightBatteries RequiredOriginal Selling PricePermanent Collection
TRF .520-1500 Khz Five 15 Pounds 6VDC, 22VDC, 90VDC $59.95 Yes

Tube Complement and Types
RectifierRF StagesMixerOscillatorIF AmpsAudio StagesOther Tubes
None 01A's None None None 01A's None

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