One of the earlier birds

Lileks was showing off some 1950s radios yesterday, and by golly, I had one of these:

Westinghouse 541T5 clock radio

This little darb dates to 1956; it was moved into my bedroom when the parental units got a Better One. Thirty bucks (about $250 today) for an AM radio that would actually switch on at a prescribed time. (If you wanted it to switch off, well, that was $5 more.)

Said Lileks of this design:

“Modern styling” means the face reminds you of TV and the letters are elongated to the point of absurdity.

And that includes the figures on the actual dial, except for the CONELRAD indicators at 640 and 1240. After a period of heavy use, the top of the case began to droop, the plastic unable to retain its shape after being exposed to all those vacuum tubes (five, including rectifier) for so long.

For that contemporary $250, you can buy a pretty decent AM radio that also gets FM. Assuming, of course, you have some reason to listen to radio.


  1. Roger Green »

    11 October 2012 · 1:42 pm

    boy, that looks like something my parents owned

  2. Deborah »

    11 October 2012 · 5:39 pm

    I’m a radio junkie. I was six when I co-opted my grandfather’s Zenith Trans-Oceanic shortwave receiver. I didn’t know what I was doing, but I punched those buttons (bandwidths) with abandon, and scrolled back and forth on the dial in search of anything in English. I wish I still had all the clock radios I’ve owned through the years. Sigh. Got my new C.Crane catalog yesterday, and I swear—I want something off every page!

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