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Original Phyl Coe Radio Mysteries header art

The Phyl Coe Radio Mysteries Radio Program

Dee-Scription: Home >> D D Too Home >> Radio Logs >> Phyl Coe Mysteries

Announcement of Phyl Coe Mysteries, dated Sep. 4, 1937 .pdf
Announcement of Phyl Coe Mysteries, dated Sep. 4, 1937
(Click Image for full .pdf file 4mb)

Article promoting Phyl Coe Radio Mysteries and its two young stars, Clayton 'Bud' Collyer and Stage actress Peggy Allenby, ca. 1937
Article promoting "Phyl" Coe Radio Mysteries and its two young stars, Clayton 'Bud' Collyer and Stage actress Peggy Allenby, ca. 1937
Phyl Coe Mysteries spot ad dated September 6, 1937
Phyl Coe Mysteries spot ad dated September 6, 1937

The Philco Mystery Book illustrated in the promotional copy in newspaper ads from the Summer of 1937
The Philco Mystery Book illustrated
in the promotional copy in newspaper ads from the Summer of 1937


This is what all the hoopla was about. Philco's Model 38-116XX radio console, the "No Squat, No
This is what all the hoopla was about. Philco's Model 38-116XX radio console, the "No Squat, No Stoop, No Squint",
Ten Millionth Radio from 1937


No Squat No Stoop


Background

On-air contests weren't unknown to Radio by the mid-1930s. Many early broadcast sponsors distributed premiums--both free and at nominal cost--via their serial adventure programs, serial melodramas or variety programs.

Philco was also a prolific sponsor of Radio programs of the era, among which:

  • 1927 Philco Summer Hour
  • 1927 Philco Radio Hour
  • 1933 Boake Carter and the News
  • 1937 Phyl Coe Radio Mysteries
  • 1942 Our Secret Weapon
  • 1943 Dateline
  • 1943 The Radio Hall of Fame
  • 1945 Philco Radio Time
  • 1946 Stairway to The Stars
  • 1946 The Burl Ives Show
  • 1947 The Phil Silvers Show
  • 1953 Philco Radio Playhouse

Almost all of Philco's sponsored programs were both popular and highly successful.

But it was Philco's 1937 national promotion that was arguably the most extensive, lucrative and expensive Radio promotion in the history of Radio to that point. Philco mounted a year-long, highly aggressive campaign on many fronts, to coincide with production of their Ten Millionth commerical radio set--"the famous High-Fidelity 116xx with Automatic Tuning on the new Inclined Control Panel." PhylCoe Radio Mysteries (1937) was the third major wave in their 12-month promotional campaign.

In addition to the PhylCoe Radio Mysteries, Philco implemented several 'Philco Week' promotions throughout the year. They also created a number of replica Ten Millionth Philco Model 116xx Radios for sale throughout the year. They ran a concurrent local promotion through all of their dealer outlets by which consumers could fill out local entry blanks in a letter counting game for prizes of as much as $50 certificates. In addition to the Ten Millionth Radio Replica promotion they offered a booklet describing the story of the Ten Millionth Philco Radio. Mail-in forms were included in most newspapers for requesting the Story of the Ten Millionth Radio as well as entry forms for the PhylCoe Radio Mysteries contest.

The PhylCoe Radio Mysteries contest was by far the most expensive and ambitious promotion of the year. Initially targetted for 100 subscriber stations, by the time the first series of installments aired, a reported 243 subscriber stations had signed up for the program. Philco had budgeted a reported $500,000 for the promotion, but the almost 150% increase in demand for the transcriptions reportedly raised the cost of the 16-week promotion to in excess of $1 million. The advance promotion of the series preceded the airing of the first installments by as much as two months in some markets.

Phyl Coe Radio Mysteries creates a stir across the nation

By the time the first installment aired, mystery and detective clubs had sprung up across the country in anticipation of pooling their resources to solve the advertised sixteen mystery installments. The buzz they created obviously worked, as evidenced by the dramatic increase in demand for the subscription. Philco clearly targetted specific geographic markets in various locations across the U.S., as evidenced by far more aggressive, ambitious and extensive local programs which flooded the targetted areas' newspapers with Philco spot ads, local dealer ads, and updates on the winners of each installment in the series.

Radio listeners were continually reminded to visit their Philco dealers to pick up the Philco Mystery Book designed to accompany each group of four weekly adventures. There were four such Philco Mystery Books distributed during the sixteen week run. The program prompted the listener to reference specific pages in the applicable Philco Mystery Book for clues to solve the week's mystery. Each of the four mystery books devoted two pages to one of the four stories in each book, with diagrams and clues to lead the listener to the solution for each of the four mysteries. Each of the four mystery books also contained the entry blank for each of its four mysteries and a list of the prizes for that week. The book was touted as essential to solve each mystery, which of course encouraged every interested listener to either mail away for the next book, or visit his or her local Philco dealer to obtain the next installment of four mysteries.

Quite understandably, the dramatic increase in subscriptions for this transcribed production severely taxed both Philco and its network of national dealers as they struggled to keep up with demand for the virtually essential Philco Mystery Book for each set of four mysteries. But of course that was the entire purpose of the promotion: to drive millions of potential Radio tube or Radio set consumers to their nearest Philco dealer.

An obvious question is, "Were the Mystery Books necessary to solve each mystery?" The short answer is no. But it wasn't enough to simply solve the mystery. The listener had to identify the clues and Phyl Coe's rationale behind the identification of each week's deadly culprit. In this respect the Mystery Books were an absolutely essential element of the prize contest. Absent the published clues and diagrams from each book set of four mysteries, it would be impossible to indicate the clues and on-air disclosures necessary to show one's work, so to speak.

The lag time in disclosing the winners from each weekly installment averaged from two to three weeks in most cases. Philco pretty much abandoned the newspaper promotional articles at about the time the fourth set of four mysteries began to air. The last four installments remain an unsolved mystery of their own to this day. But given the millions of Philco Mystery Books that were distributed during the campaign, it's only a matter of time before history coughs up the titles of the last four Phyl Coe Radio Mysteries. As with most of the memorabilia and ephemera from The Golden Age of Radio, much of what survives exists in the hands of early Radio Collectors who are for the most part loath to divulge the contents of their holdings. So for now at least, there remains one last mystery associated with this fascinating short-lived promotional program.

There's no question that the year-long campaign was successful, despite the cost to Philco. Put in perspective it's useful to note the historical context for their 1937 promotional effort. America was slowly recovering from The Great Depression. FDR was on the brink of becoming President and Philco quite calculatedly bet on a winner. The Ten Millionth Philco, Model 38-116XX was quite an innovative set for its day. It was packed with both evolutionary and revolutionary features and sold for $200 at the time. Much of middle class America was on the verge of climbing out of the Depression and with budget plans freely available at most local Philco dealers, the attractiveness and timing for this remarkable radio positioned it well to sell. And in fact it did, although in the process creating a great deal of buyers' remorse once Philco introduced their even finer and more revolutionary Model 38-690 the following year.

Series Derivatives:

None
Genre: Anthology of Golden Age Radio Mystery Dramas
Network(s): CBS, NBC, MBS, and CRS
Audition Date(s) and Title(s): None
Premiere Date(s) and Title(s): 37-09-06
Run Dates(s)/ Time(s): 37-09-06 to 37-12-20; Philco Syndication; Sixteen, 15-minute programs, varying days and times.
Syndication: World Broadcasting System, Inc. for Philco Radio and Television, transcribed onto 16-inch electrical transcription discs and distributed to 243 subscriber stations.
Sponsors: Philco Radio and Television
Director(s):
Principal Actors: Bud Collyer, Peggy Allenby, Jay Jostyn, House Jameson
Recurring Character(s): Phyllis 'Phyl' Coe (Peggy Allenby) and Tom Taylor ('Bud' Collyer)
Protagonist(s): Phyllis 'Phyl' Coe (Peggy Allenby), amateur criminologist and Thomas 'Tom' Taylor ('Bud' Collyer), journalist and mystery novelist
Author(s): Unknown
Writer(s) Unknown
Music Direction:
Musical Theme(s): Procession Of the Sadar composed by Mikhail Mikhailovich Ippolitov-Ivanov (1859-1935) from his Caucasian Sketches
Announcer(s): [Unknown]
Estimated Scripts or
Broadcasts:
16
Episodes in Circulation: 12
Total Episodes in Collection: 12
Provenances:
RadioGOLDINdex (David Goldin), Jay Hickerson Guide, The Metropolitan Washington Old Time Radio Club (MWOTRC).

Notes on Provenances:

The most helpful provenances were the log of the RadioGOLDINdex, the MWOTRC, and the Uniontown, PA Daily News.

Digital Deli Too RadioLogIc



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[Date, title, and episode column annotations in
red refer to either details we have yet to fully provenance or other unverifiable information as of this writing. Red highlights in the text of the 'Notes' columns refer to information upon which we relied in citing dates, date or time changes, or titles.]







Phyl Coe Mysteries Radio Program Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
37-09-06
1
The Case Of the Dead Magician
Y
Premiere Episode
Philco Radio Mystery Book 1, pages 4 and 5
37-09-13
2
The Missing Masterpiece
Y
Philco Radio Mystery Book 1, pages 6 and 7
37-09-20
3
The Mystery Of the Death Ray Tube
Y
Philco Radio Mystery Book 1, pages 8 and 9
37-09-27
4
Murder In the Sky
Y
Philco Radio Mystery Book 1, pages10 and 11
37-10-04
5
Death Boards the Sea Serpent
Y
Philco Radio Mystery Book 2, pages 4 and 5
37-10-11
6
The Double X Mystery
Y
Philco Radio Mystery Book 2, pages 6 and 7
37-10-18
7
Last Will and Testament
Y
Philco Radio Mystery Book 2, pages 8 and 9
37-10-25
8
The Case Of the Stolen Sables
Y
Philco Radio Mystery Book 2, pages10 and 11
37-11-01
9
Who Murdered Senator Floyd
Y
Philco Radio Mystery Book 3, pages 4 and 5
37-11-08
10
The Case Of the Laughing Ghost
Y
Philco Radio Mystery Book 3, pages 6 and 7
37-11-15
11
The Case Of the Fallen Star
Y
Philco Radio Mystery Book 3, pages 8 and 9
37-11-22
12
The Jagged Rock Mystery
Y
Philco Radio Mystery Book 3, pages10 and 11
37-11-29
13
[Unknown]
Y
Philco Radio Mystery Book 4, pages 4 and 5
37-12-06
14
[Unknown]
Y
Philco Radio Mystery Book 4, pages 6 and 7
37-12-13
15
[Unknown]
Y
Philco Radio Mystery Book 4, pages 8 and 9
37-12-20
16
[Unknown]
Y
Philco Radio Mystery Book 4, pages10 and 11
[ Last Episode ]






Phyl Coe Mysteries Radio Program Biographies




Peggy Allenby
(Phyllis 'Phyl' Coe)

Radio, Television, Film and Stage Actor
(1901-1966)

Birthplace: New York City, New York, U.S.A.

Radiography:

1936 David Harum
1936 Radio Guild
1937 Phyl Coe Mysteries
1938 Great Plays
1038 The Shadow
1943 This Is Our Enemy
1944 The Sportsman's Club
1947 The Clock
1948 Famous Jury Trials
1951 Its Higgins, Sir
1952 The Land Of the Free
1953 Stroke Of Fate
1954 Inheritance
1956 Masters Of Mystery
1956 X-Minus One
ABC Mystery Time

Young Stage Actress, Peggy Allenby, c. 1924
Young Stage Actress, Peggy Allenby, c. 1924

Peggy Allenby, c. 1935
Peggy Allenby, c. 1935

Lovely Peggy Allenby publicity photo, ca. 1936
Lovely Peggy Allenby publicity photo, ca. 1936

One might easily--and persuasively--argue that lovely young Peggy Allenby was one of 20th Century American Theatre's earliest feminists. She was outspoken--often to a fault, she was highly independent her entire life, she was very single minded in most activities, and she established early on that it was as important for a professional woman to be able to stand on her own laurels, resumé and acting proceeds as for a professional male actor.

This was quite famously exemplified when she divorced her stage actor husband of two years, Robert Armstrong (later of King Kong fame). Parting amicably, the public was somewhat shocked to discover that she hadn't sought alimony from Mr. Armstrong. She refused any alimony, famously quoted for the following observation on the topic of alimony in general:

"I think some women have an awful nerve to cease loving a man, but go right on loving his money."

. . . thus instantly endearing herself to every eligible--or ineligible--male in the U.S.. And probably just as equally alienating as many females--married or single.

But such was her level of conviction, and such was her stubborn independence throughout her multi-faceted Arts career. By the tender age of 23, she'd already appeared in several stage plays and her silent film career gave every promise of successfully bridging the jump to sound. And so it did.

Peggy Allenby began her career on Stage, debuting in Two Strangers From Nowhere (1924). Her strong voice, perfect diction and confident bearing led to a string of successes on Stage: Schemers (1924), The Sap (1925), Find Daddy (1926), The Little Spitfire (1926), Synthetic Sin (1927), Within the Law (1928), Married-and How! (1928), He Understood Women (1928), Conflict (1929), Among the Married (1929), and A Widow in Green (1931). Once her Radio career began to develop she retired from the Stage until 1948 and her performance in The Happy Journey to Trenton and Camden, followed by her performance as the wife of Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman (1949). A last minute replacement, her performance garnered critical acclaim for its 18-month run.

But it was over Radio that most of her staunchest fans found her. From her first big lead in The Phyl Coe Mysteries (1937)--yet another manifestation of her ground breaking early feminism--to consistent, delightful Radio appearances in many of the Great Plays productions, several appearances in The Shadow and The Clock, and her co-starring role in It's Higgins Sir!.

Once the Golden Age of Radio had waned, she rebounded with several appearances in Television, and a long-running appearance on Edge of Night as Mattie Lane Grimsley from 1956 - 1966 (the year of her unexpected death.)




Clayton Collyer [Clayton Johnson Heermance Jr.]
(Thomas 'Tom' Taylor)

Stage, Radio, Television and Film Actor, Professional Singer, Spokesperson, Author, Poet
(1908-1969)

Birthplace: New York City, New York, U.S.A.

Education:
Horace Mann School
Williams College
J.D., Fordham Law

Radiography:

1937 Phyl Coe Mysteries
1938 Adventures Of Superman
1938 Doc Sellers' True Stories
1938 Other People's Lives
1938 Mercury Theatre
1939 Ripley's Believe It Or Not
1940 Cavalcade Of America
1942 The Adventures Of Jungle Jim
1944 Modern Romances
1944 The Goldbergs
1944 Your Weight In Gold
1944 The Raleigh Room
1944 The Mary Small Show
1944 Molle Mystery Theatre
1945 Parents' Magazine On the Air
1945 Road Of Life
1945 The Hour Of Charm
1945 By Popular Demand
1945 Mystery Theatre
1945 The Radio Edition Of the Bible
1946 A House In the Country
1946 The Continental Celebrity Club
1946 The Benny Goodman Music Festival
1947 CBS Is There
1947 Studio One
1948 Talent Jackpot
1948 Radio Reader's Digest
1948 The Jack Smith Show
1948 Living 1948
1948 Grandstand Manager
1948 Giant Quiz
1948 Five Minute Mysteries
1948 You Are There
1948 On Your Mark
1948 Ballads and Ballots
1949 Break the Bank
1950 The Guiding Light
1950 This Is Your Life
1950 The FBI In Peace and War
1965 World's Fair Holiday
Philo Vance

Clayton 'Bud' Collyer, ca. 1952
Clayton 'Bud' Collyer, ca. 1952

Superman was Bud Collyer's first major lead over Radio
Superman was Bud Collyer's first major lead over Radio

Bud Collyer at Mutual's Superman mike with Harry Donnefeld and Joan Alexander, ca. 1938
Bud Collyer at Mutual's Superman mike with Harry Donnefeld and Joan Alexander, ca. 1938

Bud Collyer got his first career boost over Mutual's flagship station, WOR, ca. 1938
Bud Collyer got his first career boost over Mutual's flagship station, WOR, ca. 1938

Before reading what Bud Collyer would be asked to do over Radio
Before reading what Bud Collyer would be asked to do over Radio

After reading what Bud Collyer would be asked to do over Radio
After reading what Bud Collyer would be asked to do over Radio

The Bud Collyer most people remember--as TV Game Show host and spokesperson, ca. 1954
The Bud Collyer most people remember--as TV Game Show host and spokesperson, ca. 1954

Greatly in demand as a spokesperson, the amiable Bud Collyer shows his support for Ipana toothpaste, ca. 1956
Greatly in demand as a spokesperson, the amiable Bud Collyer shows his support for Ipana toothpaste, ca. 1956

Bud Collyer (right) at the 1959 Tony awards with Jason Robards, Jr., Gwen Verdon, Richard Kiley and Claudette Colbert
Bud Collyer (right) at the 1959 Tony awards with Jason Robards, Jr., Gwen Verdon, Richard Kiley and Claudette Colbert

Bud Collyer rehearses one of the gags for his Beat The Clock game show, ca. 1954
Bud Collyer rehearses one of the gags for his Beat The Clock game show, ca. 1954

'Bud' Collyer was a native New Yorker born Clayton Johnson Heermance Jr., into a family rooted in Theatre. His grandfather, Dan Collyer, had been on Stage and Vaudeville for over 50 years. His mother had acted under the name Carrie Collyer, and his sister, June Collyer, was an early Silent Film actress, Stage and Television actress and the wife of Stage, Screen, Radio and Television actor, Stuart Erwin.

Upon graduating from Horace Mann School, Clayton entered Williams College, eventually also leading a dance band. A fashion commentator attending a school dance at the St. Regis Hotel heard him sing and hooked him up with a part-time singing job with the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) at $85 a week. It was at this time that he changed his stage name to Clayton Collyer, from his mother's maiden name, the same last name taken by his sister, June.

Responding to his own father's career, Bud Collyer then attended Fordham Law School, and after graduation worked as a law clerk for two years before settling on a career in Entertainment. Collyer acted in several Broadway plays and in 1935 landed a full-time acting job on Radio.

Before long, Collyer found himself to be a very versatile radio personality indeed. From 1938 to 1949, he portrayed Superman over the WOR-Mutual network. He also voiced Superman over the celebrated Max Fleischer animated Superman adventures. At one time, in addition to his Superman duties, he was heard as an announcer, quizmaster and emcee on six other programs - the Mary Small and Hildegarde shows the Schaefer Revue, the Quiz of Two Cities and two soap operas, Road to Life and Young Dr. Malone.

Remembering his career before the mike, he observed, "Those were great days, because you weren't seen. You could appear on as many as 23 to 30 shows a week and grab off $6,000 to $7,000 a year - big dough at that time. Naturally, that sort of hedge-hopping is impossible on TV." With some 1,400 entries in the RadioGOLDINdex database, Bud Collyer enjoys one of the most extensive and varied Radiographies in Radio history. From Variety to Adventure serials, to straight dramas and historical retrospectives, there was little of mainstream Radio that Collyer didn't appear in during his eighteen years in Radio. Bud Collyer appeared on all four of the major Radio networks at one time or another, in many cases over all four of them at a time.

With some 20,000 Radio appearances credited to him at one time or another, it was his Television career that eclipsed even his Radio career. One of television's most verstaile--and durable--masters of ceremonies, Bud Collyer endeared himself to contestants and audiences alike with his genial manners, marvelous smile, wry humor, remarkable patience and infectious enthusiasm.

He trumped his Radio record by appearing on all four major Television networks from the Golden Age of Television as well. From the Dumont network to the big three, CBS, NBC, and ABC, Bud Collyer was equally in demand everywhere on Television. He was the host of a succession of game shows, including Break the Bank, Quick as a Flash, Number Please, Feather Your Nest and To Tell the Truth. To Tell the Truth was arguably his most remembered program on radio. From its inaugural program to the week it went off the air, Bud Collyer was the host for all twelve years (1956-1968), breaking his own record of eleven years hosting Beat The Clock (1950-1961).

A political Conservative for most of his adult life, he was a past president of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA). He was also a fervent anti-Communist, which often found him at odds with many of the factions within AFTRA during the 1950s. But fervent or not, both opponents and supporters alike always found Collyer both a supreme gentleman and a gracious proponent of his beliefs. This, during a period of a great deal of polarization within the Artists' community.

Bud Collyer was also a deeply religious man, who both lived and espoused his relgious beliefs with equal ease. Never imposing his beliefs on others, Collyer embodied his convictions both personally and professionally. Famously closing his Televsion programs with "God bless you", no one watching felt the least bit proselytized. The post-script was genuine, sincere and wholly congruous with Bud Collyer's bearing throughout his performances. It's reported that he was always particularly pleased to hear contestants say they would be donating a portion of their winnings to their church. He was also reportedly very pleased to host a minister as a contestant on his many programs, always remembering to ask about the minister's congregation, no matter the denomination.

He also reportedly taught Sunday school classes at his local Presbyterian church in Connecticut for over 35 years, spending some of his valuable down-time acting as caretaker at his church. One aprocryphal ancecdote has him answering the phone at his parish during a nasty snowstorm. When the parishioner on the line asked if the Church would be open that day, Collyer reportedly replied, "Oh, yes. God and I are here." Bud Collyer contributed to many Christian religious undertakings, authored at least one religious book and recorded the entire Good News New Testament for an audio book.

During his Beat The Clock years, he often delivered public service messages about such charitable causes as the March of Dimes and other drives for research of diseases. Those messages disappeared with his Conservative colleague Ronald Reagan's systematic dismantling of the Fairness Doctrine--the guidance under which celebrities of Collyer's notoriety could be free to make such on-air appeals.

Bud Collyer also wrote two inspirational books, Thou Shalt Not Fear! (1962) , a book of sermons in verse, and With the Whole Heart (1966).

In a life that had come full circle on several occasions, Bud Collyer famously ended his career with the same character that brought him his first eleven year run over Radio--Superman. He voiced the Superman animation revival series of 1968. And in another interesting irony, he passed away the day that his beloved To Tell The Truth was to begin it's own revival that night.

With the hundreds of thousands of Golden Age Radio recordings that have survived his Golden Years in Radio, and the thousands of recorded Television programs showcasing his talent, it's a foregone conclusion that Bud Collyer, gentleman, Radio and Television giant, and man of his convictions will be around for decades to come.

Till we meet again, Bud Collyer. . . and God bless you.




Philco Model 116 Radio [116 Double-X]
(Producer)

High-Fidelity Console Radio
(1937-1938)

Number Manufactured: 25,600

Introduced: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Radiography:

1927 Philco Radio Hour
1927 Philco Summer Hour
1937 Phyl Coe Mysteries
1943 Philco Radio Hall Of Fame
1946 Philco Radio Time
1953 Philco Radio Playhouse

This is what all the hoopla was about. Philco's Model 38-116XX radio console, the "No Squat, No
The Philco Model 116XX for 1937-38

No Squat . . .
No Squat . . .

No Stoop . . .
No Stoop . . .

and No Squint.
and No Squint.

The Model 116xx Protective Back cover. An Important feature? You bet. Tube chassis' put out and held a deadly amount of voltage. But even in 1937, protective backing was an extra cost or premium item
The Model 116xx Protective Back cover. An Important feature? You bet. Tube chassis' put out and held a deadly amount of voltage. But even in 1937, protective backing was an extra cost or premium item.

The beautiful, powerful 20-tube Model 38-690 that succeeded the Model 116xx. Sliding tambour closed
The beautiful, powerful 20-tube Model 38-690 that succeeded the Model 116xx. Sliding tambour closed.

The Model 38-690 with its Sliding tambour down
The Model 38-690 with its Sliding tambour down

Philco Model 116 High-Fidelity Console Radio (1937/38) Philco presents the radio of tomorrow today! The Philco model 116XX console radio was one of eight "No Squat, No Stoop, No Squint" sets Philco introduced with their "Philco Week" of June of 1937 for the 1938 model year. The initial base price of $200 bought a genuinely feature-packed set. For those coming out of The Great Depression that could afford it, or trade up to it, the Model 116 was as good a value as anyone might find in 1937.

1937 and 1938 were banner years for Philco, both technologicall and financially, despite the almost $1.5 Million promotional budget for 1937. (Their "Phyl" Coe Radio Mysteries contest alone represented $1 Million of that promotional budget). In a dramatic departure from the florid advertising prose of the day, the Philco 116 Double X and the 690 Double X that followed it in 1938 were truly each, "the radio of tomorrow . . . today".

Here's a sampling of the promotional prose promoting the Ten Millionth Philco Radio of 1937:

"Never before such a radio as this! The Ten Millionth Philco...116 Double-X...has an exclusive Philco High Fidelity Audio System. Individual and personal control of both Treble and Bass... anti-distortion Beam Output Tubes...the exclusive Philco two-in-one High Fidelity Speaker ...Wide-Angle Sound Diffusion...Acoustic Clarifiers to prevent "boom"...and the famous Inclined Sounding Board to bring every note up to ear level.

It takes all these features to give you Philco High-Fidelity reception...to actually double the tonal range of ordinary good low fidelity radios. It took years of research...years of experimentation... and the building of ten million Philcos to develop the Philco High-Fidelity System. But never before has radio achieved such soul-stirring realism.

Philco 116 Double-X brings you the full tones and over-tones that enable you to distinguish every instrument in an orchestra. You catch every delicate shading in pianissimo passages...hear a fortissimo finale free from blare, boom or distortion. A woman's voice sounds truly feminine, a tenor sounds like a tenor...not like a baritone. All this, Philco High-Fidelity and only Philco High-Fidelity gives you!

See and hear the Ten Millionth Philco. Thrill to the living tone of Philco High Fidelity. Then discover also how the Philco Foreign Tuning System makes "locals" of overseas stations...how Philco Automatic Tuning brings any of your favorite stations with a flick of your fingers...how the Inclined Control Panel eliminates squatting, stooping and squinting.

To commemorate an occasion which only a few years ago would have seemed almost beyond belief, Philco offers a special series of exact replicas of the Ten Millionth Philco . . . identified by a commemorative medallion on which the owner's name may be engraved. The Ten Millionth Series is now on display at your Philco dealer's. See it... hear it...learn how easily you may own it on the Philco-Commercial Credit Easy Payment Plan."

A bit too much, you say? Hardly. This baby could back up every bit of it's florid prose with even better technology:

  • Inclined Control Panel - No Squat! No Stoop! No Squint! enables you to tune with ease and grace
  • Philco Automatic Tuning - a flick of your fingers and in comes your favorite station, tuned with absolute accuracy... instantly... perfectly.
  • Magnetic Tuning
  • Philco High-Fidelity - twice the tonal range of ordinary radios.... for glorious realism..
  • Acoustic Clarifiers - prevent "boom"
  • Wide Angle Sound Diffusion
  • Inclined Sounding Board - brings music up to ear level
  • Cathedral Speaker - exclusive Philco two-in-one High Fidelity speaker
  • The Philco Foreign Tuning System - with spread band dial . . . which doubles the number of foreign stations you can get and enjoy . . . assures you mastery of overseas reception . . .
  • Fifteen Philco Tubes and five tuning ranges covering everything that's interesting on the air. Anti-distortion Beam-Output Tubes . . .
  • Individual and Personal Control of both treble and bass
  • Everything you could wish for - in a cabinet of thrilling beauty . . . with Protective Back.

Indeed, about the only major innovation present in the 1938 Model 690 but not in the Model 116 were the addition of Tweeters in the Model 690.

There's little question whether the Model 690 was the finest radio console Philco ever built. It was . . . hands down. With it's 20-tube High Fidelity circuitry it produced an even smoother sound than the Model 116. The new cabinet had a tambour door which hid its Automatic Tuning dial and controls, but allowed the set to operate even with the door pulled down. But its original selling price was $395, fully double the price of the Model 116. A dear price indeed for 1938. Only 3,000 Model 690s were built.




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