Thursday, June 2, 2016

Our Polyoxybenzylmethylenglycolanhydride Radio

Polyoxybenzylmethylenglycolanhydride is also known as Bakelite*. My husband bought me this radio, an Airline, which was the store brand for Montgomery Ward, their model 04WG-611 AM tube radio from 1940's. When it arrived, I thought we should turn it on and hear Glenn Miller and His Orchestra or The Fred Allen Show! We did find a local station, KSGL, that plays "The Music You Remember". The radio has that warm tube sound and the bakelite cabinet does get warm. It looks like a radio my parents had.

The radio has been restored and polished up by a gentlemen named Eric in Lake in the Hills, Illinois; it has tubes and push button tuning that has the call letters set by the owners decades ago: WOR (New York), WBZ (Boston), WTIC (Connecticut), WSPR, WDRC (Connecticut), and WMAS (Springfield, CT). All but WSPR are broadcasting today!

Here's more information about the radio from the Radio Museum; it was made in America, in that city of big shoulders, Chicago.

*Bakelite is a synthetic resin chemically formulated and named after its Belgian inventor, Chemist L.H.Baekeland c.1909. It is pronounced "Bay Ka Lite". Originally it was used for molding items that were previously done of celluloid or hard rubber. One of the original uses was for pool balls. It is collectible in all its forms including jewelry, buttons, radio cases, lamps, dresser sets and many more items. It was used commercially for parts especially in electrical wiring. After bakelite and the introduction of so many other plastics and composition materials it was easy to confuse them all. People began to lump all plastics into one generic term "Bakelite".

Just a little bit of history on our dining room buffet.

1 comment:

  1. Fun listening to a radio our parents and grandparents could have listened to when they were young. They sure don't make things like this anymore in our throw away culture.