From the Montgomery Ward Spring-Summer 1939 catalog.
|About Airline model numbers|
From the study of lots of Airline models, mostly from the 1933-1942 period, I've been able to figure out some things about how model numbers were assigned.
Prior to 1939, Airline used purely numeric model numbers, like 62-320 for example. I haven't been able to decipher this type of model number. But starting in 1939, Airline model numbers started to mean something. It was then that Airline radios began sporting model numbers of the form xxAA-yyy, like the radio above.
First, the 'xx' part: It took me a while to notice, but there's a correlation between the xx digits and the year of the radio. Turn this radio's 93 around and you get 39. The pattern seems to hold at least into the early 1950s: Reverse the first two digits of the Airline model number and get the year the radio was introduced.
Now for the 'AA' part of the model number: This radio's WG means that it was made for Montgomery Ward by Wells-Gardner, a well known private-label radio manufacturer. Other Airline radios have BR in their model numbers, which means they were made by Belmont Radio. After WWII, other two- or three-letter combinations appear, no doubt indicating additional OEM sources for Airline radios.
Last, but not least, the 'yyy' part: For a few model years in the late 1930s and early 1940s, the first digit appears to be the number of tubes the radio has. Rectifiers, ballasts and eye tubes count, as usual. I have not been able to decipher the last two digits. Perhaps there's no code to them—they might have been assigned to the models in a random or sequential manner.