Coronet C-2, 1946
Tube complement: 14Q7 mixer/oscillator, 14A7 IF, 14B6 detector, 50A5 audio output, 35Y4 rectifier.
This set has the standard All American Five circuit (except the antenna's a foil plate in the bottom of the cabinet, not a loop), rendered in the loktal tube flavor. It's also still working fine on all its original parts—not a tube, condenser or resistor has been replaced.
Notice the extensively mottled Bakelite. What a visual treat!
|About early plastics
I mention Bakelite, Plaskon, Beetle and Catalin many times on this Web site, so I thought I'd better do some explaining. These names refer to types of early hard plastics, all based on the phenol-formaldehyde resin invented in 1907 by Leo Baekeland. The names of the plastics are all trade names, so I capitalize them. (They're used somewhat incorrectly here, and by most collectors, to refer to generic types of plastic.) These plastics are all very hard, somewhat brittle, and thermosetting. Thermosetting means that once the molding and curing process is complete, the material won't melt when heated again.
Bakelite This is the original hard plastic. Its inventor, Leo Baekeland, named it for the oven he used to control the chemical reaction, which he called his "bakelizer." Mr. Baekeland formed the Bakelite Corporation to manufacture and sell his new plastic. Bakelite is usually brown or black (or variegated combinations) because of the dark color of the filler that's used. After his patent expired, many other companies made this type of plastic too, but we collectors call all brown or black thermosetting plastics Bakelite.
Plaskon The Plaskon Company, Inc. made its name with a urea-formaldehyde compound that used light-colored fillers. Not limited to basic brown or black, Plaskon could be made in a variety of colors, including white. Like Bakelite, these colorful plastics were made by other companies too, but collectors call them all Plaskon.
Beetle Beetle was a trade name used by American Cyanamid Corp. for its unusual urea-formaldehyde-based plastic material. It is usually white, ivory, or another very light color, into which is swirled green, brown, gold, or other dark colors. It's a very pretty effect, and Beetle was frequently called "onyx" by marketing departments. Collectors call all plastic that looks like this Beetle, no matter which company actually manufactured it.
Catalin The base for Catalin is phenol-formaldehyde, but without any fillers. The thick, clear, syrupy liquid was poured into molds and allowed to harden slowly for days. Since it started out clear, all kinds of neat effects could be created, such as transparency, translucence, and marbelization (by adding dyes and not mixing them thoroughly). Or, dyes could be added and mixed well, to create solid-color materials. Catalin not only looks good, but it has a thick, smooth, rich feel that's like no other plastic made before or since. Whether the Catalin type plastic was made by the Catalin Corporation or by other companies (Bakelite, Marblette, Fiberloid, Monsanto), radio collectors call it Catalin.