[Firestone S-7426-1]
Firestone Air Chief S-7426-1, 1939

Tube complement: 6A8G mixer/oscillator, 6J7G detector, 25L6G audio output, 25Z6G rectifier, L55B ballast.

Approximately 13-1/4 inches / 337 mm wide, including the tuning knob on the side.

This radio is a four-tube (not counting the ballast) superheterodyne.  The design is unusual: There's no IF stage, although there's regeneration, at the IF frequency, around the 6J7G detector stage.  Also, this set has an early, primitive type of volume control, with the potentiometer between antenna and cathode of the first stage, and the wiper grounded.  This is the same type of volume control used in the Corona 203.  The G-E F-40 is also a four-tube superhet, but the design is different.  An actual IF amplifier stage is used, and the performance is much better.

Here's a close-up of the design that's above the volume knob in the photo above.  To me, this design symbolizes mid-20th-century optimism, and the confidence that through science and technology man could solve all the world's problems.  I'm old enough to remember well this period and its way of thinking—when we'd be saved by robots and rocket ships, and our main problem would be what to do with all our leisure time. [Firestone logo]

[Catalog image] From the Spring and Summer 1939 Firestone Home and Auto Supply catalog.

This is the radio (ivory in color) that I grew up with.  It was the only radio in my family's home until I was eight years old, when my parents bought a new 1961 Magnavox AM/FM stereo phono console.  At that time, this radio was given to me, since I liked to experiment with all things electronic even at that young age.  I quickly destroyed it, and discarded the remains.

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