What a delightful melody of color does this little Emerson AU213
tombstone radio render, with its graceful curves and manifold
scintillating tones of golden brown and honey! Such a
harmonious balance of elements, such genius of aesthetics,
such excellence of execution,... well by now you've gotten the
message and you shouldn't need me to elucidate the matter of
my admiration for this little radio any further. Besides, I've run
out of superlatives to describe the favorable impressions
fostered by it, so I'll simply conclude this here verbiage by
stating that this is quite one of my favorite sets!
The cabinet was made for Emerson by the E. Ingraham
Company of Bristol, Connecticut, a manufacturer of clocks,
watches and other items dating back to 1831. They initially
became famous for their magnificent wooden clock cabinets,
distinguished by their mastery of the techniques necessary for
contouring veneered wood into highly curvaceous forms.
Some radio manufacturers, looking for a competitive edge, saw
such beautiful creations as a means to increase sales and
contracted with Ingraham for the supply of custom cabinets.
Emerson was their biggest radio customer, but GE and
Firestone are also known to have been clients, with the likes of
Stewart Warner, Silvertone, Detrola, DeWald, Sparton and even
Zenith alleged to have counted amongst their numbers too.
Today, the Ingrahams represent a distinctive niche in the radio
collecting arena and are amongst the most coveted of all
Emerson Model AU-213 (AU213) Mini Tombstone Radio (1938)
...in a clever little clock-like cabinet ...with the "Miracle Tone Chamber".
The AU-213 was introduced in 1938 with an original sales price of $29.95. Try finding it for that today!
The AU-213 is an ac/dc-powered 5-tube superheterodyne. Frequency coverage is from 540-1580kc (standard broadcast) and 1.58-
4.2mc (old police band). Waveband selection is by means of a rear switch. The tube line-up for this radio is 6A7 (LO/mixer), 6D6 (IF),
6Q7G (detector/agc/1st af), 25L6G (output) and 25Z5 (rectifier). A resistive line-cord ("curtain-burner") is used in the filament circuit.
Although the AU-213 is not explicitly listed in the Riders manuals, this set uses chassis AU which is also employed for the AU-190,
whose schematic may be obtained here, courtesy of NostalgiaAir.
For 1938, one of the innovations that Emerson highlighted when promoting its new models, including the AU-213, was their so-called
Miracle Tone Chamber. Here's a newspaper clipping from November of 1937 describing this feature:-
|Revolutionary Loud Speaker Put Forward by Famous Maker of Small Radios
Emerson, for long famous as builders of small radios, inaugurates the 1938 season with the introduction of its Miracle Tone
Chamber, which it represents as the most revolutionary development in radio since the dynamic speaker. The new development,
to use Emerson's phrase, "recreates the artist in your home".
Emerson's Miracle Tone Chamber is announced as a refinement that brings true acoustical reproduction of the human voice and
musical instruments. It eliminates the old "muffling" cloth of the speaker and by means of a series of seasoned grooved louvre
wood deflectors brings about a uniform distribution of sound waves on all frequencies. Thus the full melodic richness of all
harmonics and overtones up and down the scale are enjoyed.