As found, this radio was missing much of its original finish and grille cloth but was otherwise complete and intact. The finish turned out to be
beyond salvation so I stripped it and re-finished the set using what few photographs I could find of it as a guide to toning. A replacement grille
cloth was obtained from grillecloth.com - this turned out to be a very close match to the original (presumably), as judged by the few fragments
adhering to the set when I came by it.
Why is this set so rarely seen today? It's conceivable that many of them have suffered the fate of having the chassis removed and used as a re-
placement for that of the much more valuable model 566. This may go some way to explaining their scarcity. It is to be noted however that the
dial face and pointer of this model differ from the dial and pointer used on the model 566 Bluebird, so the 506 chassis is by no means a simple
drop-in replacement. Since writing the foregoing, Geoff Shearer (www.maarc.org) has pointed out to me that the dial face of the model 506
actually matches that of the 566 "peachbird". He also notes that the control shafts for the 506 chassis are 0.5" shorter than for the 566,
owing to the added depth of the chrome trim on the 566. Shaft extenders may however be used to solve this problem.
Sparton Model 506 Mantel Radio (1935/1936)
SPARTON'S 35th Anniversary Radio... Beautiful, unique, modern design.
The Sparks-Withington Co. introduced the
model 506 in June of 1935 at a retail price
of $29.95. The 506 is a rare little bird today,
in spite of it having been originally priced at
the entry level in a line of eleven models
introduced that June. Later, in September,
the company unveiled four deluxe sets
styled by Walter Dorwin Teague. Amongst
these was the model 566 Bluebird, which
shared its chassis design with the 506 and
is today often erroneously referred to as the
model 506 (see my 566 page for details).
The 506 is a 5-tube AC/DC superhet provid-
ing two-band coverage from 550-6000kc.
The tube line up is 78 (mixer/LO), 78 (IF
amp), 75 (2nd det/AVC/1st af), 43 (AF o/p)
and 25Z5 (rectifier). Schematic
|Sparton Model 506 5-tube Portable Companion
Model -- 110volt AC or DC. Beautiful, unique,
modern design. American Broadcast and
short-wave frequencies covered in two bands.
Illuminated easy-tuning airplane dial.
|With the introduction of the new 35th anniversary Sparton, the radio becomes a thing of beauty as well as
a marvelous instrument for reproduction. Sparton's new-era styling includes beautifully designed models
which fit into the appointments of any home. Sparton offers smarter styles, finer performance -- and each
model a joy to the pocketbook!
|"Everything you've always wanted in a radio"