Westinghouse Model WR-30 Gothic Style Tombstone Radio (1933)
The Westinghouse WR-30 is a rare and magnificent gothic-
style 8-tube 4-band tombstone radio. It is by far the least
common of a trio of models, differing only in cabinet styling,
produced by RCA and marketed by RCA, GE and Westing-
house. The other sets in the group are the RCA model 140
and the GE model K80. The Westinghouse differs from the
RCA only to the extent of the small, almost unnoticed "W"
emblem, seen just below the tuning control.
That three manufacturers should cooperate on the marketing
of what was basically the same set naturally raises the
question as to the nature of the underlying relationship
between them. This can in fact be traced back to the early
days of radio in the USA. In 1919 GE acquired the assets of
the American Marconi Company (largely held by foreign
interests) and founded RCA. The partnership was soon
joined by Westinghouse, ATT and United Fruit. Their goal
was to pool their intellectual property and establish a center
of excellence for US radio, thwarting the domination of the
burgeoning US wireless industry by European concerns.
At first, Westinghouse and GE manufactured radios for RCA,
which started out with no manufacturing capability and acted
in a technical and sales role only. However, in 1929 RCA
purchased the long-established Victor Company and began
making their own sets. The venture continued through 1932
when it was dissolved by the Department of Justice for anti-
trust reasons. Under the terms of the dissolution, RCA
retained its patents and would initially manufacture sets for
both GE and Westinghouse. The GE K80 and the model WR-
30 seen here were two of the by-products of that agreement
for the 1933-34 season.
It appears that Westinghouse re-used the WR-30 model
number in 1935 for a console radio. However, that radio
bears little resemblance to this model, neither aesthetically
nor electrically. The reason for this confusion in numbering is
unclear and possibly lost in the mists of time!
Band coverage is:- 540-1500kc (Band A), 1500-3900kc
(Band B), 3900-10000kc (Band C) and 8000-18000kc (Band
D). Tube line-up is 58 (RF amp), 2A7 (mixer/LO), 58 (IF amp),
2B7 (second detector/AVC), 56 (AF driver), 53 (push-pull
class B triode output), 80 rectifier. An additional type 58 RF
amplifier is switched into circuit for Band D only, providing
improved sensitivity and selectivity. With the exception of the
type 80, these tubes all have 2.5V heaters. The schematic for
all three models can be found at NostalgiaAir under RCA 140.