PHILCO

'A Musical Instrument of Quality'

The 'Philco' brandname was introduced in 1929 and lasted until around 1962.

Philco was manufactured by Dominion Radio and Electrical Corporation Ltd, they were distributed by Chas Begg & Co. Ltd. Currently there are 54 documented models.

Philco was one of the worlds largest radio brands.  Based in Philadelphia USA it had its start as the Helios Electric Company and produced carbon-arc lamps until 1904.  In 1906 the company reinvented itself as the Philadelphia Storage Battery Company and made, as the name suggests, batteries - initially for electric vehicles and then for radios as the industry started to grow.  A few years later they began a line of battery eliminators to run radios from household power outlets.

The Philco brand appeared in 1919, although they did not begin production of radios until 1926 - but within 4 years they were the largest manufacturer of such in the U.S..

Philco had been imported and distributed in New Zealand by Chas Begg from 1929, although import restrictions in 1937 meant that only the chassis was imported and fitted to locally manufactured cabinets.  By 1939 Dominion Radio & Electrical Corp. had been set up in Auckland to produce Philco sets for the NZ market.

The Philco Tropic range from around the WW2 era had chrome plated chassis' similar to overseas models but this costly process gave way to blue paint some time after the war ended. 

Model numbers generally (with the exception of some models from the early-mid 1940's) did not follow the American style of starting with the year (eg: 41-722) and while they started off looking very much like their American cousins they slowly drifted further and further from any similarity.

Philco continued to be a leading brand in the NZ marketplace until the early 60's when, due to the parent company being sold off to Ford, the ties between the NZ manufacturers (DRECO) and Philco USA were severed, and DRECO introduced the Majestic brand to replace it.

54 Documented Philco Models
IMAGEYEAR VALVESBANDSMODEL CODE
1939 Philco Tropic 'Information'
1941 6  All Wave  Philco model 147
1941  All Wave  Philco model 157
1941 5  All Wave  Philco 41-710
1941 5  Broadcast  Philco model 710
1941 6  All Wave  Philco model 722 'Tropic'
1941 11 9 Philco model 788
1943 8 8 Philco model 760
1945 5  Broadcast  Philco 515A
1945 7 5 Philco model 730
1946ish 6 5 Philco model 656
1947ish 5  Dual Wave  Philco model 1201 'Bing Crosby'
1947 5  All Wave  Philco model 1203
1947 8 8 Philco model 1205 'Super-De-Luxe'
1947 8 8 Philco model 1206
1947 8 8 Philco model 1207
1947 6 5 Philco model 732
1948ish 5  Dual Wave  Philco 1201A 'Bing Crosby'
1948 5 4 Philco model 1204
1948 5  Broadcast  Philco model 200
1948 6  Broadcast  Philco 350A 'Bread Bin'
1948 11 9 Philco model 888
1949 5  Broadcast  Philco model 201
1949 6 5 Philco model 733
1949 8 8 Philco model 860
1950 5  Broadcast  Philco model 1253
1950 5  Broadcast  Philco model 202
1950 6  Broadcast  Philco model 611
1951 5  Broadcast  Philco model 203 'Hippo'
1952ish 6 Philco model 1221
1952 6  Broadcast  Philco model 354 'Bread Bin'
1952 5  Broadcast  Philco model 501
1952 5  Dual Wave  Philco model 521
1952 6  Broadcast  Philco model 612
1952 7 5 Philco model 735
1952 8 5 Philco model 852 'Super De Luxe'
1953 6  Dual Wave  Philco model 1224
1953 5  Broadcast  Philco model 1255 'Tablegram'
1953 4  Broadcast  Philco model 401 'Nevada'
1953 6  Dual Wave  Philco model 671
1954 5  Broadcast  Philco model 551
1954 5  Broadcast  Philco model 555
1954 4  Broadcast  Philco model 804 'Alarm Clock Radio'
1954 4  Dual Wave  Philco model 806 'Montana'
1954 8 + magic eye 5 Philco model 854
1955 5 + magic eye  Broadcast  Philco model 1661 'Hollywood'
1955 5  All Wave  Philco model 502
1955 5  Broadcast  Philco 502A
1955 5  All Wave  Philco model 522
1955 5 + magic eye  Broadcast  Philco model 552 'Radiogram'
1955 6  Broadcast  Philco model 614
1956 Philco model 1242
1956 Philco model 1662 'Hollywood'
1956 5  Broadcast  Philco Alabama