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 59 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.

59 Documented Philco Models
IMAGEYEAR MODEL CODE VALVES BANDS
1939 Philco Tropic 'Information'
1941 Philco model 147 6  All Wave 
1941 Philco model 157  All Wave 
1941 Philco 41-710 5  All Wave 
1941 Philco model 710 5  Broadcast 
1941 Philco model 722 'Tropic' 6  All Wave 
1941 Philco model 788 11 9
1943 Philco model 760 8 8
1945 Philco 515A 5  Broadcast 
1945 Philco model 730 7 5
1946ish Philco model 656 6 5
1947ish Philco model 1201 'Bing Crosby' 5  Dual Wave 
1947 Philco model 1203 5  All Wave 
1947 Philco model 1205 'Super-De-Luxe' 8 8
1947 Philco model 1206 8 8
1947 Philco model 1207 8 8
1947 Philco model 732 6 5
1948ish Philco 1201A 'Bing Crosby' 5  Dual Wave 
1948 Philco model 1204 5 4
1948 Philco model 200 5  Broadcast 
1948 Philco 350A 'Bread Bin' 6  Broadcast 
1948 Philco model 888 11 9
1949 Philco model 201 5  Broadcast 
1949 Philco model 733 6 5
1949 Philco model 860 8 8
1950 Philco model 1253 5  Broadcast 
1950 Philco model 202 5  Broadcast 
1950 Philco model 611 6  Broadcast 
1950 Philco model 734 7 5
1951 Philco model 203 'Hippo' 5  Broadcast 
1951 Philco model 736 7 5
1952ish Philco model 1221 6
1952 Philco model 354 'Bread Bin' 6  Broadcast 
1952 Philco model 501 5  Broadcast 
1952 Philco model 521 5  Dual Wave 
1952 Philco model 612 6  Broadcast 
1952 Philco model 735 7 5
1952 Philco model 852 'Super De Luxe' 8 5
1953 Philco model 1224 6  Dual Wave 
1953 Philco model 1255 'Tablegram' 5  Broadcast 
1953 Philco model 401 'Nevada' 4  Broadcast 
1953 Philco model 671 6  Dual Wave 
1954 Philco model 551 5  Broadcast 
1954 Philco model 555 5  Broadcast 
1954 Philco model 804 'Alarm Clock Radio' 4  Broadcast 
1954 Philco model 806 'Montana' 4  Dual Wave 
1954 Philco model 854 8 + magic eye 5
1955 Philco model 1661 'Hollywood' 5 + magic eye  Broadcast 
1955 Philco model 502 5  Broadcast 
1955 Philco model 522 5  All Wave 
1955ish Philco model 523 5  All Wave 
1955 Philco model 552 'Radiogram' 5 + magic eye  Broadcast 
1955 Philco model 614 6  Broadcast 
1956 Philco model 1242
1956 Philco model 1662 'Hollywood'
1956 Philco 502A 5  Broadcast 
1956 Philco Alabama 5  Broadcast 
1958 Philco Georgia 5  Broadcast 
1958 Philco Georgia DW 5