So Clean, All Original, as close to Brand New As You Will Find!
Here's a lovely little gem in new old stock condition recently acquired from an owner who lives near the north gate of Yellowstone Park in Montana!
Introduced in 1957 as T-125, this radio was a standard 5 vacuum tube AM receiver housed in a one piece molded plastic cabinet. Electronics were mounted on one side fiber composite circuit board. This particular example is probably a 1961 model T-129B based on the following:
These T series sets were the bread and butter of GE's radio line back in its time. Economical and unpretentious, solid performer. With it's trademark GE fluted knobs and large tuning dial, it was pure function. This model series was a mainstay in GE's line of radios until the early 60's.
The shipping labels give us a clearer history of this particular radio. Looks like GE shipped this radio to its supply company outpost in Butte Montana. It was ordered by Don Fletcher Appliances of Bozeman Montana.
The box gives us a rare glimpse into the history of these old artifacts from our technology fixations of another era.
Is It Weird To Be Excited By A Cardboard Box?
I find it amusing that GE would advise their products be "Handled With Pride." It is, after all, a plastic AM radio. I find it prophetic how true those words turned out to be, but probably not exactly in the way GE envisioned.
| Any sleuths out there who can tell us more about these box markings?
It is rare to find a lower end model like this in such pristine condition. These were popular run-of-the-mill models. You could have picked one up at your local appliance store for about $29 or $200 in today's money.
Typically, the higher end models were well taken care of, stored for many years, and handed down over the generations. The cheaper radios like many things were thrown away after they've outlived their useful life.
So it's even more surprising to find this time machine in its original box. The box tells the story. The story matches what's in the box. The seller from Montana matches the rest of the story. The radio is a real find.
The internal electronics are a story book in its details.
This radio was all original never tampered with no previous repairs. All original GE tubes. It worked like new right out of the box which is surprising since these old GE's almost always need a new filter capacitor.
With any use, the beeswax and paper capacitors melt and leave a puddle of sticky residue on the circuit board. This circuit board had none of that sticky stuff anywhere. This suggests the radio was never or rarely used since new.
Here's how the circuit board looked right out of the cabinet. No cleaning was performed. Look at how clean the wires are!
All original matching GE tubes! Nice.
All original looking no broken shiny as heck solder points. No burned out dry looking bumps! Sweet.
Here two reasons more why I like GE designs. See the simple foil heat shield and cardboard strut? Nothing fancy but excellent and practical manufacturing design. These simple inexpensive features has meant fewer T-129 with the dreaded top heat crack. The card board has resulted in fewer failures due to circuit board flex.
Here's one last look before the backing board is re-installed. Hopefully, this part of the radio will not see the light of day for another 50 years! Notice the nice shiny reflection on the side!
The cardboard tabs show some fatigue due to opening and closure of the backing board. If it were not for these signs of wear, this radio would be brand new truly NOS. See the nicely wound power cord?
Notice the other colors available. If this radio was yellow, it would be slightly more rare and desirable due to rarity. Next, I would say pink and turquoise are roughly equal. Followed by antique white and beige.
Q: How much is it? Is it for sale?
Stay tuned for more New Old Stock tales from the past...